Saturday, March 30, 2024

All Because of a Diet Coke 25/31

In December we placed my mother in a memory care facility. At that time, she was addicted to Diet Coke. Many times, she would forget to eat, but she always had a can of Diet Coke in her hand.

Diet Coke was also the reason she was placed in a behavior unit. She was in her room with her recliner and her mini refrigerator stocked with her own Diet Coke. As she was getting up to get one, a nurse told her to sit down.

I know you don't know my mother, but no one tells my mother what to do. She has been too independent for far too many years while working in a male-dominated field for someone to tell HER what to do. 

That command didn't sit too well with her, and she became "violent." That started a downward spiral in which my mother has never fully recovered from and sadly never will. To this day, she can't walk on her own, she can't feed herself, and she can't carry on a full conversation. All because of a Diet Coke.

Today on my way to see her, I thought, "What if I take Mom a Diet Coke today? Would she like that? Am I starting something I shouldn't be?"

I pulled into the McDonald's drive-thru, still debating on whether this was a good idea or not. As I approached the speaker to order, I almost pulled out of line. But at the last minute, I decided to order her a small Diet Coke and me a Diet Dr. Pepper.

I pulled up to pay, and the cashier said, "Did you order the drinks?"

"Yes, I did."

"No charge today. The man in front of you paid for them."

When I gave Mom her first drink in almost three months, her face lit up, and she smiled and said, "That is good."

That man will never know how much joy he brought into the world today...all because of a Diet Coke.

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  1. Wow, there is so much going on there. You bring the reader in by your unsurity of if you should bring the diet coke, and then the act of kindness. It really shows that perhaps, it was meant to happen. Thank you for sharing about your mother. It must have been hard to write, but gave us the context to make this story more powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. That person will never know the tremendous effect his/her act of kindness brought about. It is hard to see someone we love decline. arjeha

  3. That kind gesture came at just the right time. I loved reading this poignant post about your mom and how you centered around her love of Diet Coke.

  4. I am so sorry for what you mom had to go through, all in her own space. Paying it forward was such a kind gesture. My dad struggled in the personal care room we had to move him into when the facility determined he could no longer live in the independent living apartment on his own. Thank you for sharing.

  5. We never know what our acts of kindness can mean to someone else. I call this a tender mercy shown to you today and a tender mercy of a daughter extending something to her mom that she knows her mom loves. I'm sorry for this difficult time you're experiencing.

  6. This story is so wonderful in the face of such a difficult time. Praying for you and your mom.

  7. Oh Leigh Ann, your story pulls so hard on my heartstrings. It's sad to know a nurse refused to let your mother get up. Ugh. I think that would be so infuriating. Isn't funny how someone can really be a blessing. I'm glad your mother was happy to have the diet coke. Thanks for sharing such a sweet and touching moment. I'm sorry your mother has to be in a memory unit. Hugs.

  8. My mom has Alzheimer's and it sounds like our moms are two peas in a pod. I fear my feisty mom may be kicked out of the place she's in...just as her money runs out. :/ I LOVE the joy a sip of Coke gave your mom. And, the random act of kindness makes it even more special for you. What a story to treasure. :)