Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Thanksgiving Guests

Worried about her absentmindedness sliding into Alzheimer's, the family kept an eye on her.  Sometimes she seemed fine, sometimes confused about where she was, or why she was there.  But she was still mostly lucid, just forgetful.

Since it was Thanksgiving there were plenty of family members to help keep track, but in the kerfuffle of getting the turkey carved and the cranberries sauced, the sweet potatoes sweetened and the green beans greened, it was all hands on deck and there was no one to watch her.

Tim, ever resourceful, led her to a large framed photo in the bookcase of the whole family at last summer's reunion at the lake, thinking it would keep her entertained.  And she seemed happy, talking away.  

When the turkey was carved and the dinner on the table she was still there, still chatting briskly away.  Concerned heads peeked around the dining room door, then retreated to the kitchen to discuss in whispers what to do.  Finally, concerned over both the rapidly cooling dinner and the lively one-sided conversation, Tim walked up and tipped the photo face down on the bookshelf.   "Come on mom, let's eat."

She looked brightly up at Tim and said "Thank Goodness!  I thought they'd never leave!"

There are moments of grace in the midst of the worst times.  But I know this: I want to go with all my marbles, not confused and afraid.  I'm not sure I have much choice, but I have good genes and I pay attention to what the researchers say might be helpful. Covering all the bases.

Do math in your head.  There's no one watching, and there's no test.  So what if you get it wrong?  Eventually you'll get it right.  

Figure out the tip without using your phone (hint: double the amount of the bill, then drop a zero.  That's twenty percent.  Don't be cheap.)

Take a foreign language, and be prepared to feel ridiculous.  Learn to laugh at your self.  Don't quit.  So what if you're the worst in the class?  It's not going to affect your GPA.  

Try the jumble, work a crossword (another hint: they get easier). Play the piano, play the kazoo.  Carry a small notebook and write down things that make you smile, things that make you think. Carry a sketchbook.  Write a story.  Start a blog. Write letters to your friends.   Do something to stretch your mind.  Push the envelope.  Push back.  

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