I woke up at 2am this morning, because I could hear Lois rummaging through the kitchen cabinets. Quickly, I put on my slippers and stumbled toward her with my eyes only half open.
Me: “What are you doing, Lois?”
Lois was full of energy: “Well Good Morning! How are you today?”
Me, rubbing my eyes: “Lois, it’s only 2 in the morning, what are you doing up?”
Lois: “Oh, I just needed a little snack.”
And that was when I fully became aware of what was happening. There was Lois, clothed only in a white tank top, a pair of Depends, and slippers. But that wasn’t the strange part. The strange part was that she had her face and her head completely wrapped up with one of her sweaters, and all I could see were the whites of her eyes.
Me: “Um, Lois…? Is your head cold?”
Lois: “Well it was…but it isn’t anymore.”
Me: “Lois, you’re going to catch a cold if you stand in front of the refrigerator in your underwear. Can I help you with something? What kind of a snack do you want?”
Lois: “Oh, I don’t know…anything…PUMPKIN PIE!”
She shouted so suddenly that I jumped.
Lois laughed: “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Me: “That’s okay. Would you like whipped cream on it?”
Lois: “Well of course whipped cream. You can’t have pumpkin pie without whipped cream!”
Me: “Of course not.” I pulled everything that I needed out of the fridge, when Lois decided that she needed her pie to be heated up. (Lois does not have a microwave, so heating anything up takes FOREVER.)
Me: “Lois, since it’s 2 in the morning, would you mind just eating your pie cold? Midnight snacks are always cold.”
Lois: “But this pie is so OLD! I could get sick if I eat it before it’s warmed up!”
Me: “I bought the pie from Fred Meyer yesterday. It’s not too old. Plus, just so you know, I would give my left foot to be able to eat a cold piece of pumpkin pie right now, but I can’t since I’m on a ‘no-sugar’ diet, so I will just have to live vicariously through you.”
Lois: “You like COLD pumpkin pie?”
Me: “Yes I do. It’s my absolute favorite. Well, next to cold pizza.”
Lois looked a bit suspicious, but after she thought about it for a minute she smiled: “Well, okay then. For you…”
Me: “Thank you, Lois. One thing though…”
Lois: “What’s that?”
Me: “You’re going to have to uncover your mouth if you’re going to eat your snack.”
Lois laughed: “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that!” I helped her to unwrap her head.
I laughed: “You know, I didn’t want to say anything, but you should see yourself right now. (This may seem unusual, but Lois is still at a stage in her dementia where she can snap out of it with the right cues.) You have your entire head wrapped up in your sweater, but you’re practically naked everywhere else!”
Lois felt around for her bare arms and legs and then she cracked up: “Boy, I must be quite a sight! You know…Sometimes I think that old age is just God playing a practical joke on us.”
Me: “You think so, huh?”
Lois: “Well yeah, I mean the urine alone would be enough to keep Him entertained!”
The moments of clarity (when they can see the humor in them) are priceless!