A new school year begins and I remember her love for the classroom.
As I see children return to school, I vividly remember the years that Elaine eagerly prepared for classes she taught. An early education teacher for more than 10 years, she knew how important it was for students to feel safe, secure and comfortable. Their personal and educational growth depended on giving them the best opportunity to learn and grow in mind and character.
When our now-adult children were young, Elaine wrapped them with the same sense of security and focus she did her students. It was important to her that they enjoyed the most comfortable surroundings to learn and thrive at school and at home.
Today, about 13 years into her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Elaine still worries about children. When she asks about ours, I tell her that they are at school and doing great in their classes. It puts a smile on her face and sets her at ease. By telling her that our children are secure and thriving in school, I can provide Elaine the same kind of comfort and security she did for children years ago. This is an example of “therapeutic fibbing” that I talk about in My Two Elaines.
To Elaine, school still means a place of comfort, security and safety, so she is worry-free and happy in that moment.
It’s never easy, but if she’s happy and comfortable, so am I.