He was snoozing in his lunch chair but the care aides were watching carefully and went with me to see him. He promptly stood up although he kept his eyes closed as we went to his room.
Occasionally he would stop and say insistently, Ma… Maah… I was confused but he looked awfully pleased with himself.
Oh! said one of the aides. He had the doll all morning. All was explained, We cracked up, and he grinned.
Never one to let go of a good thing, he happily stretched out in bed to a chorus of Ma, but as that clearly got less and less response, he began to snore.
He snored loudly as the nurse came in to give him his pain med and we fussed around, until she said, clearly, Don, I have some pudding for you.
Lo and behold the sleeper woke, to another round of laughter.
Well, that had worked so well he lay back down and continued snoring, an eye cracking open and a smile curving his mouth from time to time. Sometimes we got Ma! again and I would pat him in that ancient rhythm we use with babes to soothe them.
Eventually the snoring took over for real and I tiptoed out.
Can’t communicate? I think he did a great job, happily keeping us laughing and keeping our attention. Because he was with people – staff and family – who knew and liked him, and understood the pantomime.