So much to think about, to contemplate, as summer comes to its height.
The other day he began his usual “Let’s go Babe!” The phrase still sends shivers down my spine from all the times I endured these restless fits of discomfort, sometimes backed by anger, over the years. But now the sentiment gives me a sense of pity too, as I look at him and he explains (the words slowly assembled in between generous garbled helpings of word salad), “There’s nothing happening here, just the people dying. Let’s go.”
This shortly after my doctor haltingly suggested that perhaps i didn’t need to visit so often, or perhaps I should consider looking for new companionship. That was part of the response when I blurted out, “Don’s gone!” and was somewhat appalled at my words spoken aloud, although I know I must accept this bizarre fate and get my head around it.
A few days later it was a good day, and he was happy to see me, cupping my face in his hands, asking, “Who is this?” Not recognising, or being able to pronounce, my name anymore. I remember how a dear caregiver friend at Seniors Peer Counselling shocked us when she reported that it gets easier in some ways when the loved one doesn’t know you anymore. And I accept the wisdom of her words. It does get easier, because you have truly done all you can, you have lost the battle against this disease stealing away your person, and there is nothing left to do but wait. And bear witness.
He did really seem to like the fidget toy I got him, asking for it at lunch — “where’s the thing with holes?” and making a circular motion. As for lunch, it was carefully mashed and mashed and mashed into one big mess, which, when finally tasted, didn’t please at all.