I played a little Bingo with Mom today. It is something that I do with Mom only a few times a month. When you mention the word Bingo to my Mom, her ears perk up, she tunes you out and then wants to know what time the game starts. No other phrase excites her more except for Wheel of Fortune or when we talk about her grandchildren Emme and Sophia.

I walk with her down the long hallway and prepare myself for the chaos. If you have never been to Bingo at a memory care unit, it may be difficult for me to set the scene but I will try. People LOVE BINGO!!

Everyone comes out of their room and tries to get the “Best” cards, which I think is so funny. Many people also play three cards at once. Did I say we were in a  memory care unit?

In the first 30 minutes, there will be ten false alarms for Bingo. No… make that twenty.

The person that calls the numbers has the patience of Mother Theresa. I am currently on my third cup of coffee trying to channel Mother Theresa and listening to the false alarms. I now know that I can’t come after work when I am tired.

Emme got slapped once for playing with the cards next to one woman. As a reminder, Emme is four and we had to move since the woman was playing “for keeps”. I have learned that she is just fine one on one, just don’t sit by her at Bingo.

People love the $1 prizes, when they actually win. Mom won a photo holder and it was better than any other gift I have given her.

When I watch Mom play Bingo, she is beyond focused. It is amazing to watch. She does not remember what she had for lunch, knows me by face but sometimes not by name but can totally concentrate on Bingo. She can actually tune the other players out and focus on her game. The brain is an amazing organ that receives, interprets data and is the basic control center. I wish I could get in that control center and tinker around. Fix what needs to be fixed and return her to her days of baking, reading, driving and helping others.

She has won some cheese and crackers this afternoon and she is happy. She has her coffee, crackers, Bingo, her stuffed dog Matilda and me.