Monthly Archives: April 2017

Another birthday, another party

Despite my anxiety and angst, The Birthday turned into another party, because of the great staff at the care home.

When i got there, Don was a little querellous, and not interested in anything much that i had brought – a balloon, a soft stuffed rabbit, some coloured papers and a card. He seemed to think i was up to something (hmmmm, i was sort of annoyed at the time, but come to think of it, i guess i was!)

But we moved into cake mode and soon almost every patient and lots of family were gathered.

Don joined in singing Happy Birthday as the cake was lowered in front of him, stopping and throwing his hands out in astonishment when we got to “dear Donald.” This led to general laughter and lots of sharing, with a few more cards and staff drifting in from here and there.

Later we went for a walk, garnering more well wishes, and he expressed a few thoughts.

First, “83. …. I’m old!”

Then, happily, “Did you see? All the people came!”

It was a lovely little joyous party.


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The Birthday

With some shock i am coming to grips with realizing that Don’s birthday is in 2 days. And…so is the car insurance due! I have been avoiding all this and i don’t know why, really.

For years now i have been making a big deal of the day – parties, dancing, his children visiting.

Someone noted, when my own birthday passed almost unnoticed last month, “of course it was always don’s birthday we all celebrated .”

Yep. As I wanted it. And last year there was a nice party at the care home, but this year…i don’t know.

I don’t think Don understands a concept like birthday, now. Last year he was pleasantly surprised but this year? I guess i am a bit disheartened. One can only “keep up the side”(whatever that Brit expression means) for so long i guess.

All i know is that tears are creeping up and quickly dissipating. A campaigner phones for the election and i explain Donald cannot come to the phone because he is in long term care with severe dementia. I am almost casual about it, but later, once more, the tears come unbidden, and leave as quietly, because, perhaps, i am just cried out, worn out.

So what to do about The Day? (Ironically Easter Sunday this year). I am thinking to go shopping for cool stuff tomorrow – doodads that might amuse or entertain or enchant – i will look at the dollar stores (tricky because most of their stuff is not …. safe) and at the toy stores. And buy a soft chocolate cake for tea for everyone on sunday.

Don’t know what else to do. We’ll see how that works for him and for me.

The next day, when I walk into his room, still perplexed about the birthday issue, I had to say Hello several times, as he slowly focused on my smiling face. “Oh,” he said, “You’re lovely.”

As we hugged, he stepped back and looked carefully again, and asked, “What is your name?”


“Yes,” he said, “She’ll be coming later this afternoon.”

Later as we walked he said very clearly, “I just want my life back. I want to go to Slate Falls and stay there and that will be the end of it.”

“Soon,” I answered, “Soon but not yet.”

And came home and cried and cried.


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