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April 24, 2013

It is early Tuesday morning, and I am finally getting around to reading Monday’s paper.  A routine that has become quite normal for me these days, and I admit I miss out on a lot of things that I wish I would have known about or done yesterday! Oh that old saying of, “A day late and a dollar short.” Certainly describes my life!

Today’s paper is lying in the driveway getting soaked from the morning rain, but who wants to get dressed and go out in the rain to get it?

There are only a couple of the “funnies” that I truly pay any attention to. One is, “Family Circus” Mom’s favorite. She  created a scrapbook of her favorite one that she had cerfully  cut out and saved, highlighting each one with scrapbooking paper cut with decorative scissors and stickers.  Most of the cartoons are timeless, and bring heartfelt joy whenever I pull the album out and reminisce.  I am reminded of how creative she used to be with just the simplest of things.

One of my favorites is “Hi & Lois.”  Monday’s cartoon showed Baby Trixie sitting in her high chair holding a slice of pizza to her mouth.  The Mom exclaiming, “She can’t chew that.” Baby Trixie’s thought bubble said, “But I can taste it.”

An instant flashback to about six months ago. I was visiting with Mom in the dining room, just as lunch was being served.  Given the option of Chicken Alfredo or Pizza.  Mom asked for Pizza, I said, “She can’t chew that.  She doesn’t have any teeth.” They brought her both.  Since she asked for Pizza, she got Pizza.  I watched as she took her spoom and scraped off the cheese and pepperoni into a pile on her plate.  With her fingers she then proceeded to pinch off tiny bits of the cheese that she could manage to gum and soften enough to swallow. She also sucked out every bit of flavor from the pepperoni.  Then at times she broke off a piece of the crust, sucked it like sucker,  softening that crust until it was pure mush, and easily swallowed.  She savored every bit of that slice of pizza!

Just like baby Trixie, she may not have been able to chew it, but she most certainly did taste it!

Alzheimer’s disease may be full of difficult times, but there are also joyous memories that creep into my daily life when I least expect them. I am grateful that I have been able to have been a part of these learning moments. Just as I am learning what Alzheimer’s is, we are both learning what it isn’t. Mom was teaching me that there was a way to still enjoy what she could, in her own way, and without help.

I told this pizza story in a post late last year, but I had to tell it again since “Baby Trixie” stirred up the memory once more.  

Memories are everywhere, if we just take the time to see them!

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