A few years ago, in the midst of one of the hardest few weeks my Mom ever lived through, she and I went to the grocery store. She told me on the way there that she needed to buy her favorite kind of ice cream.
Let’s be clear how hard this time was. Mom had lost her husband of more than 40 years, her best friend and life partner. He had gone off to work and hours later she was flying up the freeway to the hospital to discover that he was already dead of a heart attack. In that moment Mom lost her sense of security in life, and for a woman managing dementia, that is no small thing. Everything about Mom’s life changed in the moment. She had been a non-functional mess– understandably.
So we find ourselves in the grocery store and for the first moment in a few weeks, Mom looked actually happy as we headed over to find her favorite ice cream. She was in fact so happy that she started to do a little ice cream dance with funny swinging arms right there in front of the grocery store freezer. It was lovely, especially since Mom has always been a self conscious dancer.
Now, Mom will do an ice cream dance any time I suggest it and sometimes just spontaneously. (Of course, actual ice cream has to be on hand to inspire the dance.) Every time it makes me smile. It reminds me how we can all find something to celebrate even in the hardest of times. All of us have our version of an ice cream dance inside.