I believe that as a caretaker, there is always room for self doubt. For guilt and being hard on yourself. Sometimes I have to reverse my thinking. I sat with my grandmother tonight during what has become my favorite part of the day, night time pill time. I quickly give her her pills then turn on the TV to Hulu then to the next episode of “World of Dance.” It has become our new thing. Babu usually doesn’t watch the TV. Her sight and hearing are both impaired, but dance, oh how she loves dance and she doesn’t need to follow a story, there are just visuals. I push her close to the TV and she just sits there, fixated.
Sunday, March 3rd, 1940
We slept till nine this morning. Had breakfast and Ernie, Jakey, and I went skiing. The hill was quite steep. I swore I wouldn’t go down it but went once and kept going. Fell every time but it didn’t hurt and was warm. Ate dinner and George Jones drove us back. Zosh and Eddie stopped in for a while and then Jakey came back. We spent the evening at home. Couldn’t get him to go home, as usual.
I’ve come to think about what I have brought to this home and relationship that are unique to me. One is Babu’s relationship with Stella. It is therapeutic and exciting. She never really had any pets so at 100 years old I am giving her a pretty new experience. I’m so glad that I pushed for her.
Tuesday, March 12th, 1940
There were supposed to be quite a few of the boys going to our Nee-Wah card party tonight, but Jakey and I left to go alone from the trolley. At least Zosh, Eddie, Stretch and Nat came too. We had the party at the Y, and had a good crowd; mostly girls, but surprisingly there were a number of boys. We came home on the trolley and played airplane annoying the rest of the passengers.
The other thing I contribute to Babu’s well-being is this dance show. I have been able to find something, right in the middle of Babu’s comfort zone, to add to her routine. At first I wasn’t sure if she could even see the dancing, or appreciate the krumping and hip hop styles of dancing. But the night I went down stairs and said “I’m going to give you your night time pills and she directly asked if we were going to watch the dance show, I knew she appreciated it. One time I may have caught her with her eyes closed but more than once she gave a shout during flips and tricks the dancers were doing.
Saturday, April 6th, 1940
Mr. Berg tried to bribe us with Fannie Farmers candy to make us work the afternoon but we were adamant. Natalie has been in bed since Thursday so I went to visit. Jakey called for me and there and Billy and Ernie and we went to the “Blue Moon” dining and dancing. We didn’t go home after we brought them home. Reached home close to two.
I know now can’t compare to her Gatsby style youth, (two decades off, I know, but it just seems that way to me!,) but I can still find some way to bring her excitement.
Friday, April 12th, 1940
It rained all day. Billy, Jake, and I visited Ernie to “waste an evening” as Billy says. We played ping pong in her cellar. Used one paddle on a side in doubles and laughed ourselves silly. About 11:30 it started to snow and it came thick and fast. It was hard to see the road through the snowy windshield.
Friday, April 19th, 1940
Just six of us went to NY today. Besides us there were Billy and Ernie and Frank and Lorraine. We saw the “French Follies” after diner and were all quite disgusted. The boys shopped with us for a few hours and we all got tired and didn’t buy much. After supper we attended Bob Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” show and declared it to be great. Just made the train and had a whole car practically to ourselves. Took off our shoes and stretched out and smoked.
In case you were wondering, the “French Follies” was a burlesque show. I truly wonder if Jakey and the rest of the boys were actually disgusted. That is not the kind of dancing Babu and I were watching, for sure!