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Ruth's BreakDear Diary,

My heart is flipping over with such force that I think I can feel my nostrils vibrate. Good. That’s a nice look at a time like this. He’s speaking to me— leaning in really close..whispering just loudly enough for only my ears to hear. My breathing is getting heavy and more laborious. I think this is partially due to the after effect of the veggie bean chili with cheese and The Three Tomatoes I devoured at lunch. I think I might s-w-o-o-n. Since I’ve never had an opportunity to SWOON.. I’m not really sure of the mechanics of said swoon. You know..where do the legs go? Do I place the back of my hand on my forehead? Or is that too old school? No. I need to stick around to hear the crescendo. He’s leaning in closer and closer as he speaks and for a split second..I don’t know thoughts veer off in the direction of a potential halitosis situation at hand. I can actually feel the intense crimson color turn a shade deeper on my face as he’s whispering those three little words that every girl longs to hear— to me..


“..AAAAAACCCCKKKKK! How could you lose her—this isn’t NORDSTROM? Did you not know she has DEMENTIA? That’s her “job” to wander off and YOUR job is to stop her. That’s why she’s HERE remember?”

Poor Larry. Such a great guy. One of the cutest staff members at Happy Daze Assisted Living. My MIL Ruth loves fact whenever Larry is leading an exercise class or has been assigned “bus trip” duty for the ROAM (dementia) floor, Ruth goes all AHBAD (Alzheimer’s Halted By Adorable Dude) on me and then almost convinces me with a finely thought out argument why she should “move out and get her own place”.

Larry looks absolutely distraught as he points to all the staff running helter-skelter around the downstairs area where a musical performance is in full swing. Code Red! Code Red! They’re coming from all floors now..staff running around in circles, staff hitting the streets, staff sneaking in back for a quick smoke. Didn’t think I noticed..did you? MR. you know who you are.. waiter dude. Couldn’t give me a refill on fries after I asked nicely. Peh.

I’m firing off questions to Larry left and right:

Where was she last seen?

What was she wearing?

Bra on the outside of shirt? Or inside?

Lipstick shade?

I can see it all now. Here come the sirens and the cops. Red lights flashing..

APB: We have a report of missing granny with freshly styled hairdo..Greyish with some blue highlights–missing from the ROAM floor. May look slightly.. perplexed, with poorly drawn on eyebrows. (break) Wearing nightie stuffed into stretch ugly colored pants and disposable (one time wear) pedicure thongs on feet. If found.. take directly to bathroom first before questioning. (break)


Oh wait. There’s more. Larry tells me Ruth has an accomplice. Oh dear LORD..please don’t let it be Harriet or Blanche..again. The last time this happened, Ruth and Blanche had been hanging out around the faux key padded bookcase on ROAM looking highly suspicious. When I saw them together.. I just sensed that something was going down. Plus— I know full well what a b-a-d influence THAT Blanche is on Ruth. Somehow Ruth had fallen in with the wrong crowd. Doris, Blanche, Shirley..they just had a nose for trouble. Anyway..Ruth and Blanche tailgated some workmen out the “bookcase” by “pretending” to not look like they had dementia according to one guy’s story. Yeah..I can see it now. Ruth with her big toothy smiley all..

“Hi. What are you up too? Nice day we’re having. Mind if my friend..umm.. (Whispering to Blanche) Pssst? What did you say your name was?

BLANCHE: Blanche

RUTH: Blanche.. and I come along?

“Sure.” says the guy and out they all go— into the hall, where Blanche and Ruth now have the daunting task of figuring out HOW to work the elevator. Hasn’t Ruth asked me a MILLION times how to use it “just in case” she EVER needs to “go somewhere?”  That should have been my first warning.

The girls made it onto the elevator and pressed floor one. Dumb freakin’ luck..that’s all I chalk it up to. Down the two escapees go to the first floor lobby looking forward to freedom as they headed straight towards the door. The mistakes they made were:

a.    Forgetting where the front door was.
b.    Forgetting what they were doing downstairs
c.    Asking the receptionist for directions to the Eiffel Tower.

The attempt was foiled by sheer chance. I was down the hall speaking with the activities coordinator about the purchase of appropriate work out clothes for Ruth’s Happy Hands class. Before I run out and spend a fortune on GROOVE pants and Silver threaded no stink top at Lululemon Athletica as Granny requested, I need to make sure Ruth has been actually PARTICIPATING in the class and not just sitting there socializing.

