When I got there Kristi was in line for evening meds. From what I've been piecing together, Kristi had a brain tumor when she was young and that is what caused her loss of eyesight, slight facial paralysis and cognitive disabilities.
Paul was pushing her wheelchair. Paul and Kristi have been dating now for the last few weeks. Paul, like everyone at the assisted-living facility, has his own cognitive disabilities, mild MR as best I can tell.
I'm not sure as to the extent of their relationship, but Paul seems very solicitous and attentive to Kristi. Which I'm grateful for. Early on, I think Paul was a bit wary and jealous of me, assuming that my visits to Kristi were romantic gestures. But I've won him over and he's becoming a friend. When I visit, I visit Paul as well.
We go to Kristi's room because she wants to show me the picture she got in the mail of her new niece. The picture is beautiful. I describe it to Kristi. She then offers us some hot chocolate. Paul and I agree. Kristi searches under her bed to find the packages she's hidden there. Kristi hides stuff because people often take things from her.
She comes up from her search under her bed with three packages of hot chocolate. The three of us go to the dining area. Paul gets me a mug from the kitchen and finds his regular glass along with Kristi's. He mixes the hot chocolate with lukewarm water from the tap which is too cool to dissolve the mix. But it doesn't matter. I thank Kristi for her generosity in sharing and Paul for his kindness in making it for me.
And so we visit, the three of us. Talking about the weather. About what we did that day. About life at their facility.
I mention that my birthday is coming up. We talk about birthday cakes and what we like. We discover that all three of us like pound cake. I tell them that on my birthday I'll get a pound cake and bring it over so we can celebrate. That, it is agreed, is a splendid idea.
And so we visit at the end of the day, sharing stories, memories, worries and some laughter.
The three of us, sipping hot chocolate.