I have guardianship of her, you know the stand before the judge, trade a pile of cash for a paper with his signature and a stamp or two, that kind. I naively thought that would cover all contingencies.
Our health care clinic says that the Social Security has the wrong date of birth for her and that I should check with the local SS office and straighten it out.
I entered a whole new world. I am not remotely anti government, but wow.
They don't recognize my guardianship. They don't recognize a POA. All they recognize is her signature. Right now she could sign her name, but that is a short term deal. The lady said I could take a paper home and have her sign it, even with an X, and bring it back in. I said I could do that right there.
She hesitated and said that would not work.
They gave me a form for getting a new SS number. That is the last thing I want or need. And, interestingly on that form there is no place for her to sign. I as her guardian was asked to sign.
Now my question. What am I to do long term. When she is really totally incapacitated, am I shut out of her records for the rest of her life? Do I forge her signature?
Her name is Miriam Bertha Spears Griffith Birthday January 18, 1937
These three portraits are of Josh my 4th grandson by birth, but at 6 foot 2 or more he is the tallest of the lot. Griffy his little brother is the only grandkid who has chance of catching up with Josh. TIme will tell if he succeeds. This is Josh's portrait (by his talented mother) before the Senior Prom at his high school.
Illogically I asked Miriam about it. She obsessed, but has no idea, of course.
She kept telling me that Fergie was in the garden, but he is a stuffed toy that vaguely looks like a humanoid frog and gardens are not part of his plan.
He was a gift from daughter number one for the teardrop trailer and he sits up in the corner of the galley carefully watching all that I do.
Still, he is gone. Not stolen. He was not taken in by the Animal Control person. He is right where I put him, but I am not able to find him. I will, but not today.
I found a picture of him, but he is slouched over in a very undignified manner.
One of the towns we drive through used to be two towns about a mile apart. There was Milton and there was Free Water. Along the way they joined into the long name of Milton-Freewater. During their festival days each year the name morphs into Milton Frogwater and Fergie the frog is the mascot.
So if you find a green frog with a very small back pack, who looks like he does not know where home is, let me know. In the meantime I'll look again in one of my studios.
I'll bet he is hiding in plain sight – right where I put him!
She was with her family in southern California when she passed. They had a service for her then, but she wanted to be buried with her husband, my uncle Wayne.
Wayne was killed in a car accident a bit before he was going to retire to live his retirement here in Idaho.
Today their 4 children came up for the burial of her ashes with her beloved husband.
Uncle was 12 years younger than my father and he did not have children until his late 20's, so his children and mine are precious close to the same age. Uncle was a pastor and health educator.
Aunt Barbara once calculated that they had moved over 40 times! She lived in our town for 14 years I believe, and that was the longest she ever lived in one place in her life. Her father was a pastor also.
So today I got to see cousins I don't see often. Though they were sure they would come back here for a visit some time, there really is no one here but cousins, and they don't know us too well.
I had the distinct impression that I would likely never see them again. They are good people, I am honored to be related.
We will keep in tough by email.
It was a beautiful spring day, a good day to honor Aunt Barbara's memory and to reconnect with cousins.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.