The poignant thing about this story is that it's really quite funny...
...for an end of life story.
I have a family member who is near the end of her life.
More than being an anecdote, this story is a tribute to her, because she’s the proverbial spit-fire.
The somber note is that Alzheimer’s is slowly altering her memory, her behavior, and shortening her life.
For ANYONE out there with a family member or a friend suffering from Alzheimer’s, my heart goes out to you!
Educate yourself. Be patient and loving with YOURSELF AND your loved one. Times like this show us what we’re made of.
For the sake of the article I am going to call her Ms. T, both for her privacy and for ease of writing.
Ms. T has lived a wonderful life full of family, friends, events, travel, parties, rubbing elbows with notables, golf games and real estate.
She was a whiz at selling real estate AND she was a great golfer. She played with some heavy hitters. In her prime real estate and golf went together extremely well. I imagine they still go together today — BIG deals being made on the 9th hole.
To this very day, in her late 80’s, she is a classy woman — always well-dressed, always putting her best foot forward.
She has a closet that every woman with taste and style wants to raid…
…and a smile that lights up a room. A big, broad smile.
Ms. T wears a specific color of Revlon lipstick. Revlon, not L’Oreal, or MAC or Urban Decay, but Revlon.
One day she noticed she was running out of her favorite lipstick and asked her daughter to pick up another tube.
I’ll add that Ms. T also has a taste for good vodka. She loves her evening cocktail hour. Who can begrudge an 87 year-old woman her cocktail hour???
In addition to her favorite lipstick she also requested her favorite vodka, in the convenient gallon economy size.
Her daughter, being the loving daughter she is, bought her mother TWO tubes of lipstick.
Ladies, we all know how this goes — eventually every cosmetic company stops making our favorite shade of lipstick and we have to find a new color that never quite matches or looks as good as the old color.
Two tubes is an assurance of continuing to have the right color.
The vodka, well, if you drink vodka you know what works.
Later in the day loving daughter delivered the two tubes of lipstick and the bottle of vodka.
Ms. T asked why she bought her two tubes of lipstick?
In her daughter’s mind it was for the aforementioned reasons. They make sense to me.
Ms. T said she may not live long enough to finish the two tubes of lipstick.
“Then why did I get you such a big bottle of vodka if you think you might not be around much longer?”
“Oh, I’ll be around long enough to drink the vodka!”
That reminds me of a quote from The Godfather:
“Leave the gun, take the cannolis!”
"Forget the lipstick, get the vodka!”
As always, thanks for reading.
See you again soon.
For help for you, a family member, or friend with Alzheimer’s:
This prose was inspired by a photo my sister-in-law sent to me from the first snow of the season in Portland, Oregon. It brought back memories of snowy and cold days in Fredonia, New York near Buffalo, St. Louis, Chicago and New York City. What memories do you have of similar experiences?
There is no time like the present to speak up, speak out and to be heard. As we move forward in life we learn (hopefully) what works and what does not work for us and we can draw the boundaries and also open our expression!
I am passionate about PRO-AGING. Aging as well as possible - given our life circumstances - with enthusiasm, contentment, vitality and energy.