Yesterday was Sunday. Our day to visit with Uncle Bill. Our Sunday morning routine. Get there about 11 AM. See what groceries and personal items he needs for the week and George leaves to go get them. I busy myself with setting up his medications for the week so the aide can give them to him. Sometimes he is sleeping at this time. Yesterday he was awake. On the days he is awake he always starts off the same way.
UB: (stares at me) Well! You're here!
Me: Yes I am, UB.
90 seconds of silence ensue as he decides on the designated topic of the day. Today the topic will be Hot Water, and people who are in it.
UB: Well last night I was trying to sleep. A bunch of girls were in my bathroom. They were talking and laughing. My aide was in there too. They were using the hot water. You know, the hot water feels kind of good in the shower but you have to make sure you don't get it too hot. You can get burned.
Me: I know.
UB: Those guys in prison, they have to go to Joliet prison. Let me tell you, you do not want to go there. It is no time share. They don't like it in lock-up.
Me: Have you been in a jail with the prisoners?
UB: Oh no. Not me. I wouldn't like it. They give you way too hot showers. But there are a lot of innocent people in jail. For years, innocent people are stuck in lock-up.
Me: That would be a hard life.
UB: Up north, prison cells are underground. It is really bad to live underground. In Alcatraz, it was really bad but some of the prisoners escaped. They didn't want any more hot showers.
Me: Remember when we went on the tour at Alcatraz?
UB: Huh? Then they get on a boat and go to South America but they get stuck there. English prisoners also get stuck in South America. They cannot ever get out.
(I am having guilt feelings. In one week we will be moving him to a Memory Care Unit where he lives. I know it is the right thing, but he will be giving up his large apartment and familiar way of life. It is going to be stressful for him at first. But he needs supervision at night.)
Then George gets back from the grocery store. As a surprise, he has stopped off at McDonald's and gotten UB his favorite thing, a plain cheeseburger and fries. Uncle Bill's face lights up and his day is complete. He is in Hamburger Heaven until it is time for us to go.
|Uncle Bill In Hamburger Heaven|
As we leave, we say good-bye to his healthcare aide who has just arrived. I give UB a hug and notice that he was so excited about the hamburger that he forgot to go to the bathroom. Now he needs to change his clothes.
UB looks at his aide.
UB: You know, they use way too hot water there in the prisons.