Monthly Archives: August 2020

Not Easy

Saying goodbye is hard. The staff where Don has lived for 4 and a half years have literally formed my Village.

Tonight i am grieving saying goodbye to some dedicated caregivers, and really decent human beings. We all know why it was time for us to “hit the road,” but the next bend is scary, of course.

And i will miss the sweet thoughtful kindness of those who looked after Don, and so many times held me as i wept uncontrollably.

The die is cast now, but it is a small beautiful Valley. My friends, be well, until we meet again, and I am sure we will.



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Hitting the Road

In 3 days, we, that is my love and therefore me, will move to a different long term home in the comox valley. It is very scary, and in many ways a great loss.

We have been at CVSV for 4 years and 5 and a half months. A very very long time.

We both have formed deep friendships with staff there and moving is scary and wrenching. Leaving home, leaving this village.

Losing those great caring caregivers could be the biggest mistake, among so many, i have made in this journey with Don. It is certainly painful to say, See you later. In my heart i deeply hope it is, See you later.

And we will see, or don will, i won’t yet due to Covid, the many talented caregivers we once knew and who moved. To a dementia-focussed non-profit home.

I know things go sideways in every care setting, so I am not expecting miracles.

I don’t know what to expect, except i think my live will thrive for awhile yet. And i remember how joyous he was in hospital last year. His spirit is strong.

But my gut and heart says, Now, and the opportunity is here.

I told Don in our last 30 minute meeting that we were going to move on. He seemed to have no comprehension – how could he?

But 15 minutes later he said, Is it time to hit the road, babe?

Who knows what gets slowly processed in these brains devastated by dementia?


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It is 3.35.

He comes slowly down the corridor, staggering a bit, hand held by the care aide, not distressed but not walking well, very distracted by all these new strange sights.

He is 5 minutes late for our 30 minute meeting twice a week. I am dancing on pins, wondering if i should bother the very kind folks at the front desk to phone back into the forbidden zone and ask? But there he is.

I come out to greet him and the care aide, facilitating, says, Oh look, here she is.

He says they left at 3.20. It takes a long while, and skill, to bring a severely handicapped guy through all these strange vistas he has never seen before, without triggering extreme fear.

As we go in to the visiting room, he has no idea who i am but i sound friendly and he takes my hand in his very very cold one.

We do stuff, and slowly his hands warm up. He happily sits (this sounds simple but involves a lot of suggestion, patting the seat, and him kind of roving around, finally asking, Sit here?) He looks and looks around the room we have been in many times before. More and more warily.

Now, my true love scared is a sight to beware —  even now i myself am slightly apprehensive — so I hand him the pool table wooden triangle hoping for a distraction, and he askes, To eat?

I say, er,

No, and try to interest him in making noises with it. No go.

He gives it back, not interested (that’s my guy!) and struggles up. We wander the room holding hands (yes same old room we have been in before, but each time new to someone with no working memory).

After awhile, out of nowhere, he stops and stammers, “i really really l-l-l-l lea-rned you” and bends down, holding me, quickly to kiss my mouth through the mask. Astonished, I turn my head and he kisses my cheek. For those 30 seconds he was intent, and then it was all gone again.

Disappeared into the dementia fog.

But for a couple of seconds, there was a beautiful happy smile in his eyes.

And so in my heart for the days until we are allowed to meet again.



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