Sweetie and I went to breakfast with this morning with some new, but quickly becoming close, friends.
As we were deciding what we wanted to eat, Sweetie began to give a brief rundown of how he/we got from thinking he had some memory issues to the diagnosis of ALZ. He paused for a moment, trying to remember something, without thinking I jumped right in to finish the story. I didn't mean to talk over him, but that's exactly what I did.
When our friends got up to order, I apologized to Sweetie and asked him to please stop me - in a nice way - if I do it again.
S: What's a nice way? Shut the f*#!k up?
M. I was thinking of a kinder, gentler way. We need a code word. Looking up I noticed a sign advertising a special on white zinfandel wine. Zinfandel. Next time I interrupt, just say zinfandel, and I'll know to be quiet.
S: How do you expect me to remember zinfandel?
M: It'll take a little practice!
Later on in another conversation, I heard Sweetie say zinfandel. Oops! I did it again! We both laughed and our friends were clueless. It's kind of awkward, but I think we're on to something.
Still later (it was a long lunch!) Sweetie got up and started a conversation with the people across from us. Turns out the man was 3 months shy of being 100 years old. The six of us shared stories and laughs for about 15 minutes. When asked the secret to his longevity, the gentleman said vinegar and honey. Sounds like a deadly combination to me, but he was a retired doctor so he spoke with authority. When the man smiled his whole face lit up, even his eyes twinkled. But more than I noticed that when Sweetie was engaged in this conversation his mood lifted.
Isn't it amazing what a smile can do?