My mom recently asked me to go spend some time with my grandma, the voracious Nana Butler. I hadn't seen her in a while, so I went though I really didn't have time to go. She lives in a nice house in Mesa where they take good care of her and her Alzheimer's symptoms.
One thing about Nana: she likes ice cream. And we all know that when you go to visit her, you involve ice cream in some fashion or suffer some fierce consequences. So we drove around for good half hour to find a McDonald's (for some reason there were none to be found -- is this America?) so I could show up at her doorstep with a fudge sundae in hand.
After the nurse answered the door, she showed me to where Nana was asleep on the couch. Nana looked confused and a little suspicious when I woke her up, but she overcame that when she saw the ice cream. What followed was a virtual inhalation of the fudge sundae, which had filled a cup possibly 8 oz. She didn't look up and she didn't break for air, drink or conversation.
When she finished the ice cream, she downed a glass of milk and got up to leave. "I'm going to bed," she said very matter-of-factly. A bit surprised, I asked her to stay, that I wanted to talk to her. "About what?" she asked. "About anything," I said. Well, that went over like a lead balloon. She promptly got up to go to her room. Her nurse tried to persuade her to stay and talk to me, but she wasn't having it. She went to her room and slammed the door.
Feeling a bit incredulous and embarrassed (the nurse had said "I've never seen her here before, she's your granddaughter, you should talk to her!"), I followed Nane to her room. I wasn't going to go without some quality time.
By the time I got to her room, she had decided maybe she didn't want to go to bed. She wanted to go for a ride. She, understandably, likes to leave the house every once in a while. So we went for a ride around the block. Along the way, I tried to ask her things, but the car was dark and she couldn't hear/understand anything I said. But she did ask if we were going to stop to get something to eat -- she wanted a milkshake. "But Nana, we just had ice cream," I said. "Remember?" After that she was quiet. Maybe because she didn't remember. Or maybe because she knew I caught on to her game.
When we got back to the house, I tried to talk about her old pony, Penny. But she couldn't understand me, and when I tried to pull out a coin to get her to say "Penny," I realized I had pulled out a nickel. She was so confused! And I was spent. So I walked her back to the house and to her room. By that time she was calling me the right name, and said good night. I hugged her and smiled. She smiled back.
By the way, Tony (my boyfriend) was there the whole time, but tried to stay out of sight because he thinks she is scared of him. He might be right, so we don't push it.
Oh Nana B. So many good stories!