Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday with Saiko

No creativity today, unless you count making my own Americano with my new Espresso maker. That was a delicious work of art! No, Sundays are usually devoted to grocery shopping, cleaning up around here for the coming week, and having lunch with the in-laws. It's definitely a family day.

My mother-in-law, Saiko, is 88 and has recently been diagnosed with the advanced stages of Parkinsons. Sure, we knew she had the shakes, but we have discovered it's so much more than that. Before you feel badly for her, realize that finding this out at her age is actually a very good thing. The medication she is taking (Sinemet) can have some powerful effects to improve her condition and she can eventually take a strong dosage which will have even greater effects. After taking it for one week, we are seeing her walking better, her eyes are brighter, and her strength is coming back. We are feeling very encouraged. And to think, we were thinking she might not make it to Christmas this year. I have a feeling she's going to be around a long while yet.

Today after lunch I played a little brain-game with her. Sort of like the shell game but with three playing cards, one of which was the Joker. After showing her the three cards on the table, I turned them face down and began with a simple scramble. She found that Joker right away. She said it was too easy. I increased the scramble difficulty little by little, and when I found I couldn't stump her, I called in my husband Paul and had him give it a shot. She simply didn't miss. It was pretty impressive. Her only comment was, "I guess I'm not coo-coo yet."

My father-in-law, on the other hand, didn't make it to the second round. He's got no condition, other than being just a silly old guy.

Saiko is a pretty remarkable human being. No, she hasn't done anything especially amazing in her life. She's lived a rather sheltered, private and humble existence, and has been perfectly content. She still doesn't speak great English after all these years, and tells me that she still dreams in Japanese. At 88 she has never been on any medication up to now. Her complexion is wonderful with little to no wrinkles. (She's swears by Vaseline; her face cream of choice.)

She hates getting her picture taken, but I took this of her today. I told her she didn't have to look at the camera and although she still didn't like it, she fussed with a grin on her face. I find her to be such a pleasure. I hope you can see how special she is.


  1. "I'm not coo-coo yet!" tee hee. How precious is that! Wow, do you think it's too late for me to use Vaseline? Her skin is so beautiful!

  2. What a great tribute to your mother-in-law. My mother-in-law was my best friend for years. She has been gone 10 years now and I miss her today as much as the first day.


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