A-Shopping We Will Go

A-Shopping We Will Go

We moved on to the checkout counter.

“Hello!” Fred said to a checker named Keta, who helloed back and exclaimed over what a large load of groceries we had. “The larder is bare,” Fred explained. 

I was paying for the food when a tall 70-something woman in a ski cap and heavy coat joined the line.

“Hi!” Fred said. “Another aquarium person.” He had been a volunteer at the Oregon Coast Aquarium for years and still went there on Tuesday afternoons even though he could no longer do his job as a docent.

She stared at him, confused. “I guess, sometimes.” She had no idea who this man was.

This was how it was going to be, wasn’t it? I’d never know what he might do or say next. 

The lady with the pageboy leaned over from the next counter. “I enjoyed your singing at church last Sunday,” she said to me. 

Oh yes, that. My other life. “Thank you so much,” I said. 

Fred stared out the window, his eyes watery, oblivious to the $153 total.

In the truck, he assured me the woman behind him was an aquarium volunteer. “And the man behind her, too.”

“Uh-huh. Did you have fun at the store?”

“Oh yeah. Can I go again?”

“We’ll see,” I said, sounding just like my mother. “We’ll see.”

I wouldn’t wish Alzheimer’s on anyone, but in a way I was jealous because, like a child, my husband could see the fun in a simple trip to the grocery store. 

Related: Alzheimer’s and Other Senior Dementia

Sue Fagalde Lick’s memoir “No Way Out of This: Loving a Partner with Alzheimer’s,” is available now for pre-orders wherever books are sold.

Sue Fagalde Lick New Books in 2024

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