The Flaming Red Haired Pole Dancer {Dementia Diaries}

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My grandfather. What a trip. The older he gets and the more days that go by, I keep hearing the funniest, strangest stories ever. I often leave the Nursing Home and text my family asking if these stories really happened. The latest is his friend, The Flaming Red Haired Pole Dancer. My grandfather has been all over the place with his thoughts but has also been having moments of clarity. 

The Flaming Red Haired Pole Dancer

He apparently must have had a friend in his younger years that had red hair and maybe she was or was not a “pole dancer.” That’s how he described her. He was born in 1929 and supposedly, he met her before my grandmother but I am finding it hard to believe as they were married when he was 19 years old. I mean, was there even such a thing back then? Pole dancing? He described her in detail and I told him it was TMI.

He asked, “what was TMI?”

I said, “too much information.”

He laughed and said, “oh you are no fun.” -ha. 

The Flaming Red Haired Pole Dancer

He told my brother and his family this story and then told me the next day.

I stared at him with disbelief and cracked a smile and he said, “well Jessie, do you think I am making this up?”

I giggled and said, “no gramp. I am sure she was real.” 

Apparently he would visit her often as she danced around a pole. -haha. She was apparently his friend or maybe he wanted her to be his friend. I have no idea! He spent some time in the Army before he married my grandmother so I suppose it could be true. He said they saw a lot out in the world back then and maybe they did have such establishments. I have no idea! 

Did you see post last month where he introduced me to my “new mother?” Between my new mother and now the flaming red haired pole dancer, his imagination is running wild. Everyday it’s something new and everyday, he makes me laugh. I can’t help but wonder what I will do when he isn’t around anymore to make me laugh. I can hear my grandmother now from her grave say, “Oh FRED!” as he tells these stories to all of us.

As far fetched as his stories are (there are so many more I will share soon) they are his current world. It’s the world he lives in. I like this world better than the world he was in a few months ago where he was miserable, lonely and not happy. Finding the humor in his demented world is how are coping with losing him. Thankfully (knock on wood) he remembers all of us and remembers a lot of the stuff from the “way back” past. I am headed to see him soon so hoping he is in a good mood!

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Glad that he is in a happy state. I often think of my dear Auntie and the things she use to say.
    Enjoy your time with him and God bless you all

  2. That is great that your grandpa is feeling better and is able to joke around and tell stories. His stories make me smile!

  3. Juanita in OH says:

    My, my, my! I am with you Jessica, I wonder a great deal about the authenticity of his story…you never know. Thanks for the smile and stay warm. I hope the bad weather doesn’t do to much more damage. Cyber Hugs.

  4. Juanita in OH says:

    Sorry, I am going to bed because I am very sleepy – that is the explanation for my error, it should be ” too much damage”.

  5. Audrey Johnson says:

    This is wonderful. My mother struggles with memory and used to crack us up with some of her stories. She is no longer vocal.
    Enjoy the stories while he can share them and have a great laugh. His life sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing.

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