Oh my! That is wonderful news...I'm just remembering not too long ago that you were just hoping for a look of recognition...now he's actually remembering and communicating with you regularly! I'm so happy for you all.
I do understand the EXACT thing you're talking about as far as him almost re-living the life he used to lead. Tammy still does this; I think it's because right now she's stuck in one place so she relies on her memories (many from our childhood) to keep her going until she can get up and make some more.
I'm also happy to hear that you got to spend a birthday dinner with your mama. I'm sure she really appreciates the time you take with her! You all sound like a wonderful family and I'm glad I've gotten to meet you...even if it is just on-line (FOR NOW