Thursday, April 19, 2007

Big Train In the Sky

Mom at the Choo-Choo

Tonight was the symphony. I was doubtful that we'd be able to make it the way this week has been going. Two times when we've gone out to dinner, we've ended up having our dinner boxed-up before they even brought it to the table. One evening I wasn't even sure I could get mom back to the car, and wondered if I should be calling an ambulance. We ended up in the emergency room for six hours.

But tonight was The Night. I wasn't sure at all that Mom would be able to eat dinner out, much less go to the symphony.

When I asked her, she said she wanted to go to the Choo-Choo instead of eating downstairs. I've been to the Choo-Choo before lots of times, but I have no sense of direction and I couldn't find it. I even stopped and asked a man walking down the street for directions, and after he told me to turn left and then to go two blocks and turn right, he burst into song.

After I turned left and went two blocks and turned right, I still couldn't find it. I was starting to worry. It had taken us hours to get dressed and put on makeup. And in the middle of trying to get ready, the air conditioning repair guy had showed up, and the woman next door had come over looking for her glasses and mom invited her to sit down, the blood pressure woman had dropped in, and the water wagon had stopped by.

I got out my cell phone and was getting ready to call Aggles in Atlanta to ask her for directions to the Choo-Choo.

Then Mom said, "I see a big train in the sky."
I panicked, thinking this was it.
That Sonny & Brownie song flashed through my mind:
People get ready
There's a train a comin'
You don't need no baggage
you just get on board ...
Then in the distance, I saw that there WAS a big train in the sky, lit up and blinking. Mom may be suffering from dementia, but thanks to her we located the Choo-Choo.

I had to park a mile away, so I dropped her off. When I went to get the car after dinner, I helped Mom sit down on a bench by the door, and told her I'd be back in five minutes. When I returned she was lungeing out the door with her cane, looking very worried. She was sure I'd gotten lost and she had decided to hit the streets to find me.

We made it to our seats at the Tivoli less than 30 seconds before the symphony started. That first Debussy piece almost put us both to sleep. Why would anyone want to play something so slow and lacking in structure?

The Paganini Rhapsody had some funny parts. We left at intermission, before Death and Transfiguration by Strauss.