I haven't yet figured out how to add a YouTube video this my blog, so I think you'll have to click if you want to watch a wonderful video from Saturday night. I hope it works? Apparently it does, so please take a moment and watch us. My son is Zak, the blond one up front. I am in standing in the back in the red sweater between Lakin and Cowboy. Zak lives with Ryan who is on the other end standing nest to James. There are several others hiding from view as well as two operating the video.
Saturday night we took Mom to a New Year's Day dinner party. I was cooking for a group of my son Zak's friends. These are technically Zak's friends, but they are mine too. I like to refer to them as "my boys". We were at Wenarto's house and there is nothing more fun than spending the evening with The Maestro (aka Wenarto.)
The menu was Lobster and Fillet Mignon, wild rice, roasted asparagus, and Cheddar biscuits. I also had plenty of appetizer's of shrimp and crab stuffed mushrooms, cheese platter, and faux gras. There was also a variety of wine to be had. The meal was incredible and the evening fun.
One thing unusual about Zak's friends is their love of Zak's Grandma. They call her Grandma, and they treat her with all the respect they would their own Grandmother. They get drinks for her, they sit and talk with her, and they dance with her. Every single one of them has danced on more than one occasion with mom. It warms my heart so much when I see this. I love to these men doting on my mom and making her feel special.
We have a standing agreement with friends that every time they see mom it is the first time for her. Mom has met a few of Zak's friends a lot. Zak lived with Chris for 2 years and Mom saw a lot of Chris, but every time was the first time. Wenarto is a great friend and mentor to Zak and has taken mom out to eat a lot, yet every time is the first time for mom. Zak now lives with Ryan and again, every time mom sees Ryan it is the first time she has met him. It is one of the more amusing adventures in Alzheimer's. Think about it, mom is able to go anywhere and meet new people, to her, and be treated like a queen by them. The guys genuinely love Grandma and she loves them. I a so tankful for Zak's friends that always include Grandma in the invitation to Phil and me.
On the spur of the moment Wenarto and I decided to host a New Year's Day dinner. It was a Saturday night and no one had to work the next day so why not cook for everyone? I love to cook--this is a gift mom passed on to me. I planned the meal and did the shopping and off we went to the home of The Mastero. Wenarto greeted me at the door with a glass of chilled white wine and I was ready to begin cooking.
Honestly, I had never broiled lobster tails before, but I didn't let anyone know that before hand I had read Martha Stewart's instructions online--if I can't trust Martha to do a lobster tail simply and deliciously who can I trust? Martha didn't disappoint and the lobster tails were perfect. The quests were drooling :) Pioneer Woman's instructions for a perfect Fillet Mignon were just as exacting and the steaks were just the right shade of deep pink inside and melted like butter in your mouth. The entire dinner was superb and everyone was happy. This made me happy.
A tradition at The Maestro's house is to perform on YouTube. I think he has over 1000's performances on YouTube. Seriously. Mom has starred in two of them, and her "Dancing Queen" video is one of his most requested. (Yes, mom is dancing to Abba.) It is fun and she is laughing. It warms my heart to see mom enjoying herself this way. This is my mom.
What is a bit sad is there isn't anyone else in our family that would introduce mom to this kind of fun. I don't really know why they wouldn't or won't take her around their friends. Yes, she has Alzheimer's but this doesn't mean we have to lock her in a closet. She still likes to have fun even thought, most of the time, she has no idea who she is having fun with. I remember in May 2003, at my sister's wedding, asking a nephew if he'd ask Grandma to dance, and he looked at me as if I'd just asked him to drink poison and sternly told me he would not. The sad part was that Mom had asked me to ask one of them to dance with her, and I then had to tell her that they wouldn't. Mom wished my boys were at the wedding because she knew they would have danced with her, and they would have without me having to ask them to. So many in our family feel they have to hide the fun their life from mom/grandma.
I get cranky with mom, but I also don't hide her in the closet. I take her to parties. I take her to get her nails done every two weeks. I take her to Starbucks every afternoon just to get us both out of the house for a break. Life is what you make it, and I want mom's to be fun, even if every moment is a new moment for Mom.