Last night around dinner time, we got a text message from Ms Panda, the 21-year old that has been helping out with our kids since they were born and who is pretty much an extension of the family. (I wrote about her here .) Anyway, Ms Panda was asking if we would take some flowers to her mom for Valentine’s day. She had sent something up to her, but it hadn’t arrived like it was supposed to.
Ms Panda’s dad has Alzheimer’s. And, the past 9 months has gotten pretty bad with her dad not really remembering anyone anymore. He knows Ms Panda and mom, but that’s about it. I think she wanted to make sure her mom got something from Valentine’s day since her husband is lucky if he remembers his wife let alone Valentine’s Day.
So, DJ and I set off to find purple flowers for Ms Panda’s mom and to play Valentine’s Day Fairy for Ms Panda. I love her mom. She is a bit intense at times, but is a very caring woman who would truly give you the shirt off her back you needed it. And, despite her attempt to smother Ms Panda, she has done a great job raising an independent daughter.
We arrived on her doorstep with purple flowers and chocolates. And, I thought Ms Panda’s mom was going to burst into tears. She asked if Ms Panda had set this up – and I said she had. She stammered out how she was an adult, and she knew how mail worked & could have waited the extra day or two. I put my arm around her and said, “she wanted you to have something today – she knows you could have waited, but she didn’t want you to have to wait.” She hugged me and said “thank you”. Then turned her attention to DJ who she hadn’t seen in about 6 months & was blown away by how tall she was, etc.
Meanwhile I got a glimpse at how bad things were progressing with Ms Panda’s dad. He was just kind of standing there off to the side a bit lost. Her mom finally turned to him and walked him back into their kitchen to give him his dinner. You could tell he knew he should have known us, but didn’t. And, when DJ and I were looking at the old pictures on the fridge – the pictures of him, Ms Panda, DJ and Indigo, he was listening intently like he was trying to remember that for tomorrow. I can’t imagine how hard it is for his wife and daughter. This man two years ago was brilliant. And now, he has to be reminded to say “hello”.
DJ understood how important this was despite the fact she doesn’t really truly understand what has happened with Ms Panda’s dad. This was a guy who used to feed her apples when she was young. And, if they were out when she came over, he would go and buy her some. He would read her stories and feed her apples. And, now he doesn’t even say “hello” unless prompted. She said when we got back in the car that she was happy we did that for her. So was I.
Another Suburban Mom gave me an award on Friday. I haven’t forgotten about it – but will post more about it later. Just haven’t had time yet….stay tuned for more on this later!