How many of us wouldn't like to own a lake house? Sitting down at the kitchen table with mom this morning, she began to talk about her "lake house." So many times over the past several years, mother has met me at the door, ranting and raving about the night she had spent at "her" lake house. She believes with all her heart that she has become the owner of this house and someone keeps taking her there and bringing her back. On most occasions, the story would go that someone had come, took her there and brought her back, just before sunrise. This morning, she told the event as a dream. As she recalled, she had spent most of the night at her lake house then a good friend had brought her home. This time a "sheep" had been found lying in her bed when she returned! I must admit, this tickled me good and I even saw mother crack a couple of smiles and she told of such foolishness.
The only thing that I've come up with as a purpose for this confusion, dates all the way back to her childhood. Mother's father, John Williams, had many brothers and sisters. One of Grandpa's brother's was named "Burton." As I have mentioned, most dementia patients have a gridlock memory of years gone by and mother is no exception. Mother enjoys telling stories of her childhood, and I must say, I love hearing them because she has a way of making everything she tells as if you're reading a best seller.
Mother told me that her Uncle Burt, was once "overseer" or "Game Warden" of Lake Adger back in the 1930's. Uncle Burt and his family lived in the house at the entrance to the Lake which still stands. She and her daddy would go visit Uncle Burt and his family on many occasions at the lake. Many times, mother would reminisce of the days when she would ride in the paddle boat with her daddy and Uncle Burt and play tirelessly with her cousins at the lake house. She told that she could feel the sushine bouncing off the lake onto her face, even as she told the story. I too, imagined this scene as I had been a teen who spent many days boating and playing on Lake Adger with my sweetheart and future husband.
Uncle Burt's daughters were Nellie and Jeanette. How unusual it is to hear mother tell about childhood playmates and first cousins; Nellie and Jeanette. I have come to know Nell and Jeanette by another name, "Mary and Martha". As I have told in earlier posts, I work in a Baptist Association of churches. Nell "Williams" Bennett and Jeanette "Williams" Smith are known to me as Lazarus' sisters in the Bible, Mary and Martha." You see, Nell and Jeanette are sisters in their mid and late 80's now, and belong to one of the churches in my association. It is unbelievable to me how anybody of this age can work so diligently for the Lord! They are sisters, serving the Lord with a great love and passion; thus the names "Mary and Martha."
As I continue listening to mother's tale this morning, I feel content in knowing that even though she is in "another" day and time, somehow, she is happy there. Who was I to remind her that she doesn't own a lake house? Who was I to tell her that she hasn't been to the lake house, laughing and playing til the sun went down with friends and family? Who was I to tell her that her childhood friends are no longer there, but instead living in their own reality.
I say my goodbyes to mother as I leave for the morning. With coffee cup in hand and donut in the other, she seems elated for having spent the night at the lake house with her playmates on Lake Adger.