08 February 2010

i can't express what a relief it is to get to be with my dad

[click image]

Tonight we went to the game room and watched The Apartment on huge-screen tv. We take laps around the building. We eat lots of dark chocolate and drink decaf and munch on cookies. We stop to sit in the great big comfortable chairs in the halls and chat. We go out on the patio when it's not too cold and smoke and chat. He does really, really well when there's someone there for him.

I can't even begin, truly, to say what a vast, if temporary, relief this is. I have been sick at heart for five months, knowing how abandoned and hurt he feels. Turns out a few of the people who work where he's locked up also realize he doesn't belong there... needs help with things, but doesn't need to be locked up with a bunch of screeching Alzheimer's patients who don't know who they are, can't hold a conversation, roam around saying daffy and/or extremely vexing things, don't give anyone a moment's peace. My father has been sleeping most of the time, not because his health is failing, but to elude the realities of where he's caged. He can leave that end of the building when I'm there, and I can take him out where there aren't maniacs bleating and aides hollering so that deaf people can hear them and walkie talkies beeping and blatting with inane conversations and orders floating out of them.

Tonight one of the nurses kept walking by the game room while we were watching the movie together, and smiling. After the movie, I walked him back to his end of the building, and everyone else was pretty much in bed, or settled down, and he could get ready for bed in relative peace. On my way back out the front door, the nurse stopped me and said, "God bless you for this. You are a good daughter."

I can't stand it that I almost certainly won't change my mother's cement cast mind, and I will have to go home again, too far away to come see him every day and take away some of the pain.

Old age is NOT for sissies.


  1. Shit. Tonight, when I was leaving, he said, "I guess I oughta be going with you." Just about killed me. I am dying of not having the money to take him away. I'd kidnap him, I swear I would. If I could take care of him, he'd be out of there and having a happy home to the day he died.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.