Thursday, June 15, 2017

Narcoleptic Walruses

This isn't really all about narcoleptic walruses, but I loved the phrase and decided to use it as a title.  A 1555 tome about Nordic life describes a "hirsuite, fearsome walrus-like beast, that was said to snooze upon cliffs while hanging by its teeth."

See how informative this blog can be? 
Using their tusks, these animals clamber right up to the cliff-tops, as if they were going up a ladder, in order to crop the sweet, dew-moistened grass, and then roll back down into the sea again, unless, in the meantime, they have been overcome with a heavy drowsiness and fall asleep as they cling to the rocks.
He also can kill a man in an instant with his big teeth.

But I digress....
A couple of weeks ago our local PBS station had one of those fund raisers where they dust off old timers who were big names in the 1950s and let them put on a show.

I'm not sure when this show was made, but several people in it have died since then (like Pat Boon, Patti Page and Debbie Reynolds--who called in to the show because she was doing her own show elsewhere)  

It was a great trip down memory lane for Walt and me, since we are products of the 50s, though this show didn't have a lot of "rock" in it, which would have been Walt's favorites.

Still, we were able to sing along to just about every song that came on and marvel what those boy singing groups (they all came in fours) are looking like as retirees.  Depressing!

However, in listening to the show I kept thinking I should buy it and play it in the car while driving my mother around, since she responds well to this kind of music.

So today I picked her up, supposedly to take her to lunch, but they told me she had just finished breakfast, so I asked if she wanted lunch or ice cream. She chose ice cream and so we drove to Fenton's Creamery, which the Food Network just named the place with the best dessert in the country.  (A banana split with three pounds of ice cream!)

Fenton's is farther away than Denny's, so we had longer to listen to music and she started singing along with the first song and either sang or tapped her foot to every number.  I was delighted.  It was worth the money I spent for the set.

Her back was bothering her and someone at the memory unit gave her a cane to use and I was giving her "cane walking" lessons and as she started getting into the way to do it, she remarked, in surprise, that it really helped.

We both had small sundaes.  They got my order wrong.  I meant vanilla for each of us, and chocolate sauce for my mother and strawberry sauce for me, but the waiter misunderstood.  That's OK.  It was still delicious.

and yes, that is real whipped cream.

She sang all the way home again and I took her back to her room and sat with her for a bit, while I identified my sister in her photograph every minute or so and assured her that yes, she really did live in this room.

I finally needed a nap so I left the memory unit and sat in the chair outside the door.  Just sat there.  I couldn't move.  I can always feel the depression descending on me whenever I leave her.  I sat for a long time (until so many people tried to help me that I finally left).  

I came home and immediately took a nap for about 2 hours (I felt like a narcoleptic walrus), waking to feel a bit more myself.  But these visits are starting to take a lot out of me, emotionally.  It's so hard to watch her slide like this -- and she seems to be failing faster now.

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