I am in Plymouth with my dad/papa for the month of April. When I arrived the other day, he immediately told me his list of things he wanted me to get done while I'm here. I said ok we'll see what we can get done. Already had the plumber to fix a leak and provided him two additional projects. Now I need to contact the electrician. Dad is busy cooking Easter dinner - yes it's early, but he wants it prepared. When my dad gets an idea in his head there is no stopping him (hmm I think I can get like that too). He is making a boiled dinner with kielbasa for Easter as my mom did NOT want ham or anything too heavy. Today he had us driving store-to-store as he looked for a large electric roasting pan. I said you have a crock pot can't you use that? He said it's not big enough for a complete family dinner, I want to use a large roasting dish so everything can be cooked together - I know what I want and I'm going to find it. He then remembered that he had purchased four of these pans for the friendship club here in the community - as he was the chef previously. Off we went to the community building so he could borrow one for the weekend. When we got home he immediately cleaned it and then started cutting and peeling vegetables. He will not let me help at all.
My mom looks good and as any one with Alzheimers, has good days and bad days. Her appetite goes up and down, but usually because she gets tired of the food in the nursing home. Yesterday I brought in clam chowder, fish chowder and a fried whole belly clam plate with french fries so we could all have lunch together. I have not seen her eat that much in a long time. She cleaned up the bowl of clam chowder and then she kept reaching over for clams and fries. She then ate her dessert. She was quite happy and ready for a nap when we left.
With my dad losing his hearing and eyesight many times he feels less than independent. The other day we went to Best Buy as he wanted a new part for a stereo and ended up buying a new stereo. So I lifted up the box and carried it to the front of the store (we did not have a cart). He just looked at me and laughed. He then said to me - you really know how to make me feel foolish and like a little kid. I said sorry I was just carrying the box. He said I know you are strong, but to have a woman carrying this big box while I just walk looks silly to people. Since then I have been trying to take a step back and let him take the lead. I did not even think about how it would make him feel - I definitely need to be more conscious of that. What are you thoughts on this? Have you ever thought you were helping, but it turns out the other person was upset by your actions?
Did you ever think about what your role might be in the family? I do sometimes. This comes up at the nursing home because my mom will say I can't help her because I'm not a nurse or my sister. I can do paperwork and get things done, but not help her directly. She'll say Marion (my sister) can do that because she's a nurse. My dad did this yesterday. He said to me, when I go to the VA in Boston are you taking me or your sister? I said probably me and he said well I thought your sister would take me because these are doctor appts and then you can visit your mom that day. I said we'll work that out later. Do you have a role in your family?
A funny story about perceptions that happened today. My dad and I went to a local restaurant for breakfast. There were two older gentlemen sitting there that reminded me of retired bookies or mafia men ...not sure which. Any way, they had their leather jackets on and hats (which they never took off) and were talking away about local businesses and the people in the town. I was busy listening as my dad and I hardly talk during breakfast as it makes him uncomfortable. Any way, I'm listening away and suddenly the conversation changes to art. I thought am I hearing this right? They were discussing Warhol, modern art, pop art and expressionism. Again, not the conversation I was expecting to hear and I started laughing to myself about judging a book by it's cover. How are your perceptions?
I did start back at the gym here and went most of the week to keep my progress going. I saw quite a few of the same faces that were there a few months ago. I can't believe it's been three months since I was in this gym. I also want to start walking in the afternoons after we get home from the nursing home. Hopefully, it will refresh me as I feel so tired by the time we get home all I want to do is nap (although I have not yet). Plus, I feel when I'm here all I do is eat. I find myself constantly munching - working on curbing that. Are you taking care of yourself?
I read a couple of books this past week to reduce the backlog - mostly James Patterson mysteries. Earlier today I finished reading: "Sunset for Pearl" by Elizabeth Sabin. It's about two sisters and their dynamic lives. It was such a good book, but I knew it would bring tears so I would not finish it at the nursing home. I waited until I got home and shed a few. It was very well written. This is book one of the Lafortune Family Chronicles so I need to find out if the next edition is available. What are you reading?
I am going to end it here for this week. I wish you Happy Easter and Passover. Enjoy your week. Take care of yourself and others. Chat soon. Marie
"A person does not have to be behind bars to be a prisoner. People can be prisoners of their own concepts and ideas. They can be slaves to their own selves." Maharaji
"You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle." Paulo Coelho
"Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all." Unknown
Referrals are always appreciated.