Saturday, January 31, 2009



He got up early, looked around with confusing old eyes.
I knew in an instant that he was concerned.
Something was bothering him and he did n’t have a clue what it was.

I had told him last night that today was going to be a day in the
“fun house” (read: day care). That is where you go to listen to
music, make friends, eat lunch and have fun.
He had growled like an old bulldog.
Fell asleep and now woke up to trying to remember.

I have tried all sorts of devious and obvious scenarios with
the introduction that a bus will come and you go for a ride
to day care.

He is not happy about this.
Mind you he returns beaming and laughing and waving at
the other stiff little soldiers in the bus. They do not know
anything about this waving man and yet they too talked to him
minutes ago.

The Alzheimer/dementia world is a tricky one.
We can’t follow a pattern. It does not exist, what one does all the time
the other never had that experience. There are similarities, of course,
but the moods are different for every one.

This morning I have decided on yet another lie.
I sit next to him at the kitchen table, he is counting the tiles and
caressing the blue birds in the patterns.
I try and get his attention. The eyes come in focus towards my face
he has no glimmer of recognition this morning.
I tell him that soon the bus will come.
Bus? What is that? He asks.
Well, the bus that takes you to WORK.

Silence. The eyes are racing around the room.
The brain is trying to get one word from this whole sentence.
I continue :”You see, honey, you probably do not remember
but you go to work every day and thanks to you I can pay the bills”
So soon the bus takes you to work.

Work? do what? he asks but he is interested.
Well, I explain, I am not sure I think you help with dishes or
setting the table like you do here.
I did get a phone call and they tell me that you are the best
worker ever.
Oh, Oh. A smile forms on the wrinkled face and he again
tries to focus on me and what I have to tell him.

I elaborate about how proud I am of him and how well he is
doing at work.

Beep, Beep! The bus is there.
Here you go, honey, do a good job like you always do.
I put on his coat and he looks at the bus in the driveway.
I march him to the driver who tells him to hurry up
it is cold outside.
He shakes hands with the driver and smiles.

I am doing breathing exercises , it worked, it helped,
he did not fight me on it today.

I go inside and check my TO DO list. I crumble it tight
and throw it to the puppy who can obliterate paper better than a shredder.
The hell with the list, I have the rest of my life to do the closets
and clean that garage.
I sit and write my blog for the day and I am happy.

4.30 PM. Beep Beep
the bus is there, I run to meet him , he ignores me, he waves at
the people left in the bus, one old lady waves back, the men sit
like stone statues and do not move.

He turns around and the eyes are dancing, he is having fun.
Turns around waves again at his audience and comes in to
greet the menagerie of dogs.
I say: “Did you have a good day, dear?”
“Oh, yes. I sure did”
“What did you do ? Did you dance? was there music today?”
“ I can’t remember anything”
“ You went to work, dear, thank you for helping me and going to work”
“I did? OK”

Let’s have some cookies , shall we?
He turns around and kisses me on the lips, OK , so he knows me
this moment.

It worked, perhaps if I do this tactic tomorrow he will go willingly
to the “fun house” or “work place”.

I noticed that he tries to talk more , he has been there for about 3 weeks.
Still struggles to leave but he is better in his speech.
He needs to be with people even if they do not understand him and
he does not understand what the heck they are talking about.
Sitting at my kitchen table all day is not healthy for him and lets face it not for me and now I have so much freedom I feel like a baby eagle who just started
to fly and knows there is a whole big sky out there.

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