I ran smack gobbers right into the two outlaws in the lobby as they realized they had slipped up on their last “request” for directions and started hoofing it right towards the door.

“Ruth. What are you DOING down here?” I shout. Absolutely shocked that they made it THIS far.

RUTH: Well..I don’t know? (Turning to Blanche)What are we doing here she wants to know?

BLANCHE: I’m not quite sure..but we have a cab to catch so if you’ll kindly step out of OUR way.


Holy Cow.. it’s Faye with Ruth on the lam! Now we’ll defiantly need to check every Casino and BINGO hall within a fifty-mile radius. The only thing going for us is the well-known fact that they’ll make a quick detour. Thanks to Faye’s love of the sauce, it’s a sure thing that they’re in some bar knocking back a few as we speak. Some Jell-O shots.. a little table dancing.. oh baby.. you’re stoked for a grand adventure.


Say what? Why who’s that standing over THERE watching all the excitement from the corner of the Ladies bathroom entrance? Why..I’ll be. It’s my Ruth and her little friend Faye. What’s that you say? You want to know WHY nobody has invited you to play “the game”. O.K. I’m going to be sooo cool and composed about this..

ME: What could you have POSSIBLY been thinking in that HEAD of yours? I have been worried sick..

RUTH: Adri..

ME: Let me finish.. I didn’t know where you were. I didn’t know if you’d been kidnapped? What? You think I just could go get another Mother-in-Law to take care of? Is THAT what you think? If I couldn’t find you..

RUTH: Adrie..

ME: NO. NO TALKING. I’m not done. Where were you that it was SO important that you RUN off with..FAYE of all people?

ME: Well? Don’t just STAND there. Answer. The. Question.

RUTH: Can I talk now?

ME: Talk.

RUTH: I was in the bathroom.

ME: Why were you in the bathroom?

Um. So, maybe it wasn’t the most intelligent question to ask. But I just needed to hear it for myself.

RUTH: Well, isn’t that where you go when you have to go tinkle? Is there someplace ELSE new that I don’t know about?

Oh I see. A real comedienne. A jokester now is she? Ha Ha Ha

RUTH: Faye said she knew where it was so I followed her. Big deal..What did I miss?

Oh MY SANDWICH GENERATION Hero’s (or Gyro’s for the authentic sandwich connoisseur)..never a dull moment in the eldercare game. The real lesson here is.. you can’t take your eye off your seniors even for a minute. Always be on your toes. With those eyes of YOURS wide open. If you ever feel the urge to blink..just pretend you’re a guard at Buckingham Palace..DON’T.

Made you blink.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized 13 years, 11 months ago at 11:26 pm.


5 Replies

  1. Adrienne Jun 8th 2009

    Thank you so much! I’m so glad that you enjoyed!
    All best!


  2. Wow…such an adventure. LOL! Glad she’s okay.

  3. Adrienne Jun 8th 2009

    Yeah..she could have found herself on a plane for Maui with Faye..hmmmm Happy Daze? Maui? Happy Daze? Maui?

  4. OMG! You are so funny… er… or should I say Ruth is! :)
    I have a friend who has his mother live with him and his wife. They live in a gated golf community. One day he’s at work and he gets a phone call from the golf pro to tell him that his mother is at the clubhouse. She’s 92 years old, uses a walker to get around, and the clubhouse is a mile-and-a-half from the house! When the pro asked her how she got there she said that she walked there and that she was waiting for the bus to Cleveland. Just to be perfectly clear, there was no bus going to Cleveland or any bus going anywhere for that matter.

    My friend told me that apparently the bus theme of having to go somewhere is a common problem for individuals with memory challenges. So much so that he informed me that in Germany, some elderly care facilities have installed bus stop signs at the end of their parking lots. When a patient/border goes missing, they go down to the bus stop oftentimes finding them there waiting for the bus.

    I can imagine, no more doors. Just let everyone out every day and just before dinner, drive down with a van to the bus stop facade, round everybody up, bring them back to the facility, and dinner is on.

    Keep up the great posts!


  5. Adrienne Jun 10th 2009

    ROFL! Ted..that is sooo funny! What a great idea to put a bus stop sign in Happy Daze! I might need to pass THAT on!
    Have a great day! Always a pleasure to hear from you!