-by Linda Forte
Alzheimer’s is a serious disease. But it is important to acknowledge some of the humorous times and remember that this is still a vital time of life for those experiencing it, so don’t be afraid to laugh a little and love a lot.
Dad loved bananas more than anybody I know. As his Alzheimer’s progressed, he would eat so many of them that my mom only would buy a few at a time. He used to hide them in the oddest places. We would find them in a sock drawer, under the bed, or in the microwave. Occasionally we would just know they were there after they started to turn black and smell a bit! To this day – every time I see bananas – I think fondly of dad.
A funny time I remember was when my dad had become verbally uncommunicative, and his dinner manners were suffering. My husband and I were sitting at the table with my parents. Dad was using his fork to take potatoes directly out of the serving platter to eat them. My mom said, “Bill – don’t do that. Take what you want and put it in your own plate.”
My dad slowly took his fork, turned it upside down, and put it on my husband’s forearm with a little smile. My husband stopped eating and looked back at him and we all burst out laughing.
Traditionally, on Thanksgiving, my mother would bake a ham. She also made lots of pies, candied sweet potatoes, etc. and continues this tradition through her 90th year. The refrigerator would get quite full!
I remember one Thanksgiving, before my dad moved to a nursing home – that he was trying his best to help my mom. She asked him to put her whole, beautifully baked and garnished Hawaiian ham outside in the cooler on this cold Thanksgiving morning. Well, he got the “cold” and the “ham” right. But somehow missed the “cooler” part.
Needless to say – when breakfast was ready, we couldn’t find the ham.
My mother said, “Bill! Where did you put the ham?”
He said,”What ham? ”
We searched outside and in the basement. I was the one to finally find it – inside an old filing cabinet in the garage. We all enjoyed a good laugh. It was much more fun then our holiday Easter egg hunts.