Western education 2013

Sunday, November 13, 2011

.... Dancing with the elders...

... When you don't really know what to talk about to someone with Alzheimers whom you have known your entire life, it is often just best to keep things moving, lighthearted and loving.  My father's health is steadily improving and with the addition of antibiotics to combat a possible staf infection in the wound from his surgery, the tenderness and swelling should sort itself out.

Saturday afternoon, I took the two youngest kids and Max to visit my Dad in the afternoon.  The staff told us that they have a music lady coming at 3:30 and it might be fun for all of us.  Max and Mitchel drop Lydia, Dad and myself off after going out for coffee to Tim's.  Dad sure loves his sweets and he smiles broadly as he says thanks for taking him out.  Earlier when we stood in the now barren garden in the warmth of the sun, a train passed by to the south of us.  Dad thought it was a lovely view having the train run past the ocean like that.... where are you, I wonder as he grips my hand.  I guide him back through the doors and out to the van.... where have you gone?  Is it a place you grew up near, is it a place in your dreams?  You call me by name and you know my children but the photo of your wedding day is a strange one to you.  You shuffle with age but you are young.  You have vision problems but admire the beauty of my daughter's face.  You connect with strangers you barely know... and you know that you are slowly losing your wit.... where do you go when it becomes too much?

I wasn't feeling well today... it is Sunday and sadly, I have a lot of work to catch up with.  My sinuses are running and my temperature feels out of whack.  I am tired.  Yesterday I ran 2K and started the poolside practice in the morning.  I ache all the time but ignore the pain that will always be there.  My mother called last night.  It is rare if ever for her to call.  She wants to retire to a two room apartment and is unsettled that she might not get what she wants.  She hasn't asked about Dad but I offer her information anyway.  He is loving spending time with his grandchildren.  Lydia has started to hug him and he responds with a gentle laugh as he touches her face.  He is grateful that we are so close to him.  I am grateful he remembers us.  I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know him on a different level.  I have to sort out the truth from fantasy.  No matter how many times he tells me the same story, it is always met with fits of giggles and he warms to the notion that he has brought joy in his words.  The ladies around him find him charming.... he always could think quick on his feet and was always the entertainer.  God how I missed out on so much over the years Dad but I hope I am making up for it now when it really counts.

I love you Dad, good night.  I will see you tomorrow as I go looking for a place for you to call your last home.  I just want you to be happy.  I am hoping that we can get Mom moved down too.  At the very least, I can advocate for the both of them while they live close to us. xox

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