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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Texas bound

We're heading to Amarillo today. I always love going to Texas. Maybe it's a natural pull that calls us all back to the place of our birth.

But then again, those who have lived in the Lone Star State and have roots elsewhere say they always feel CONNECTED to Texas.

I've been remiss in visitng my dad and mom. I think it was intentional. My dad, now 78, has grown frail. Dementia has become to cloud and distort his personality. That scares me.

I think I want to remember my dad when he was strong, when he spent his days outside working on the farm (in the yard, after he retired) or building the wagons and furniture that he enjoyed creating.

But lately, it's hard to hold a conversation with dad. He doesn't even venture outside that much anymore because he's afraid of the frequent falls that result in trips to the hospital lately.

So it's also with trepidation that I travel to my parents' home. There's a lump in the pit of my stomach. It's fear.


V-Grrrl said...

Hard to see our parents' health failing. My parents died within weeks of each other when I was 30, and I can tell you no matter how old you are, you never cease wishing for and needing your parents.

Seeing them frail is also a reminder where we're all heading--naturally, we want to turn away...

Sherrie said...

Hugs, C. I hate dementia. My grandmother slipped into the fog this August, and now, it's hard to visit her.

You never know what you are going to get, but it is rare that she's in the 21st century any longer. More likely, you end up playing a role of one of her friends or family members during the 1920s-1950s.

If you need to chat, just call. I'm going through it now, too, and it sucks royally. But even if he doesn't realize you are there, he needs you to be there.

Gina said...

I'll echo what Sherrie said, and add this: You need to be there for yourself, too. The last time I saw my grandmother alive (Dad's side), I didn't want to be there. I wasn't in any denial over her condition; I knew she didn't have long, and I knew she didn't recognize me anymore. But it made me so sad that I couldn't face it.

Mom made me go, and I'm glad. I needed to say goodbye to Grandma in my heart, at least, and make peace with the situation. That experience has helped me make peace with death ever since.

Hang in there.


CISSY said...

Thanks all. It's a natural part of life, and part of the fear is seeing "our future". Seeing my dad so frail, and holding on to stuff is hard. But my dad's still there. We took them out to dinner and I kept grabbing hold of his arm, giving him mine to lean on and he very pointedly told me, he could walk by himself. The dementia with my dad, is not so much "forgetting" things, but more in the changes in his personality. I'm glad I went home, I'll go more often.

Anonymous said...

I'm all with Cissy's comment. My Dad has Alzheimer's. I called him the other night and he didn't recognize his wife's, my mom's, name. I don't know who you're talking about, he said.

It sucks, but the least of my worries is how "I" deal with it. He's here. He's alive. He's different. I will see him as often as possible. Not freak out about dementia he can't control. He's still a great joker and lover of company.

Of course, that will change. He is likely to become combative and angrily confused. I'll be open-minded, and protective of his misguided behavior, when it comes.