Friday, September 28, 2012
TGIF! Yes, it's Friday! I have had one more week! My middle granddaughter, thinking I was in need of a gift, gave me her head and chest cold, so I've been battling that all week. As I've mentioned in earlier blogs, I work at a Baptist Association office and this past week was a busy time there as well, with our Fall Revival services each night. My boss has decided to let me leave a little early today, to go see mother and run some errands. My oldest granddaughter is a freshmen at Appalachian State and tomorrow is "family day." Knowing that she is looking forward to her Papa and Nana coming for a visit, accompanied with plenty of edible treats, I am in a rush to go by the nursing home to have a short visit with mother and then off to Wally World to pick up my ingredients. As I walk toward mother, I see her eyes opening wide. Unlike most days when I walk up on her, she seems to be awake and alert. "Howdy!" I say. We go on with our routine of "where did you come from?" and so on... She quickly wants to know where we're going. As usual, I wheel her up the hall to our favorite room. It isn't long til mother is saying she needs to make a restroom visit. I roll her back to her room and do the honors. Looking at my watch, I see that I need to be leaving in order to get my shopping done and back home at a decent time. Two of mother's caregivers join us and mother begins telling them about a little boy who is down the hall and had given her some ill feelings. Years ago, this scene would make me cringe, but now, it's just part of the day. I say my goodbyes and off I go. I enter Walmart and head for the grocery section. One of my granddaughter's request, is that I make her a batch of chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal cookies. As I round the aisle to pick up some oatmeal, I encounter a woman in her 70's. She seems to be lost. I ask, "can I help you look for something?" I'm not sure what it is about me, I must look like I belong in a department store with a "Can I Help You?" badge on. So many times throughout my life, people will automatically come up to me in a store and ask if I work there. One of the most unusual thing that happened to me was some time back in the early 80's. I had just been shopping in Kmart and leaving the store. A very tall man approached me at the door. He looked up at the ceiling and said..."Wait! don't I know you? Have we been together in a different time or something?" Had he not been looking up at the ceiling the whole time or wasn't talking so goofy, I might have found that flattering. Anyway, today was unlike any other. This lady, who seemed to have a question on her puzzled face, had came in my direction. She begins to cry and say that she has looked all over the store for "grits" and can't find them. I tell her that they most certainly must be down here where I'm headed to pick up some oatmeal. She suddenly begins telling me that she is sorry for taking up my time and she would hurry. She says, "You know, hurry is the story of my life!" I have three family members in the nursing home with Alzhiemer's and all I do is run back and forth taking care of them. I even cared for my daddy til he died in 1991. She continued telling me her life story. I had noticed that she was missing all her teeth as she first began to speak. She voluntarily told that she had written herself a note to put her dentures in before leaving the house, but forgot. Many things she was telling me, seem to parallel with my life. I could clearly see that she was demented. I left the aisle and told her it was nice talking to her. As I made my way back to the dairy and back, there she was, standing with a man who was unpacking lunch meats. I could hear her as I passed by, telling him the same stories. I roll my cart into the checkout, behind at least 3 others with full carts. I look at a nearby empty checkout that says "20 items or less" I remark to the lady in front of me that they should have a checkout that says "20 bags or less!" Catching myself, speaking to a stranger in the store, just as the elderly lady had to me, I backed off from conversation. As I take my turn to checkout, I start thinking about how little my car is and how much "stuff" I've bought. I remember that I had forgotten to memorize the row number before coming inside, so I wouldn't get lost when I came out. As I make my way out, I am overwhelmed with a sea of vehicles. The glare of the sun beats down on them all, making each car look the same. Thinking what will I do, I head on into the lot, frantically looking for my tiny white car. Walking around for at least 5 minutes, I glance to my right and see and hear the same demented lady. She is lost too! And is searching for her car, just like me! I quickly spy my vehicle, throw my groceries in and take off. I'm not sure why this lady became a part of my world today, maybe it was a reminder for me to "slow down," and stop trying to save the world for everybody as apparently this lady had done, from the story she told. I just pray that it's not too late!