“Grace” is one of the residents in Mom’s care home. She is very serious, having lost any intentional sense of humor. However, without meaning to, Grace provides laughs for the staff, for some of the other residents, and definitely for me.
Grace is a tiny lady. Her dementia is far enough along that it is quite difficult to understand what she is saying as most sentences seem to be random strings of words. However, sometimes you can glean the overall intended message or at least respond in a way that acknowledges her emotions.
One afternoon when I arrived, Anne was doing Grace’s nails—cleaning them, filing them, and then applying nail polish in Grace’s favorite rose pink color. This procedure took place at the dining table as I was visiting with Mom and listening to the music, often singing along.
After a while, Anne rose from the table and told Grace to keep her hands on the table top to allow the polish to dry, which Grace dutifully did.
Anne decided to take a photo of Grace for Grace’s son and encouraged her to smile.
“Oh, that’s a great photo!” Anne beamed and showed the photo to Grace. Then she came over to show it to me. Grace had a huge genuine smile. It was a wonderful photo, and I said so.
“I never get such a big smile out of her. Her son will be so happy to see this.”
Anne went back to the dining area. “We got a great photo this time, Grace. Hallelujah!”
Vina, the other staff that day, leapt into the spirit of the conversation with “Thank you, Jesus!”
Grace said, “You’re welcome.”