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MIL Ruth on a tripDear Diary,

What’s my most fav thing in the whole wide world? When my MIL Ruth (dementia) gets a brilliant flash of genius. When these flashes occur..I’m almost always rendered speechless and for those of you who know a very hard thing to do. Here I am sipping a pear and prune Mojito out on the Happy Daze Assisted Living’s patio, checking out the eats for the old peeps BBQ and who should my eyes behold involved in what appears to be a cut-throat game of Plastic Pin Bowling..but my MIL. It was hard to miss her because she was the only one in the group STANDING upright. Plus, being the fashionista that she is.. was working the “cool and sassy” Summer look  like nobody’s business. Not to be snobbish or anything..but  everyone else had at least four seasons ago winter knits on..with the exception of Jo..who tends to gravitate more towards the patchwork denim look. Can’t get anymore SCREAMING 1980 then that shirt JOJO. But my girl..FINE looking. Green stripe tank (perhaps a little too much boobage exposure, but so what), white linen Capri’s and a cute little strappy sandal..with hardly a hint of visible support knee-high.. rolled down to her ankle for that innocent school girl bobby sock effect. It works. That’s all I can say.

Because I didn’t want to interfere with her game— I just refilled my beverage cup (for which I will suffer l-a-t-e-r) and headed over to the spectator section to sit with Shirley, Blanche and Ruth’s ex (No.4) John. Ruth looks up for a brief moment with a slightly ticked look upon her face. Would the individual responsible for asking one of the bystanders..a little too loudly— if he was “going to eat all his chips?” pleeeeeze pipe down.

“SHHHHHHH. I can’t concentrate. And you don’t NEED those anyway.”

Rats. I hand back John his chips (minus one or two) and his cookie (he won’t see the bite)..then settle in to watch the remainder of the set. Ruth has the form of a professional bowler. She takes the bowling ball in both hands, brings it back between her two straddled legs and heaves it sky high.

GAWD HAVE MERCY. Heads. Heads.

Watching Helga run for cover is so NOT funny. I jump up to save poor Gart’s noggin all the while motioning to him to throw his arms over his head. Gart’s looking at me trying to GUESS what I am. “No this isn’t charades dude. I’m not an APE. Hands over your h-e-a-d.” If I had to guess..I’d say ole Gartie boy escaped with nary ¼ inch to..                                                        SPARE. WOO H-O-O.. WOO H-O-O. I can hear the impact of the pins as they’re sent flying in a million directions. Not. One. Standing. That’s how you take out the way or another. Let’s go eat granny.. before you knock um even MORE senseless.

There is nothing like Summer over on the beaches in ROAM (dementia floor). All activity screeches to a halt ( IF it ever moved in the first place) and all residents move outside for fun and games in the sun. Long hobbles around the courtyard (10 x 10), people out walking their (stuffed) dogs named Fido, guys “hanging” out (of their wheel chairs) and over their walkers.. watching as the girls go by..

T-W-E-E-E-E-T      T-W-E-E-T

OMG. Did I just hear someone WHISTLE? Old man..How dare you ogle in this direction. Look away Harry..that’s my MOTHER you’re whistling at. Ummm. Oh. MY. Mistake. Better adjust your HEARING AID then.. because someone might get the wrong idea. Ruth steers me in the direction of the cool girls table and floats an idea..

“I was thinking that since it’s SUMMER we should think about a little vacation of some kind..maybe Hawaii would be good…”

Of course! We would have SUCH A BLAST. Why didn’t I think of that? Let’s lay out the logistics. First we’d have to pack. Do you have a swimsuit. Oh wait. Yes you do. The one I got in the MATERNITY section of Wal-Mart. OK. We’re good. Ummm. Going through those metal detectors. I could p-r-o-b-a-b-l-y get you to agree to enter them if I tell you it’s a dressing room at NORDSTROM. Then there’s the seven hour flight to paradisiacal HEL..

Yeah. I can think of NOTHING I we (hubby would naturally be a part of the plan) would like MORE than to board a plane with you and the kids for a nice restful get-away. I can just picture us on the plane..

RUTH (Fifteen minutes into air travel): Are we almost done with the bus ride because I’d like to get out for some fresh air.

RUTH (Twenty-five minutes into air travel): Why are we just SITTING here like a bunch of dummies. Why don’t you go lead a Happy Hands class?

RUTH: (One hour into air travel): I need to go to the bathroom again in that “little closet”. Can we manage to do it this time without you falling on me while I’m BUSY?

I have a better idea granny. I could take you over to Club Pretensia and TELL you we’re in Hawaii. We could lay around..the kids could swim. I could “pop” for a drink with an umbrella and then when you’re ready to sleep in “your own bed”, back in the plane (car) we go to our ten minute flight to Happy Daze. Of course I didn’t count on you recognizing anyone at the CLUB..because that’s not something you usually do. And then you have to start shouting out to her and waving..

“MARILYN? Why yes it is. I’m sure of it. YOOOU HOOO.. Over HERE Marilyn! What a coincidence having to come all this way to HAWAII and bumping into you. I just can’t believe it. After—

All. These. Years.

How long are you staying on MAUI?”


My Sandwich Generation BFF’s..everybody needs to take a break once in awhile from mowing the laundry and chasing after our lower and upper slices. Find a way to escape vacation for even a day..without your seniors. Very necessary in avoiding potential GI distress. There are always options..respite care, temporary at home care, unsuspecting friends.. Just find a way to come up for air and take a big cleansing breath. You have no choice..sinking is NOT an option. Start swimming.



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Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 10 months ago at 9:26 pm.

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