My sister and brother-in-law had Grandma and I over for Easter dinner today. They made a lovely meal and Grandma enjoyed seeing them. When we were driving away she told me that they were a nice family and she would like to have them over to get better acquainted and make them a potica (a Slovenian dessert she used to make). And while we were there she told my sister she was going to have to find a ride home because "one of the Perbilsky boys" had given her a ride over there (I drove her, of course). So, her mind was not really getting into gear today.
On our way back home we drove past a random row of houses and she said, "My husband died in one of those houses". Not at all true, but I just nodded and kept on driving. Ten minutes later we were driving past the cemetery where my Grandpa is buried and I decided on the spur of the moment that I should take her to visit his grave because she hadn't been able to go there for a long time while she was in the hospital and then the nursing home, and she is Catholic, so Easter is an important holiday to her. As we drove through the entrance she said, "This is where my husband is buried." I couldn't believe she could recognize it! I mean, she doesn't even recognize the house we live in together as the one she lived in for 9 years before going to the nursing home. Even though she had said the random house was where he had died, I do believe she really knew he was buried at the cemetery.
And somehow I knew where his grave was even though I had only been there for the funeral 10 years earlier. I was so hesitant to take here there, but it didn't feel right to ignore it for my own convenience either. I don't know if bringing her there was the right thing to do or not. But I asked her if she would like to go to his grave and she said yes. So, I got her out of the car and wheeled her over. We stayed for about ten minutes and she cried and talked to him the whole time. I cried. It was so heartbreaking to hear how much she misses him. She's cried about him ever since he died, but being at his grave brought it out from a little deeper than I'd seen in a while. On the tombstone, right above their last name "Prasnicki" it says "Together Forever", and I just hope they can be together again.
We left and drove over to my parents to get their newspapers and check on the house and then we drove another 15 minutes into Simpsonville for ice cream. She did really well the whole way. But when I got back in the car after going inside to get ice cream she asked me if Grandpa recognized me. I said, "no, I don't think so," just to play along since that is the current advice to people dealing with dementia. We finished our ice creams, but she kept saying "I wonder where he is." And when I couldn't find the car key for a minute she said, "oh, John probably has it". Then it went downhill. She was convinced that he was there in the bathroom and that we had left him. She cried and yelled at me the whole way home about how she couldn't believe I would just leave him there. I tried to reason with her and tell her he was dead and that we had just visited his grave, but she wasn't hearing me. It wasn't getting through.
I got her home, took her to the bathroom and put her to bed right away. The tears were dry when she hit the pillow, so hopefully she'll be fine in the morning. Well, after I put her to bed I decided to look through some of her old photo albums to see if I could find any cool old photos to put on the walls. I found these gems!