One of the first things I noticed when my son Brady and I entered my mom’s room on a recent visit was her friend Jim’s cane hanging off one of her chairs and his shoes and socks under her little table. I commented that he must have left in a hurry to leave those things behind and she said, “Oh he’s not around right now. He’s gone on a trip. Took his mother to Florida. He takes such good care of her!” I smiled at the thought of Jim, who is in his eighties and living with Alzheimer’s like my mom, taking his mother to Florida.
We went on with our visit. She was raising the devil with Brady and we were having a good time. After about half an hour, Jim entered the room looking like he had just climbed out of bed, barefoot, wearing sweatpants and a tee shirt. His hair was a mess and he looked slightly agitated. I said, “Hi Jim, how’re you doing today?” to which he replied, “Not worth a damn. Someone’s been in my room and stolen my things!”
I pointed to the cane which Brady had placed in the corner and asked him if he was looking for that. He immediately brightened up and said, “Why yes, I was!” I then pointed to the shoes and socks under the table and asked him if he was missing those things as well. “Well by God!” he exclaimed, “This day just keeps getting better!” He then looked at Mom and said, “Why’d you take my things?” to which she replied with a big grin and a wink, “’Cause I knew you’d come looking for them!”
He sat down in the chair next to Mom’s bed and put on his shoes and socks. Mom was sitting on the bed and the whole time she was teasing with him and they were laughing. Jim stayed for a bit then said he needed to go get dressed. He left and mom immediately said to me, “So how’s Dad? Is he gone?” I told her he was, that he had been gone for about a year and a half, to which she replied, “I thought so. I haven’t seen him in so long and he used to visit me every day. What’d he have, cancer? I knew he was sick but we never talked about it.” Her next question was “And how about Jim? Is he still living?”