Mondays with Mom: Entertainer


Easter was lovely this year. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright and not too hot. We were part of a wonderful church service with our new church family. My son brought his new girlfriend to church and a newly “adopted” daughter from the theater came, too. After church, daughter Julia, adopted daughter Molly Fae, Michael, and I went to have lunch with Mom and Dad.

When we arrived, Dad already had Mom set up in the dining room. She’d been eating garlic bread and watching the birds. After getting drinks, we all sat down and Daddy prayed and the show began. Mom was in fine spirits and really turned into an entertainer.

Lunch was simple: frozen lasagna and garlic bread. Dad sat to Mom’s left and I sat to her right so we could assist her with her eating. She didn’t want assistance through most of the meal, however. She was in full “I’ll do it myself” mode. She was also in full drama swing. She told story after story and kept right on talking if any one tried to get a word in edgewise.

I’m not certain Molly Fae knew what she was getting into when she said she wanted to spend time with a family for Easter. I’m not sure any of us could have imagined Mom’s starring role in our meal together. Mom really turned on the charm and the conversation, even resorting to made up tears to emphasize her wishes a couple of times. Watching her reminded me of her silly side that is too often lost in the fog of dementia.

To me, the best part of our laughter-filled lunch was watching Dad. He got so tickled at her. I loved watching him cover his eyes and giggle, shoulders shaking with the effort of not laughing too loud. There were a couple of moments when Mom launched into song and Dad joined her for a note or two. So precious.

We asked Mom about her upcoming birthday, wondering if she knew how old she would be. She thought 25 and was shocked at turning 90. How could she be that young? She couldn’t imagine being married to Dwight Bunn for almost 67 years. At one point she ventured that he must really love her very much. We all decided that must be true.

Mom loved being the center of our attention. I know that high drama side of my own personality is because of her influence on my life – both nature and nurture. It was so much fun to watch her laughing, giggling, drawing out dramatic tears for effect, and thoroughly enjoying being our entertainer during lunch. I thought she might be getting tired, but she never did! Dad said she had a good afternoon and was quite chatty all day.

As she was going to sleep Sunday night, I was working on my computer beside her. She wanted to know where the girls were and I assured her they were safely home getting ready for bed. She was concerned that I might be too riled up to sleep well after my busy day. Truth be told, I think she was too riled up to sleep. As a fellow entertainer, I know that adrenaline rush well. After a particularly good performance, it’s hard to settle down for rest.

It was a great show and I’m so glad I was there for it.

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