2015 – 06/25 – 

I decided that assembling parfaits might be fun for my mom. I brought in some pudding mix and she had a great tie with the mixer. She needed guidance at the beginning. She had forgotten how it worked. I demonstrated while she watched in rapt attention. Then I guided her hand onto it and helped with the buttons so she could mix from there. She really enjoyed it a lot. 

One of the other residents was very curious and excited about what we were doing so he came over to look and it made her laugh. It was so cute. It often feels like they become children again during this disease. They keep moving backward through time. If you are able to embrace it, there are so many happy moments that result. They are unfettered by the stresses of real life. They are just living. It is simple. They are unaware of everything else. It is a wonder in so many ways.


Simplicity is essential. Getting to their level, trying to see through their eyes, not complicating the situation. These are the things that will make all the difference so that is what I focused on doing. She had a lot of challenges and this project was going to feel very much like a puzzle to her. We lined up cups together, sliced up lady fingers together, laid everything out in steps to make it easier for her. First I had her put a couple of pieces of the lady finger cubes into each cup. This took some real effort on her part. She struggled a little at the start but I patiently waited and guided her with words until she figured it out. She looked up at me with a question in her eyes after almost every cup and I smiled and reassured her that she was doing a great job. Soon she had the pound cake in all the cups and it was time for the next step.

This activity involved patterns. She had to put lady fingers in, then pudding, then fruit, then repeat until the cups were full. It took a long time but she did it. It did bring sadness that it was so hard for her to do these things when she did so much her whole life, but it also brought joy when her face would light up every time she got a layer done.

Soon the cups were all full and they looked so pretty.  When I was young I remember going to special events like family gatherings after a christening. My mom would often make lemon cupcakes. She would cut the middle off and fill with lemon custard and put the top back on.

After that she would get some confectioners sugar and sift it onto the tops of the cupcakes. They ended up being both simple and pretty plus very tasty. It was a sort of signature dessert I suppose.

Today I decided to bring back a little muscle memory since she had done this so often. The tops of the parfaits were each going to be sprinkles with confectioners sugar. I brought a sifter and put four cups at a time onto a plate so she could sift the sugar onto them. She loved doing this. She was beaming the whole time. It warmed my heart so much to see her like that.

These were so much more than little parfait treats for the residents. These were a connection between my mom and I. We were bonding deeper than we ever did before she got sick. It was bittersweet.


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