“”We are not able to create a perfectly wonderful day with those who have dementia, but it is absolutely attainable to create perfectly wonderful moments – moments that put smiles on their faces, a twinkle in their eyes, or trigger memories.” Jolene Brackey wrote this in Creating Moments of Joy, an upbeat and practical book that has inspires me to find little things I can do to make my dad’s days brighter.
Several months ago, I couldn’t drive down for my weekly visit and didn’t want Dad to feel abandoned. I decided to make him a card – just like when I was a little kid. (I wish I would have taken a picture, but I didn’t.) I copied and then illustrated this riddle:
Why do deer use coupons?
They like to save big bucks and lots of doe.
I’m not an “artistic” person, so it took me quite a while to make the card and have it look somewhat presentable. My husband commented that Dad probably wouldn’t appreciate all the time and effort I put into it. But my thought was, if the card made my dad smile – even if only for a moment – that was “appreciation” enough.
Apparently, Dad got a kick out of the card and showed it to everyone in his assisted living community. I was told he got several smiles out of it.
So, a few weeks later, I made another one . . . And then another.
Recently, one of the staff members asked when they could expect the next card. So, this week, I got out my paper, scissors and glue and made a new one. Here it is:
I cannot give my dad his old life back, but if I can give him a moment of joy – one precious smile – then that’s something to be grateful for.
If you have any favorite riddles, please let me know; my supply is running low.