Sunday, June 12, 2011

Alzheimers, Alice, and Egg Salad

One of the beautiful people I got to meet along my journey of life was Alice Watson. From my earliest memories Alice was there.

As time passed we stayed friends almost like family. She loved me as a granddaughter. When I moved to Florida we stayed in touch. I would go to the tiny town of Federalsburg Maryland once a year and go visit with her.

The last time I went to visit Alice we had lunch together. I was staying with Mom and she recommended I make some egg salad to take. Mom also wanted me to know Alice had been having more challenges with Alzheimer's disease and she would repeat herself. She said don't be alarmed or try to correct her or tell her she had just asked the same question because it would just upset her. Remember you are going to visit with your friend be kind and enjoy your visit.

When I arrived she did remember me. I was really happy about that. We sat at the kitchen table where we had eaten scores of times before and I prepared the egg salad sandwiches and served them.

Alice asked, "Did you make this egg salad?" I replied, "Yes, do you like it?" "It is not as good as your mothers hers is really the best." We chatted for a few more minutes and she asked, "Did you make this egg salad?" I replied again, "Yes what do you think?" "I can tell it is not as good as your mothers, she really makes the best."

I was remembering the words Mom had said and we continued our conversation. Shortly Alice asked me again, "Teri did you make this egg salad?" I said, "No, Mom made it do you like it?" To that she replied, "I could tell it is very good, you know she makes the best egg salad." I smiled and later realized she did not ask me again who had made the egg salad.

I learned that day my friend was still there the old memories from when I was a baby were still fresh in her mind, we chatted about her beloved Atwood and the day they first met, she told me she knew from the first time she saw him he was going to be her husband. She remembered funny times from crab feasts many years ago; we laughed about Jim the dog that smoked a pipe. It was a beautiful day and my heart was filled with old memories I had forgotten but she had not. Today was not so clear for my friend but events of 70 years ago were fresh and new.
I left that day with a special treasure, new memories.

Director of Member Services and Smiles
OurHealth Co-op, Inc

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