I love afternoons at Rock Ridge. A group of residents (lovingly referred to as The Peanut Gallery—what else?) assembles outside my office for some conversation and fellowship. I try hard to stay focused on my work…really I do…but sometimes the conversation is simply too much to ignore. Take today for instance. Lois (of the mismatched socks) was doing a little griping about the fact there aren’t enough “good” people living here. Gladys jumped right in and corrected her. “Oh no, we have plenty of good people here. Everyone has mostly good in them! It’s just that sometimes things in life happen and they don’t want to push that part out.” Gladys has such a great life philosophy, even if her wording is a little questionable.
From there, the conversation turned to wine.( Lois thinks that we should serve wine with dinner). She told Gladys how much she would enjoy drinking a glass of wine from time to time if only someone would join her. Gladys said she never much of a wine drinker, but she did like “a little taste of other things from time to time.” (Of course by now, I’ve given up all attempts of work and am straining to hear better.) Lois said “I never like to drink that hard stuff unless I’m home and have a man with me who likes the same thing.” HAHAHAHAHA!!! Gladys immediately starts laughing. Lois is flustered and protests “that didn’t really come out right,” to which Gladys quickly replied “No, it never does in those situations!” I’m convinced she is the quickest witted Alzheimer’s patient who ever existed.
The topic changed again--which it does quite often when you have two people with Alzheimer’s chatting--and Lois proclaimed the best thing about being her age is “knowing Jesus better.” Apparently still not forgetting the earlier part of the conversation, Gladys piped right in with a hearty laugh and “I’m guessing Jesus doesn’t know you nearly as well as we do!”
It is baffling that Gladys could spout her wit like that, but just prior to that she told the exact same story four times…and Lois listened to it four times… as though it were the only time she’d ever heard it. They were both so fully present in that conversation at that instant… I almost forgot they have Alzheimer’s.
During a moment like that, the work can certainly wait.
6 months ago