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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
6 August 2015
My mother and I did something different yesterday!
I showed up for our usual Wednesday lunch. I've decided I'm going to keep a schedule with her, for my sanity and in the hope that if I'm not around as much she might start getting out into the building occasionally. So now I have lunch with her on Wednesday, take her pills and pick up her laundry on Friday, bring her laundry back on Sunday and then lunch again on Wednesday. This going every other day and sitting there staring each other or answering the same question about what exciting thing I was doing that night was really starting to get to me. This way I regularly see her 3x a week and maybe on those other days I can actually do something worth talking about.
So today we went to lunch. Had a nice lunch with Robert, the 98 year old retired veterinarian who brings a little sparkle to her. He's a man. She needs a man around. It's no boyfriend situation, but she does perk up when he is around, though he's almost deaf and she doesn't have a clue what his name is.
When lunch was over, she asked if I'd like to sit in the chairs outside the dining room, overlooking the garden. Shock! I eagerly agreed and we sat down while she commented on the color of the trees and the movement of the leaves and then asked me what I was doing exciting tonight.
I got this bright idea to ask her if she wanted to go upstairs and work a puzzle. She said yes! So we went up to the puzzle tables and found a puzzle that apparently had been finished but someone was taking it apart. We decided to put it together again, about 1/3 of the left side of the thing.
We sat there for two hours working the puzzle. While we were working, the Brain Gymnasium (remember that?) was going on in the room next to the puzzle area and hearing the group laugh and talk together made me sad that my mother refuses to consider going.
I noticed something interesting about her. My mother has been a puzzle fiend all of her life. We both are. We are very good at jigsaw puzzles. We look at pieces and generally find the right piece for a certain space without having to try a lot of them. But we stayed to complete the puzzle and I know she was getting tired. That's when I noticed she would pick up a piece and seemed to have no idea how to turn it to put it in a spot. She'd try large round edges into small holes. It didn't last very long, but I was surprised at how she seemed completely incapable of doing the puzzle. Fortunately she snapped out of it soon and was zipping through the last few pieces, but I had the distinct feeling that this was part of her dementia too.
* * *
Walt has been putting "writer" on my occupation for our tax return for a few years now. It always sounds so pretentious, but after writing two reviews, doing a couple of interviews and then writing an article for the paper on Tuesday, I'm starting to think -- hey maybe I am a writer.
* * *
Last night was the penultimate Daily Show, as Jon Stewart interviewed his buddy Louis C K. Tonight will be the hour-long finale and I'm surprised at how emotional I am being about the end of this 16 years of a show I have watched every night for at least the last 10 or so. It was Ned who kept telling me I had to watch The Daily Show. I have become one of the 12% who turn to Stewart for their nightly news. Along with Rachel Maddow I think The Daily Show, for all its humorous focus, is perhaps the most accurate news around, with fact checking in the form of news clips at least for the important headlines of the day. I'm wondering if, like Johnny Carson, Stewart is going to disappear from our lives forever.
When I look back over my life I think that Carson and Stewart may be the only two real TV icons whose finale have hit me this hard.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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