I called the Memory facility yesterday where Aunt M is living. When I asked the head nurse how she was doing…
“Oh Miss M is doing fine. She’s got a new friend now and they eat every meal together. He’s a new resident, got here about 10 days ago.”
“Really?” I was surprised to hear this, “How wonderful for Auntie M!”
“Oh yes, they are really enjoying each other’s company. They walk down the hall holding hands. If she’s down the hall and he can’t find her, he calls to her and she answers him. It’s just so cute to watch!”
“Are they kissing?” I just had to ask. I mean, really? She’s holding hands with some stranger walking down the hallway? Wowsza!
“Oh mercy no!” She exclaimed laughing! “They think they are brother and sister!”
“Brother and sister?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes. Did Miss M have any brothers?”
“She had 4 brothers, but they’ve all passed.”
“Well, she and Mr. H believe they are brother and sister, even though they aren’t related. I just wanted to let you know in case she starts talking about him. Hold on a minute and I’ll go get her to the phone.”
“Hi Auntie M! How are you?”
Our conversation went along swimmingly as usual. Until she stopped talking with me and asked me to hold the phone and I overheard her talking to ‘her brother.’
“Tom, what are you doing?”
“I’m trying to get outside to enjoy the pretty day out. But the door is locked. Did we lock the door M?”
“Tom, I don’t remember if we locked the door. Just unlock it.”
“I can’t seem to figure out out to unlock it M. Oh wait, here comes that lady, I’ll ask her.”
“Tom is walking away with some lady I don’t know. I’m sorry. I can talk with you now. Tom needed my help with the door. It was stuck. I guess we locked it last night.”
I couldn’t help giggling and smiling with gratitude. Yet again, I witness how the mind works. It makes a comfortable reality for us even when our reality is anything but comfortable at the time. Here are two strangers who have found the comfort of family and agreed to its loving embrace.
It’s funny that he calls Auntie M by her name and yet she calls him Tom when Mr. H’s name isn’t that at all. I love how he answers to Tom and how they believe they locked the door last night.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s is challenging, but also has its sweet moments and giggles. I just had to share a little giggle with you. We are all family ~ what a gift!