In this crazy, upside down, mess of a trip with dementia/alzhiemers, I have found that I forget the good things. I need to remember them.
I have always known I am adopted, I have also always known that I am loved beyond the limits of love. My parents always made it clear that from day one, they have loved me probably more than their own children. They chose me. They cared for me, they loved me. Period.
I think my love for McDonald’s doublecheese burgers is my dad’s fault. On Sunday nights when we would be on our way home from church, he would go to the closest McDonald’s and get me a doublecheese burger. It was a treat because we never went out to eat unless it was with church folks. Otherwise, there were no quick trips to McD’s or anywhere else for anything.
I know my love for Krispy Kreme doughnuts is my mom’s fault. About once a month, she would wake me in the wee hours of the morning and we would drive to KK and grab some hot doughnuts. It was our secret. Our thing. A thing I’ve passed on to my boys. I don’t think any of them can drive by a Hot Doughnuts Now sign without drooling allover the car.
I look back at all the times mom would show up, out of the blue and pick me up early from school. We would head to the Mall and go shopping. She gave me a joy of shopping. Not necessarily spending, but shopping. There is a difference.
For several years, dad would preach revivals year round. I was his sidekick. I would come home from school, do my homework, then go to church with dad. I got to see a great deal of country side and meet tons of people. Usually the church people would have us to dinner, so I ate at lots of strange places, all of which made me aprehensive, but taught me about being a hostess and how to participate in some good table conversation.
I think I will always associate a black leather Bible with my dad and a red leather one with my mom. For as long as I can remember they always carried them like that. I have the last Bible my dad used, and I currently carry my mom’s last Bible. Neither of them can read their Bibles which is sad because they have brought them so much comfort over the years.
Mom drilled in to my head to be a lady no matter what. I know I’ve disappointed her in that respect. I was brought up that a lady always wore gloves, patent leather shoes, a hat, and was impeccably dressed when she went in public. I was thrilled when I became old enough to make my own decisions about what to wear, and I know it slightly killed my mom when I threw away the hats and gloves. But I still can’t wear white after labor day!
She also gave me a silly appreciation for a good gossip magazine, soap operas, and easy listening music. I think part of why I enjoy Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr is because I grew up listening to the old standards by Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.
These are a few of the things I know I love because my parents instilled them in me. Things that will always be part of me, because it was part of them. This disease may take my parents from me, but it can never take these parts of me away.