In July I always have my momma on my mind. July 9th was her birthday and she always claimed the entire month as her birthday. This week my pianist/friend Debbie Pate gave me a devotional/book her brother had written about his MIL and as I was reading it I began to think of some of the many now funny stories about my mom.....and Alzheimer's. No, Alzheimer's is not funny....but when you are in the middle of the battle....there are times you just have to laugh....so you don't cry yourself sick. Eating out with my mom was one of those times. While mom and dad were living with us we ate out entirely too much. The reason we did was because I could never seem to cook anything that pleased my mom's palette. In the small town where we lived there were not that many eating establishments but for some reason...they all served something she loved....Chicken Fingers! She would order them....eat one...a couple of fries and declare herself to be full. At that point she would ask for to-go plates, pack up her remaining dinner.....and my dad's! He would complain about not being through....but if she was through....so was he. On down the road she gave up eating chicken fingers....and went to corn nuggets. She adored them....especially the ones from Big B Bar-B-Que. Eating with my mom was so very frustrating. If we ever ate somewhere that did not serve chicken fingers she would always come out with her infamous saying, "I have never had THIS before." We would spend some time trying to convince her that she had...but usually to no avail. For my birthday in 2009 my dad and husband cooked me one of my favorite dinners...bbq spare ribs. I have had some form of bbq ribs every year on my birthday since I can remember....my dad was dying and this was a tender moment as I watched him and my husband cooking together on the grill. When the ribs were done we moved the party into the dining room where we became carnivorous cavemen. Dad, Frank, and I all picked up our savory ribs and began to gnaw on them like cavemen. My mother, on the other hand, picked up a knife and fork and began struggling to cut meat from the ribs. My dad stopped, looked over at her and said, "Wilma, what are you doing?" She responded with, "I am eating. I have never had these before and am not sure how to eat them." My dad was so frustrated at that point. From the time I was old enough to gnaw on a rib bone ribs were cooked for my birthday. I was in my late 50's on this day....we had been eating these things for at least 50 years! My father was so sick he did not realize what was happening to my mom....so he just snapped at her. I ended up leaving the table and crying in my bathroom. That was the day I realized just how far gone my mom was. It broke my heart. Today, 6 years later I can laugh about that dinner. It was not funny then. My funniest chicken finger story involves Zaxby's. I still cannot eat there without laughing. My mom came into the living room one evening and said she was going to cook supper for the next night. I was unnerved to hear her use the word "cook!" I had visions of my house going up in flames when she forgot she had something on the stove....but she quickly put me at ease when she told us she was getting dinner from the towns new Zaxby's. I had gotten a coupon for three free chicken fingers and gave it to her to add to the dinner. Little did I know that she had gotten a coupon as well....so when dinnertime came the next night....we all sat down to the table. I noticed we had full sized plates in front of us....but did not see anything that looked as if it might go ON said plate. My mom was so pleased with herself as she opened up her two little (and I mean tiny) boxes and put a chicken finger on my plate, one on hers, and two each on Frank's and daddy's. We all looked at what was there....and looked at her standing there so proud of herself....and back at the plate. THAT WAS DINNER! We all ate it in silence and after mom and I had cleaned up the kitchen Frank said we needed to run to Walmart. What he meant was I need food! So we ran the errand, ate more dinner, and returned home without a Walmart bag. My mom asked why we did not have a bag....and I told her because they were out of whatever we went for. My dad had filled himself up with some peanut butter crackers and a couple of moon pies. (At that time he was in the throes of taking chemo and pretty much only eating what he could keep down.) One more funny food story and then I am through....this one was a riot. Frank and I were going to see daughter, Amy for the weekend in Ft. Walton. My parents came home from a gallivant up Hwy 22 and had....of course...two to-go plates. We had not eaten lunch so they passed them off to us. As we started our trip we decided to wait a bit before eating what was in the container. As we turned down Fishpond Rd I opened one and to my great surprise there was a whole order of French fries, slaw, and...............chitterlings. Oh that is not happening! Number one I don't eat them....and Number two....I DO NOT EAT THEM! Especially not traveling. We saw some dogs on the side of the road and left them a meal fit for kings. In Wetumpka we went through a drive thru and grabbed something to kill the hunger and memory of Chitterlings. Yep. eating with someone with Alzheimer's can be an experience. When my dad died we found all kinds of snack foods hidden in their bedroom. It wasn't that they were poor....it wasn't that we didn't feed them, it was because she would hoard the food because she may need it for later.....she ended up hoarding stuff too at her house....and it made me think...what am I hoarding. It also made me aware that I do not want our children to have to deal with this when I die. God Bless You All Today! Stay safe on the 4th.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
10 months ago