Dad claimed he always wanted to be a minister. He decided to start a Bible Study in his office called “Tuesday Church” . (This church had to be on Tuesdays, because, as he mentioned, Sunday was taken.) He asked me make up flyers for “Tuesday Church“. Generally when a person has dementia, it’s better to just go along with them, and not argue. It was an easy request, so I made his flyers.
Dad handed out the flyers to the other building residents and people he met on the streets. He had a couple attendees from time to time. In general, he was quite pleased to be heading up Tuesday church.
Donuts and Soup
The office building was also his social group – he’d go upstairs to the coffee shop for his daily donut or luncheon soup. Northeast Minneapolis is artsy and this office building had a fair number of friendly artists.
The Lost Pot
I remember one time he called me in a panic. Someone was asking about a china pot he was supposed to repair, and he couldn’t find it.
It was an expensive teapot someone had donated to a non-profit organization for an auction. It should have been fixed months ago. They were having a fund-raiser that weekend and needed the art piece.
I called Terri, who helped in the office from time to time. She told me where to look – I searched both rooms, including the grimy, dusty one where he ground china and painted. I looked in the boxes on all the shelves, behind the door and under the extra clothes and papers. It was nowhere to be found.
What if we had to pay for the lost pot? The woman on the phone said it was worth several hundred dollars. I was certain it was stolen and considered calling the police.
Finally Dad said “Call Nina – she’ll know where to find it.” I got a hold of “Nina” who had helped him from time to time in the office. Nina said, “Oh sweetie, it’s SO nice to talk to you again!” (I guess Nina remembered me, I didn’t remember her.) “Look under his desk, that’s always where I find his lost things.”
Fortunately, I found the box and he was able to make the repair.
I was hugely relieved, and quite sure this office situation would have to come to an end.