This weekend after my father's passing, I was scheduled for an event. My friend Lucy came to my mother's assisted living home, where I was staying, to pick up my jewelry etc to take to the show in my place. She brought with her, her three-year-old Evelyn. We introduced her to my mom and told her that she could call my mother Grandma Cherry as all the kids did.
Lucy, my mother and I sat and talked for a little while while Evelyn wandered around and checked things out. My mother, who has dementia joined in the conversation, but of course was fascinated with little Evelyn.
After a little visit, Lucy had said to Evelyn that it was time for them to go home, have lunch, and take a nap, however Evelyn had spotted a coloring book and markers that my mother had there. She asked if she could color for a moment and we said sure. We set her up on the floor with the markers and coloring books.
My mother had had enough of the conversation and as she did when she grew tired, she just sort of rolled over, put her head down and went to sleep on the couch where she had been sitting.
All of a sudden Evelyn jumped up in total surprise and just stared at my mother on the couch asleep. Her eyes grew wide, she looked at her mother, and said “Look at Grandma Cherry, ..... she took my nap!”
Lucy and I just laughed and laughed, it's so funny to see a child's perspective. Lucy had to explain to little Evelyn and that everyone could take their own nap, but Evelyn was having none of it. It’s amazing what goes on in a child’s mind. Her viewpoint was just so funny !
Later, when my mother woke up and the girls had gone home, I told her the story and she just thought it was the most amusing thing that Evelyn would have that perspective.
As it turned out, later that evening Lucy messaged me to let me know that my mother did, in fact, take Evelyn's nap as she never did take one of her own that afternoon. (even typing this its cracking me up again) In fact , she talked all afternoon about 'Grandma Cherry Aunt Jeanne' and how she had taken her nap. (mom’s name changed slightly in each telling) The funny thing was, my mother talked all afternoon to anyone who would listen and told everyone the story of her, taking Evelyn's nap.
It's the funniest thing to realize the words that we say and how children learn and understand the multiple meanings. As the next few days went on, it turns out that Evelyn and my mother were both so fascinated by the idea that mom had taken Evelyn’s nap that they both talked about it incessantly. Through the next few days, as our family went through my father's funeral, every now and then my mother would mention taking Evelyn’s nap and it brought us a light-hearted moment and a smile to her face.
When all was said and done, and we were sitting back at Mom's house, she said to me, “you know that was just so funny that I took that little girl’s nap” and literally a moment later Lucy messaged me and said 'Evelyn just sat up and quite randomly said “remember when Grandma Jeannie Cherry took my nap” ' It’s just so funny that days later they were both still fascinated by this idea. (And it was more funny with each telling !)
Lucy, being a generation younger than me, as generations go, my mother would be a great grandmother to Evelyn. Isn’t it wonderful that something so silly and a child’s perspective could span four generations? I have a feeling that we will forever be talking about how Grandma Cherry Jeanne took little Evelyn's nap and it makes me happy to know that my best friend’s daughter may well always have a story that includes my 87 year old mother and the bond they will now always hold.