It seems that in the past several years, we seem to be out of town on her birthday (which was yesterday, January 2nd.) We made sure we made it back into town in order to celebrate it this year. I bought a cake with lots of colors that I knew she'd like. And just in case she forgot what was happening during our little celebration, I had the lady in the bakery write on the top, "Josephine is 88"
We arrived during her dinner and sat and talked with her for a while. I showed her the cake and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her. She didn't want to wait until she was finished to taste the cake.
And since she doesn't really need anything...or remember that she needs anything, I gave her a manicure as a present. Her nails had been growing out of control and it seemed to be a gift of love.
I took many pictures of her while I was there. I had got a new camera for Christmas by my SIL and was trying it out. So many pictures seemed to show too much (that her nose was running a little that I didn't notice while there or that she had spaghetti sauce on her lips) so I appreciated that the best picture of her smiling was this one. It is the one where I said to smile and show off your hands (that I had just applied clear fingernail polish on.)
I talked to her and reminded her that she was 88, had been born in 1923, and that it was her birthday. I can't stand what Alzheimers does to a person. At one point, I said that I had been in her life almost 30 years and she was just like my mom. She seemed to hear and smiled and said, thank you. I don't know if she understood...but I'd like to think that she did.