The Archbishop's Visit

A story from my Grandmother's Alzheimer's:

Before Grandma's care became too complex for Mom to manage, she still lived at home.  Mom was her primary caregiver.  Grandma was not very mobile and spent much of her time in bed.  Despite this, there were times when she insisted on attending special events at church.  

There was an evening event where the Archbishop came to their parish.  He was to say Mass and there was to be a meet and greet social afterwards.  Grandma put extra effort in getting dressed to meet the Archbishop.  She wanted to charm and impress.  She refused to put on a Depends.

They arrived at church and Mom pushed her wheelchair to the front of the sanctuary.  They found themselves seated next to the priest as the Archbishop conducted Mass.  

Halfway through the service, Grandma suddenly looked panicked.  She turned to Mom and urgently whispered "We need to leave NOW!"  A moment of confusion was quickly removed as a wave of noxious fumes hit Mom.  She looked to her left and saw a clear shot to the side exit.  Mom directed Lyn to get the door as she grabbed Grandma's wheelchair and started sprinting for the exit.  "Hurry!  Hurry!" Grandma urged.

They hit the door at a run and kept their pace to the car.  Mom grabbed the sun visor to separate Grandma from the car seat and got her seated in the car before the gas which warned them in church was replaced with something more substantial.  Mom rushed home and got Grandma into the back bathroom where she could strip down for a shower.  

Grandma never got to charm the Archbishop.  She also never objected to Depends again.


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