Anel is great. . . .and full of sass.
Last Thursday started just like any other with a hug and a kiss and then we both smelled cigarette smoke. It was the neighbor. That’s a whole story to itself. The short version is I moved Anel’s room this last weekend. Rather than enjoy second-hand smoke on Thursday evening, we opted for a car ride which turned into a Target run and then some Babe’s Chicken.
As we passed a seasonal display in Target I was instructed to stop. She wanted to hold every coffee cup and then she pointed at some coasters. I handed them to her. She looked at them for half a second and whipped her head up saying, “I want ‘em.” “Ok Babygirl,” as I put them in her lap. “More”, she told me. “Baby there’s 4 in there.” “More.” “Ok,” I said with a chuckle as I grabbed 4 more. Off we went down heading toward the seasonal section. Anel blurted out rapidly, “cookie cookie cookie cookie”. I had passed the cookie aisle. We backed up and went in. The excitement was palatable. It’s harder for her to see so much and focus on reading one label at a time. We individually held and read probably 20 boxes and ended up choosing two. Back on track, seasonal section. We made it through the first aisle of Christmas items and as we turned the corner to the next aisle we both realized we were on the . . . . Christmas Cookie aisle. Repeat previous cookie story here. Four boxes of cookies in tow we make it to the end of the aisle to discover the Christmas Popcorn. “Popcorn popcorn popcorn popcorn” The containers were clear, so naturally she held, inspected, and picked the perfect popcorn mix. Eight coasters, four boxes of cookies, and one popcorn tin in tow now. She politely informs me that she’s thirsty and I had left her Yeti in the truck, which is stupid, so off to Target’s Starbucks. She got a Chesnut Praline Latte. One sip and her eyes opened extra-wide, “Delicious”. That coffee didn’t have a chance. Soon after I told her, “Baby, I promise you I’m not going to drink that coffee. You can drink it as fast or slow as you want to.” Still killing the coffee. “Babygirl, do you sometimes think I’m going to take something from you that you enjoy?” “Sometimes yes.” Still killing the coffee. “Ok Babygirl, just know that coffee is all yours and I’m not going to take any of it.” “Ok”
All that cookie shopping worked up an appetite, so Babe’s Chicken in downtown Arlington. It was such a nice time at dinner. We sat next to each other, eating fried chicken, laughing, and talking about the kids. She gets confused sometimes so we’ve been working on the basics. Often times she knows her answers are off so she’ll start laughing and make a joke. She remembers her birthday but she doesn’t remember how old she is. Her first response is usually 24 or 28. Then she laughs so hard. Next is usually 37. Then I tell her how old she is, her filter comes off, and curse words start flying. I follow it up with, “You look like you’re in your thirties and we still look at each other like we did in our twenties” which gives me a couple of points and makes her smile.
This weekend I was telling her how beautiful she was. The whole deal, your eyes, your hair, your skin, the whole package, so beautiful. . . you get it. She was loving it all, smiling ear to ear, and then she said, “Ahhh, you’re so cute.” Bahahahahahah. I laughed so hard.
We’re starting to have more natural conversations. Instead of, “I need water.” She’s saying, “Honey you're going to kill me, but I’m out of water again.” Last night a new staff member came into the room. Anel had already met her and asked her, “Have you met my husband yet?’ Truly a big step for Anel. Cognitive is coming along.
I’m encouraged by her progress. Brick by brick.
Thank you, friends.