I went to see Miriam last night. Not sure it was a good idea.
When I got in town yesterday I went straight to the IOOF home where Miriam lives. She was not angry to see me, nor particularly happy either.
She was sitting in a big recliner watching the pictures on TV (she cannot follow any plot anymore). I had them put her in her wheel chair. We visited and I took her outside for a walk. It was OK, though she slept through most of it.
Last evening I went back. It was about 6:30 and they had her in bed already. As I walked in the room she was hollering "Arline." "Arline." "Arline." etc. (Arline is our oldest daughter and her #1 caregiver the last two years.)
"What do you want Arline for?" "I don't know."
I might have settled her down and I might not have. I had a friend with me, and we did not stay long.
We did not do anything that made me happy and I don't think we did anything that made her happy either. When I asked her about her dinner, she said they did have food in the home, and when I said that NO, they feed her 3 times a day, she was not convinced.
So I come back and ask? Why do I visit? Not for her really and not really for my bank of memories of my dear one.
I do it because I should I guess. I am not sure how often driving 500 miles to do that ritual is worth it for either of us.
The guest of honor was James, age 4. His sister Maddy was there as well as 4 of their friends, three girls and three boys.
The party was the 2nd party for James. This one was a setup with all sorts of neat little paper goodies for my daughter's blog: liagriffith.com.
But it was a blast (and a lot of work). It is like doing a wedding where we furnish the preacher, take the pictures, cater the food, decorate the church and the reception site. Nothing to it - except a lot of work. And, like our pretend wedding, we did not provide the guests of honor, who were wonderful.
In this case it did not hurt that James grandfather was a prominent landscape architect and that this home and garden are his handy work, nor that James grandmother works about full time keeping the place looking like Better Homes and Gardens would arrive any time now.
To top off all of that perfection, the kids were fabulous and there were three very capable mothers hovering and helping (but off camera).
It was a long day but it was great. 6 year old Maddy invited me to her party in November!
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.