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Tales from the Family Tree

Grandma Ru at Step 'n Crap parkDear Diary,

One of the MOST fun and exciting discussions I could ever have with my MIL Ruth (dementia) includes some discussion of the family. Now..I have to tell you. The reason I find this so dang INTERESTING is that Ruth in her state of memory loss..tends to take some creative and artistic liberty in filling in some of the small memory gaps of these specific members.. with some p-r-e-t-t-y colorful details. Usually— these richly entertaining sessions are brought about by her grandsons AlienDude and SmartAlec, exhibiting some bizarre-o behavior that kick-starts the long-term memory station into full gear..launching us headlong into a “I remember how your great uncle Teddy used to do THAT very same thing when he was a kid.” Really granny? I hadn’t realized that they HAD Coinstar machines in Kroger’s grocery stores in the 1930’s. I can just picture it. Long curly haired, 9 yr. old Teddy..dressed in his little white sailor collared top and matching shorts and tights.. gingerly inserting his leftover Chuck E. Cheese tokens into the COINSTAR in a pathetic attempt at thievery.

It wouldn’t be right to contradict or correct granny in her rehashing the good ole days—so usually I sit back, relax and let the magic unfold.

“I remember your Granny Marnie (electric scooter girl) when SHE was a girl. Maybe she was 5 or 6 at the time..let’s see if I’m 90(buzz.. your 82) and she’s 80 (buzz..she’s 95) then..(this ought to be good) I must have been a..teenager. We would go on sleepovers JUST like YOU boys do. We had the BEST time together. We’d play all sorts of games like you do now. What are the names of some of your favorites?”

AlienDude: We like Nintendo DS..Mario vs Donkey Kong

Heh Heh Heh. Like to see you work with THIS one Ruth.

Ruth: Oh..we used to play that for hours.(Kids nodding their heads with big grins..Ga.)

Ruth: Is it hard for you when they put the blindfold on and spin you around to pin on the tail?

Hmmmm. Yeah. I can see how we got here. Nice return.

I think it’s important for the children to know from where they came. To feel connected to something bigger then themselves. A time of great family values..and morals. A time of..

“You should hear what your FATHER used to do when he was your age.”

OMG. Please let’s not go here. Pleaseeee.



ME: Ruth..maybe you should tell the boys about great great grandpa Max. I’ll bet they would love to hear about how he started the family business..?

RUTH: Ahhhh. Grandpa Max. Well, let’s see what I can tell you. (thinking) Oh..the funniest thing..

This should be good.

Your FATHER used to tie up the babysitter and launch a full-scale attack..

“We do that! We do that!”

Great. Now you’ve just endorsed their disgraceful behavior by invoking the name of their Father to give it credibility and acceptance. Cripes.

The best stories are always when Ruth talks about the time with her own father and the sweet relationship they had. It’s almost hard to BELIEVE she had her own NORDSTROM card at “their age” and use of the family VOLVO a few years later. Wow. Her folks were really ahead of their time. I only hope I can do as great a job with our kids.

My Sandwich will find the tales of the olden days are a wonderful way for you to interact with your seniors. Take full advantage of the time you spend getting the scoop.. Then YOU will be able to continue passing it on to your kids..with embellishment of course— for the many generations to come. Remember to add.. “and they all lived happily ever after. H-A-V-E to have THAT.”

The end.



Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 6 months ago at 9:32 pm.

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