Saturday, April 10, 2021

My Father

 It's been nearly three months since my mother died, back at the end of January. 

In the weeks after her death, my brothers and SILs (who since I live six hundred miles away had to deal with everything) learned just how serious my father's memory problems had become. Apparently my mother had been covering for him for years.

Though in fairness, I think he has deteriorated a lot in the past year. It was during this past year that my mother began mentioning to me how much trouble he was having, and asking me -- after they visited -- if I noticed how different he was. (I did.)

In any case, my SIL and nephew took him to a neurologist, and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We've got him in an assisted living facility now, which luckily his combined pensions and Social Security will pay for. He's physically very healthy, but he can't remember things -- he still has trouble remembering that my mother is dead.

This is all very depressing, I have to say. My father was a brilliant man -- his intelligence, his mind, was his strength. Now he can't remember how to charge his phone.


Marie Howe


We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store   
and the gas station and the green market and   
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,   
as she runs along two or three steps behind me   
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.   

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?   
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?   

Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,   
Honey I'm sorry I keep saying Hurry—   
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.   

And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking    
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,   
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.



Bev said...

So sorry to hear this. I experienced something similar: my father can remember major life events, but when he started forgetting to take his medications and he lost the ability to pay his bills, we put him into assisted living. He loves to talk about politics and other topics but it's painful to see him struggling to remember common words. Hope you have a good supportive group of family and friends to help you cope!

nicoleandmaggie said...

*long distance hug*

delagar said...

Everyone except me and one nephew lives in or around New Orleans, so he's got lots of support, at least, yes.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

That is so hard. My wonderful, funny, loving grandfather died 15 years ago after a long, slow decline into dementia and it is just awful watching someone's mind slip away.

delagar said...

It's almost worse than my mother's death. He's here, but he isn't here. It's awful.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

By the time he died- and I think this is very common, even though it sounds terrible- we were all relieved. We'd said goodbye to the person we knew years before, and he was clearly suffering. I think I'd done all my grieving in advance.

heebie-geebie said...

I am so sorry to hear about your lovely father. How hard.

delagar said...

It really is.