Meanwhile at the VA Dementia Ward

Dolly Cue

I am now down to one visit a week, for just half an hour.

I am looking for real signs from my guy as to whether he still wants me to come visit.

And the end of the previous visit he struggled, but clearly said, “Why do you come see me?”

I said, “Because you are my friend.”

Today’s visit was punctuated by the one mobile fellow in the dayroom coming and tapping on my shoulder and handing me a paper cup of some sort of juice. I thanked him for that, though I didn’t drink it. This is a man who has not spoken to anyone in years, and rarely relates to people at all. I was flattered that he reached out to me with a gift.

Today I brought a photo book of unusual animal friends to show my guy: dogs who bonded with ducks, a giraffe who befriend a goat, a cat and dolphin who are buddies.

Seemed like he might have been interested at some point, maybe even a grin, but at other times squeezed his eyes hard shut.

At one point he came out of his hard shut eyes and starting talking in a falsetto voice, something he has not done before.

Daybreak.
Daybreak.
Daybook.
Daybook.
Takebook.
Takebook.

Do you want me to take the book?

Dolly.
Dolly.
Dolly.
Don’t leave.
Don’t leave.
Don’t leave.

Do you want me to stay?
I will come back next Sunday, OK?

Doe-comb.
Doe-comb.
Doe-comb.
Don’t come.
Don’t come.
Don’t come.

Don’t come back? Why?

Dollycue.
Dollycue
Dollycue.
Don’t like you.
Don’t like you.
Don’t like you.

But we are friends. Remember our trips to Maine,
Our visits to the hardware stores?

How about I come back next Sunday and see if you want me to stay?

It’s a bit difficult to navigate this for me, but I can not really imagine how difficult it must be for him.