This may be the last road trip with my parents.
I had appointments in Kansas this past week. I like to take my parents along. Normally they stay in the hotel while I go out for my meetings. One of the reasons I moved back to Iowa was to help with their care. At first it was the paperwork kind of help. It’s amazing the amount of paper that rolls through the average senior citizens life. With a lot of small print and attempts to trick you. I’m still doing that.
Lately – I’ve spent a lot of time helping my dad be involved in the conversation. He has Alzheimers and serious heart problems. He takes more medicine that I thought was possible to take. He’s also diabetic, walks with a walker, has bad knees and a bad back. Dad is in constant pain, is goofy in thought and needs help getting up and down.
Did I mention he can’t hear? He does wear one hearing aid. He doesn’t like the second one because then he hears too much. I don’t just say a sentence one time. I say it at least three times. The sentence “Dad, we are going to Joplin Missouri” is heard by him as “Dad, we have Mexican jumping beans.” I’m spending a lot of time just on conversations.
This last week long trip has been just too much – for all of us. Dad is physically tired and mentally tired of trying to understand each of us. Mom – poor mom – is surrounded all day long by this form of mental madness, the slow deterioration of dad’s health. Me – I have not had time this week to do much of anything, except try to help my dad understand what is going on around him.
You know, life is like that. Your intentions to complete a project are often side tracked by every day events. How are you able to cope with merging of the everyday with your dreams and plans? If you don’t have the ability to work with what you are given – I’m afraid you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Me? I’m happy my dad is still alive. We will figure out how to take the one day trips, have the ongoing conversations and laugh along the way. I’ll take a lot of pictures on my trips and share them with dad. I’m still dreaming and planning and executing – because life does go on.
Deb – You are an amazing person and a loving daughter. As I mentioned when we met in Manhattan, we are dealing with this too with my wife’s father. It is tough. But as you say, life does go on.
Grant – thank you. You know you and your wife are in our prayers too. Yeah, we just keep on keeping on don’t we?
Cuz – bring your butt up here, bring Don – and let’s have a family day. I know we will see you in July for the family reunion! Love you much.
So sorry about Uncle Junior, I did not realize since my last visit with your folks that his illness has progressed so much. I will try to get up to see them, weather permitting, as soon as I can.
Take one day at a time and enjoy the time you have, it can be gone in an instant.