Alone, at last. As of today Tim has lived with us for seven months. Before that we had another house guest for six months.
Our niece Naomi drove down from the Bay Area yesterday, spent the night with us, and is taking Tim back with her for a two-week sleepover.
I started making a list two days ago, like the mother of a forgetful tweenager. ID. Medications. Slippers. Mouthwash. Prescription glasses. Ricola Dual-Action cough drops. Teeth. Cane. Rolling walker. (Teeth, cane, walker? We’ve gotten away from the tweenager analogy here.) I added a box of his favorite cereal, Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Puffins.
LifeAlert? No, Naomi has no landline so LifeAlert won’t work there. Instead I discreetly slipped into his wallet, while it wasn’t on him, a card saying “I am Tim Reynolds. I am staying with my niece Naomi” (with her phone number).
Naomi threw all Tim’s clothes into a sack this afternoon while he was recovering from walking the 30 steps from the kitchen to his bedroom after breakfast. (He has been very frail and shaky lately, needs a supportive hand or two to help from a doorway to a chair. Told me he fell the other day but it was on his carpet and he reported no injuries.) Anyway, Tim offered no remonstrance to Naomi briskly packing his things for him but I know from experience that down the line he may accuse her of kidnapping him.
At the car, I wanted to give him his water bottle, which he’ll ask for as soon as they’re out of sight but Naomi said cheerfully that I was “mothering” so I backed off, hugged them, said “Have fun–get into trouble.” Jerry suggested (but only privately to me) we tell Naomi we’ll come get him if she’ll keep him a month.
When I got back inside I found Tim had forgotten the Efferdent for his dentures. He won’t remember what it’s called and he won’t be able to describe it to Naomi. Guess I’ll mother once more and call to tell her she’d better pick up a box of them on the way.
The last thing Tim told me, as the two of them carried his stuff across the grass to Naomi’s car, was a story about “my first Jewish mentor Ward Moore’s mother” who struck up an acquaintance aboard “one of the Queens” with Mrs. Mellon of the Washington Mellons.
“The Queens are not what they used to be,” Mrs. Mellon observed to Mrs. Moore. “So many Jews.”
Mrs. Mellon offered sweetly, “Shall I jump overboard, madam?”
That’s classic Tim (and classic Alzheimer’s). Forgets his denture tablets and remembers verbatum an anecdote about “the Washington Mellons” from decades ago. Well, he would say with a shrug, which is more memorable?