Joy Within Joy

I drove my mom to a doctor’s appointment yesterday. We are completing all the necessary tests and paperwork for her to enter an assisted living facility. Her dementia (from Alzheimer’s) has been progressing rapidly, and it is becoming quickly apparent that she cannot live by herself anymore. She can’t regulate her medications, feed herself, or do many of the normal activities necessary for her to maintain her independence. Last week she tried to open a bottle of soda water that she couldn’t twist off with a sharp knife and cut herself. This is just one of a myriad of examples.

So I drove her to the doctor to have a rash on her belly looked at, and a TB test done, and have her doctor fill out the necessary paperwork for the Board and Care facility we have decided on. All went surprisingly well at the hospital. Then on the way home there was one of those incredible moments that I cherish. An amazing non-sequitur bit of hilarious wisdom that can only come from the awful depths of irrational confusion known as Alzheimer’s.

We were stopped at a red light. The car in front of us had a bumper sticker that my mother proceeded to read aloud. While her short term memory and all sense of time have abandoned her, her hearing and vision are as sharp as ever. The conversation went like this.

Mom:  Joy comes from inside. Huh.

Me: What do you think about that, Mom?

Mom: Let me know when it comes out.

Me: Okay, I’ll keep my eyes open.

I tried not to laugh. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it just did.

Sometimes that tiniest hint of light at the bottom of a dark well can provide a momentary sense of joy. Humor and sadness are two sides of the same coin.

Read more adventures with Alzheimer’s HERE

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