We just got back from Indianapolis where we visited with my in-laws and my grandparents-in-law. Both of my husband’s grandmothers have had some form of Alzheimer’s Disease. With his late grandmother Olympia, it progressed from repeating the same stories over and over, to forgetting which language she was speaking, to a wordless confusion. His grandmother Jane has exhibited a similar disorientation and repetition of stories. She’s not always sure who we are, but she still follows along as we chatter and makes her famous sarcastic comments.
As Grandma Jane gets in her funny barbs about how cheap her husband is and how long winded and boring we are, we laugh. At brunch, as her husband helped her finish her meal, she commented he only helped her because he didn’t want to pay for an additional plate of food for himself. Dave’s grandfather looked at her and laughed, and then he looked at me and said “I think she’s cute.” He’s losing her and caring for her all at the same time, and it is heartbreaking, and they’re still laughing.
My mother-in-law asked Dave’s grandfather “when I’m in this state, do you think your son will take as good care of me as you take of Jane? As good care of me as my dad of my mom?”
Of course he will, he’s had such terrific examples.