Archive - May 3, 2013


Aunt Olla back in form


Went in to see how Aunt Olive was doing today and she was in fine form. In fact, her pain didn't even come up until I offered to get her heat pack re-heated. After wanting nothing more than to die two days ago, Olive's focus was once again on the future. She wants to go to Detroit Lakes to see one of her students. She wants to write her memoirs. She wants to sort out all her pictures. Oh, man, so much to do!

Painkillers can do wonders. 

Olla's resilience is something to behold. It is always inspiring. Her only real problem is short-term memory and the ability to come up with names. That frustrates her. But otherwise, her memory for what happened yesterday is just fine. 

Olive was searching her extensive past for the source of her present back pain, and she finally settled on the time she lifted the Model T out of the ditch. I hadn't heard that one before. Olive said she hadn't told anybody before. Then she started telling other tales of events 60-85 years ago which might have hurt her back. They were familiar tales with a new twist, like the time she insisted Mama bring her a ring when Mama went to town for provisions. Mama, despite the family's poverty, came back with a ring, probably of the Cracker Jack box sort. That part of the story was familiar. Only this time, as Olive told it today, she was so eager to get her new ring that she fell down the stairs and fell flat on her back. "Nobody even batted an eye," she said. The fall could have been the source of her present pain. 

Or, maybe not. 

In the past few days, several of Olive's staple stories have been altered to include an ending which has her flat on her back, probably injuring herself in a way which has now come back to haunt her, 85 years later. Skiing accidents. Skating accidents. Lifting cars. Falling down stairs. 

And then there are the nightly strokes. She has had so many that "the blood vessels are just hanging loose in there," Olla claims. 

Finally, Aunt Olla asked, "have you seen my wedding picture?" I had, but she had taken it down because she didn't want to gloat. So, it was in the drawer. And there were two copies. So I took one, the picture above. It is of boyfriend Bunny, 52, and Aunt Olive, 101. They aren't legally married, just dating, but Olive's memory is ambiguous, so she says, "I am really not sure what is going on with it all." But she thinks the world of Bunny and is convinced that he chose her because she's the only one in the Hilton who 1) talks to him on the pontoon rides he provides Hilton residents each summer and 2) doesn't have gray hair. "I really have no competition," she said. "The others don't even talk to him. And they're all gray."

I would say they look like a happy couple.