This is an update to Welp….Mom Met A Man at Her Senior Living Community, which was originally posted on December 6, 2018.
A few weeks later, Mom remains delighted and as a result, I am too. She and Friend continue to spend time together.
I haven’t learned much more about him other than the fact that he has two adult daughters. They live in close proximity to the assisted living community and visit often. I still don’t know his name but he sounds like a generally nice man with a caring family. Taking each moment as it comes, I’m comforted by Mom’s delight.
My uncle also met Friend recently and gave me a nice report (he always gives me a debrief and I love it.) While it was the first time Uncle Dick met Friend, it was not the the first time he’d seen Friend. No, the first time Uncle Dick saw Friend, Mom didn’t allow a meeting.
Let me explain
Uncle Dick lives about 15 minutes from Mom’s Assisted Living Community and he visits often. Sometimes he and Mom make plans in advance and sometimes he just pops in. And on this particular occasion, he’d just dropped in for a quick visit.
As Uncle Dick walked through the lobby and approached the dining area, he spotted Mom quickly and they made eye contact like a quarterback and a wide receiver scrambling on a broken play. She was sitting with a man (soon to be revealed as Friend) and Uncle Dick took a few more steps in the direction of the table.
Maybe fifty feet away now, Uncle Dick noticed Mom’s facial expression. She’d held the eye contact with him and instead of the expected warm and happy greeting, he saw something different. Mom’s face was one of sibling annoyance. Then Uncle Dick noticed Mom’s right arm at the side of the table.
She was waving, no, shoo-ing him away. Vigorously. A stare at Uncle Dick, then a quick point of the eyes down at her arm (still shoo-ing), then eye contact and a nod to Friend to give him the impression she was listening to whatever he was talking about. This went on for a few seconds until Uncle Dick got the message. She didn’t want to be interrupted and probably needed a couple of minutes to finish the conversation–so he thought.
Uncle Dick thought he’d kill some time and waited in the sitting area just outside the dining room. For close to an hour. And Mom never came. She was still at the table, with Friend, talking and laughing about who knows what. Once the hour mark came and went, Uncle Dick got the entire message. Mom was talking to Friend and didn’t want to be bothered by her brother. She was all of a sudden sixteen again. So Uncle Dick went on his way, laughing to himself with every step.
The look on Uncle Dick’s face as he was telling me this story was phenomenal. He was smiling wide, fully exposing the endearing gap between his two front teeth and racing to push the words out before he was overtaken by laughter. And I was dying inside because (a) I couldn’t believe Mom would do that (b) it was just so ridiculous and (c) I could relate because my eleven year old daughter has recently started doing this to me in public.
Hearing this and seeing Uncle Dick’s delivery was the highlight of my day. And the best part was how it crowded all the other noise of our life. It was light instead of heavy. We weren’t thinking or talking about Mom and her dementia, we were purely laughing about antics between a brother and sister. Who were suddenly and briefly sixteen again. Kind of like a Seinfeld episode.
So far, Friend is the gift that keeps on giving. I don’t know him yet but I sure am thankful for him.