”See that building up there on that hill,” starts in my husband, who has dementia.
“It belonged to my father when we started this town.” I allow him to say things like this without any correction. We have only lived here six years and most of them have been living with dementia.
He enjoys telling these stories, so who cares if they’re true.
He tells stories about everything now.
I enjoy just looking: the trees, the people standing waiting for the walk signal on the street paralleling the river. Where is everyone headed? What are they thinking?
I like going this way because it is off the Main Street in our little town and on this quaint old street lined with… old memories.
My Granny used to bring my older brother and I “to town” and we would go to the 5 and dime store so she could “spoil us” which meant we got to pick out a toy. Seems everyone knew my Granny and she liked to show us off, I think, more than anything.
My parents grew up in this town and tell stories of how different life was. Now that I’m older I pay more attention.
My mom tells of how she and her brother got to wander around town back in the 50’s when kids could do such a thing on a Saturday and they would shortcut through the tiny space between the buildings to get to the movie theater partly to sit in air conditioning.
If I had the money I would buy a space on Water Street and open a museum with exhibits that change out. This town needs a history museum. But, my very first exhibit would be “Water Street through time”. I’m always imagining “ghost images” of people who have inhabited it. What were they wearing, doing, hoping, riding in (or on), seeing?
I know my mom went to see Tarzan and went right home to jump out of a tree with a rope around her neck… now that was a story!!!
When we are driving down Water Street to the adult day care, he asks me several times (or a dozen…) if I am picking him up at 3:00. Yes. Yes. Yes. Don’t worry. That’s what I wrote on his yellow sticky note on the front of The Yellow Book he takes with him.
Being keyed up is part of his dementia.
Repetition is part of the dementia.
But then so is the reassurance I know he needs.
And so we drive along.