PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Celebrating from Afar

Today is Gregory's birthday. He is a Fourth of July Baby. We celebrate him with days off from work, picnics, fireworks, and birthday cake. We celebrate him no less today than yesterday, just differently.

I baked two pans of Brownies with walnuts yesterday and will put them in the staff office today, one for each shift, in honor of his birthday.

Yesterday, with Gregory's help (or at least he watched as I worked and explained) I decorated the dining room by adding small American flags to the flower vases on each table. Manny poked one flag in the back of Gregory's chair.

I bought three mini-bund cakes; one for Gregory- chocolate chocolate chip, one for me - lemon, and one for Manny - marble choclate. We will put a candle in Gregory's, sing the birthday song (he usually sings along,) and see if he will blow it out (if not we will help.) Then we will pig out on the cakes. Maybe we'll cut them into thirds and share the flavors! We will add boxed milk (from Gregory's refrigerator) to the mix.

I will tell Gregory that I love him at least a dozen times. He may or may not respond.

"I love you!"
"I know" or "OK" or "Yes" or "I love you" or a laugh or nothing
"You make me very happy!"
"I know" or "OK" or a laugh or nothing.

He may or may not give me a kiss when asked. Sometimes he will lean in towards me and give me the kiss. If he doesn't, I will lean in toward him, I go in carefully because recently my glasses were accidentally broken when he push me away.

One time he leaned in and gave me a kiss on the lips while putting his arm around me. He finished the kiss backing off a little, looked at me me and asked, "More?" and we leaned in for a second kiss. He backed off again and asked "Again?" and we leaned back in for a third kiss. It was magic. Another Momentary Monumental Magical Miracle!

Sometimes when we go through this routine I whisper and he whispers back! So whatever his response, the message gets delivered up to a dozen times depending on the length of our visit or what activities we are pursuing.

So it will be different, but none-the-less important to both Gregory and me and Manny, as we celebrate his July 4th birthday today.

Here are some photographs of the occasion:

Here is a video of the Birthday Song.


  1. Beautiful post Michael. Lovely to see fresh flowers on the tables and I loved all the kissing bits. I haven't been kissed by anyone in eight years - you're lucky! XOX

    1. Thanks Susan. Actually the flowers are "permanent" which is what they are now calling "artificial or fake or plastic" flowers. I did the original arranging however in the form of a "Westminster" arrangement. A number of the residents have commented on how long the flowers have laster :-)


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