What a gorgeous day! I got there right after lunch, hung some new long sleeved tee shirts in her closet, and zipped up her sweat shirt so we could go outside. The dogs were especially happy to ride with her, not the least (I suspect) because there were crumbs still lurking in inconspicuous places!
She started slow, but revved up mentally as our time went on. “Where are we now? Where are we going? How long have I been here. Who takes care of me”
“How many dogs do I have here?” She was feeling around, seemingly aware only of a pile of fluff in her lap.
“Let’s see. Two heads, two tails, eight legs. How many is that?”
“Twenty-five!” Yeah, I was never good at math, either! We had a good laugh.
I wheeled her around in the sunshine for a while. Even though she can’t see, she complained about needing her sunglasses. That surprised me, but I retrieved them from the car and she seemed happy.
We sat on the front porch and I decided to ask her about a locket she had given me. It is child sized–only a 12 inch chain, and I don’t remember ever wearing it. Nor did I give it to my daughter to wear, though I can’t remember why. Maybe I had misplaced it, or maybe I’m not remembering when I got it. She brought some family jewelry in 2005 when she moved in with me and it’s possible it was part of all that.
My daughter-in-law tells me my youngest granddaughter asked for a locket for Christmas, and it seems a shame to have this one just sitting around, never being enjoyed.
So I asked. “Do you remember a little gold locket you used to have, one with a raised design on the front? Was it yours, or was it your mother’s?”
She remembered it immediately. (I’m sorry I hadn’t thought to bring it with me.) She remembered the design, but not exactly what it was. Was it her mother’s? “I’ll have to ask her,” she said.
She really focused on this discussion. Who did I want to give it to? How was she related? Who were her parents? Would they be sure she took good care of it?
I told her I felt certain that her parents would only allow her to wear it for special occasions, not to school or out to play. This conversation was repeated several times. Her daddy is your grandson, Tom. He’s going to have a birthday soon.
Shift in topic: “Will you buy a card for him and let me pay you back?” I told her I already had a card, but would write any message she wanted on it. She tried to focus on that, but the pull of the locket was too strong. The best she could come up with was something like, “Happy birthday, Tom. I hope you have lots of fun things to do.”
“Uh, Mother, he’s going to be 46.” She looked at me with astonishment. “I thought he was a teenager!”
“But it’s his daughter that wants a locket!” Again, we went over this several times, then she offered: “That’s four generations.”
Amazing! “Yes, she is your great-granddaughter.”
“It’s not often you have four generations.” I told her about a picture we took of everyone a couple of years ago. “You need to make a copy and send it to them.” I assured her they would have a copy.
“Four generations. That’s a lot. You don’t see that very often.” Though she wasn’t sure who Tom was, and didn’t remember Layla at all, the thought that she had a great granddaughter seemed very important to her. I tried to tell her she had three other great grandchildren, but by this time she was tired and unable to handle additional information.