Christmas & Dementia

This past week, I was sitting in my comfortable recliner, watching the tube in our living room.  Remnants of Christmas were scattered around me, as we haven’t put much away yet.  Our tree is only three feet high, so it doesn’t take much to pack up and store away.  I could easily see us leaving it up until Easter, without any problem at all.

Cookie was in the kitchen, and I was hoping she’d bring me something to munch on while we were watching TV.  Out of the corner of my eye, I watched her stack up some items and head into the living room.  I suddenly noticed that she had a box of chocolate cherries in her hand; I immediately knew what she was munching on.  My guilt meter immediately went off, as I suddenly realized I hadn’t bought her Chocolate covered cherries this year.  Guys, help me with this; I’ve been giving her a couple boxes of the things every Christmas since the beginning of time.  I mean the tradition is so old, that she probably actually ate some of the cherries swathed in chocolate from George Washington’s cherry tree!

Traditions are very powerful things, and I felt pretty awful.  I apologized to Cookie profusely.  Actually, I had been feeling pretty good about my Christmas gift to her; she had wanted a couple sets of “My Pillows”, which she loves, and I had ordered them in plenty of time for Christmas.  But once again the dementia had its way, and blotted out the memory.  If Cookie hadn’t bought the candy, I don’t know if I ever would have remembered.  She was very gracious about it all, but this year I’ll be writing it on the calendar, you can bet on that.

Ah, that rascal dementia.  Be vigilant with your loved ones.  A forgotten gift could just as easily be a stove left on, finances gone awry, or medicines lost or just not taken.  Everyone is different, and yet we’re really all the same.

Blessings,

Fr Dave

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