Site icon Nevertheless Dementia, We Persist

Lynne Getting Her Kicks Out of Feeling Alive

Getting Her Kicks

Lynne’s suggestions improved our outdoor exercise today. Last Saturday she considered the children’s plastic orange beach ball too light and too small for kicking on a soccer field where her boys had kicked official soccer balls. An official soccer ball is an essential medical device for mandated exercise, and so is the pacemaker device in my chest that needed a check-up at the cardiologist’s office on Monday. Fortunately, a Fred Meyer near the hospital had five sizes of soccer balls in a deserted aisle. The packaging explained the official size for youth her boys age was 4. They had it in pink. Perfect.
I bounced it into her hands at the front door of her assisted living facility. She tucked it tight under an arm in our walk to the field. She was right to upgrade our medical device. The ball flew farther, spun more, curled past our feet and around goal posts. It took more skill to kick or stop. We ran farther to retrieve it, exercised harder, and laughed constantly.
We’re grateful staff exercises her outside where I can join her and keep my distance. The exercise is more vigorous and healthier than one of my lonely walks. Admittedly she doesn’t play like old times. She knows how to kick it. She may walk past it toward the caregiver who points at it to remind her she was headed to retrieve it. She can kick it right at me. When we suggest she score a goal, she aims at the middle of the field. Only we notice missteps. She never does. She celebrates. She laughs. She walks and runs. She never loses her enthusiasm for being outdoors. For exercise. For friends.
Before we walked back, I announced Mary, a high school friend, was calling her at 11. They haven’t talked for years. Her face lit up. “She is?” She repeated her name and recalled her. The last smile I saw on her face was when I reminded her, again, Mary was calling at 11.

Exit mobile version