Oh, the places you’ll go

“You can pick him up now. There’s nothing left to test,” I was told by the busy neurologist on the phone.

He was referring to my late husband, Richard.

And he was talking about my husband’s fading memory.

The appointment was just a year after Richard’s initial dementia diagnosis. I’d been told by the doctor they would need several hours for testing.

Yet my cell phone was ringing in less than five minutes.

It wasn’t long after the call that I started considering eventual placement in a group home at the strong encouragement of Richard’s doctor.

I was in over my head, yet needed to be convinced that the quality of his care and his existence would be improved if he was to move.

One category on my wish list for him was the opportunity to go on outings which I knew would require a van.

The home that Richard eventually moved into had both, as well as a great activity director.

On my first visit to the home, I’d noticed museums were a favored destination on their calendar including the beautiful art museum where my husband used to work as a curator.

On Richard’s first outing back to the museum as a group home resident, the man with no memory somehow managed to get out of his wheelchair and navigate purposefully down several long hallways, and through a restricted area back to his old office.

The museum guards stepped out of his way and smiled as they watched their former co-worker, as did the teary eyed staff and volunteers from the group home.

And though that magical moment never quite had a second act, that group home van would eventually take Richard on many other magical adventures that would always put a smile on his face.

Concerts, apple orchards, theaters, fishing excursions, picnics, restaurants…

Richard’s play list went on and on.

Oh, the places he went.

Thanks to a van, his magic bus.

Stinkin Cute

I reminded Rex today that he’s booked to make some pet visits this weekend at the local care facility.

Rex immediately broke into a happy dance.

And then I told him, “I hear they think you’re pretty ‘stinkin cute’!”

Suddenly I noticed Rex was sulking.

And the curtain fell on that happy dance.

Rex scurried to the kitchen and sought solace for a while from his cozy checkered dog bed.

He wasn’t talking.

I didn’t even hear a yip.

I was puzzled.

But then I remembered I used the word “stink” while giving him baths after catching him playing in the mud after recent heavy rains.

Baths are not his idea of a good time.

“Hey, Rex. ‘Stinkin cute’ is just an expression. Consider them terms of endearment!”

With that, Rex began to dance again down the hall in search of his dog eared bow tie for his date with the senior ladies.