Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday's Visit

Today was a good day. Sun shining brightly, a bit of nip in the air. When I got to the Garden all the residents were in the day room sitting in a circle doing yoga. Elbert had tired already and was sitting with his eyes closed. Oh, how often he does that!! But, when I walked up behind him he leaned back and said 'I love you'. Major!!! He hadn't even seen who it was. Hey, wait a minute... maybe he thought it was Louise. Just kidding. 

The director, Martha, said he'd had a great morning and then she started singing 'The Old Rugged Cross'. 
'On a hill far away'.... then she paused and Elbert picked right up and carried on.. 'stood an old Chevrolet'. Don't ask me where that came from but it drew laughter where laughter is much needed.

We sat on the couch after yoga just enjoying each others company. He'd talk some, mainly about his 'work' and about the 'children'. Subjects so familiar to him in years gone by. In awhile daughter Shirley came down the hall. He took a minute to focus then said with a smile, 'Shirley'. Recognition!! Yippee. Yes, he was having a great day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'll do it myself

I sure miss Elbert's positive nature, his whistling, his happiness at nothing and everything, his love and caring. I sure miss a lot of things. Besides all those 'nice' things that he was, I miss all those little jobs he did for us like

Taking the garbage out
Getting our taxes done
Making us a garden so we'd have veggies to eat
Taking the car to be serviced and gassed up
Mowing the lawn
Digging holes for planting plants or for removing dead ones
Running to the store when I'd need something
Weeding my flower beds
Washing my dishes for me
Helping me with the driving on a long trip
Always getting our mail for us
Helping pay the bills
Washing the car
Raking leaves in the Fall
Bringing in all the Christmas decorations from the storage building
and much, much more

Now I do most of these chores by myself. The life of an Alzheimer's patients spouse is a lonely one, a sad one.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


A quiet celebration. A big milestone. # 80. He was very subdued and silent when we gathered in the private dining room electing to keep that head down, eyes closed... to shut out the fact that something was required of him to be aware of his surroundings, to be a part of a world that he can no longer figure out. 

The dancing devil doll that Shirley gave him brought him out of it for a bit... The thing was loud and silly and such fun, lights flashing in it's cheeks, hips and arms twisting to the music 'Do You Love Me'. Enough to bring a smile to his face and a glimmer of fun into his eyes. 

A birthday card from his sister in law that yodeled also grabbed his attention. 

The lap throw daughter Marie had made for him with a fox hound, hunting horn and fox on it seemed to get some appreciation. 

There was a pretty shirt and socks, and balloons, too. And, a cake Shirley had made. 
The food was good. I mean, that man does love to eat and he wasn't about to turn down fried chicken, green beans and potato salad. He even had room for a piece of chocolate cake and ice cream. By this time he was tiring, his tummy full. 

I asked grandson Ken to help me get him back into the Garden (the memory wing where he lives now) We sat him in a chair in the living room. A few moments later as Shirley and John walked by she threw up her hand and called, 'Hey Dad'. 'Hey Girl' he responded 'What you been doing today?' The birthday celebration had already escaped his memory. But, it will live on in our minds and hearts for a long, long time.