The afternoon spent with my uncle was charming. He sits a little, walks a few laps with his walker and eats a little. I warm his coffee in the microwave every few minutes. I brought a plate of chocolate almond cookies. I made a batch of big soft ginger cookies while I was there. My aunt showed me her recipe boxes and said I could look through them and write down recipes if I wanted. I sat looking at recipes. I smiled at the notes in the margins, the multiple recipe cards for the same recipe, the old familiar recipes and how ingredients have changed over the years. Oleo is a main ingredient in many of her cookie recipes. Some recipes I'm not sure she gave my mom or my mom gave her. A few she labeled "Red" so I know it came from my Dad. Ones she clipped from magazines she taped to index cards - most were labeled as to which magazine and the date. Some the tape was yellow and cracked. The recipes she wrote out have a list of ingredients and a temperature - nothing else. Some that call for a design or shape she drew pictures. I was in my glory. I wrote down a bunch of recipes in my journal I had with me.
I was able to talk to all three of my cousins who called for their Sunday check in. Weather reports from Colorado, North Carolina and Georgia. Work and kid updates were had. And Uncle was not walking all the way to the phone to talk to anyone.
I wore my new socks to their house. They are handmade in multiple colors. The colors used for each sock are the same but the design patterns are mixed up so they don't match exactly. My uncle told me I had two different socks on. I explained how they were made. He quietly said, "well, that is stupid." Hubby says he likes my uncle.
Uncle did fine for the first few hours and then he started to miss my aunt. He can't remember things and he forgot she was gone and where she went. I'd gently remind him. He couldn't get warm so I put a blanket over his shoulders, hugged him and rubbed his arms. I found a heavy fleece shirt for him to put on. Towards the end of our visit he whimpered softly, help, help, help. What do you need?
I don't know? Thank you.
I wrapped him in my arms and reassured him that auntie would be home soon. Oh, OK.
He was very happy to see her.
They will be married 66 years this September.
And as frail, sweet and confused as uncle is - Auntie sweeps in full of life and laughter talking about seeing her first strip tease. She saw the play The Full Monty and loved it.