My parents are both still with me at the age of 86. I am very lucky in that regard. My father is doing relatively well; living in senior living but still able to meet life on his own terms. My mother has a dementia that’s likely genetic in nature. It seems to be a variant on a condition known as Pick’s disease. If you read back in family papers the older women all ‘become mute’ and lose their functioning as they enter late life. My mother, for the most part, doesn’t speak or seem to recognize much. But she’s healthy and flashes of her old self pop up from time to time. I’m very much my mother’s child. My brother is very much my father’s child. My sister marches to the beat of her own drum and always has. I miss being able to talk to her.
Dateline Seattle, Washington –
I was able to sleep in a little bit this morning before a leisurely breakfast in the dining room at my father’s senior living facility. Breakfast is not a popular meal there so it was practically deserted other than my father’s routine breakfast club that arises early. We then went out to see my mother at her facility. Her dementia has progressed to the point that she is often somnolent but today she was bright eyed and bushy tailed and seemed to recognize me as someone important in her life. She doesn’t speak, doesn’t usually have a lot of purposeful movement but today she kissed my forehead and held me and stroked my back of her own volition and it meant the world. I’m thinking that on some deep level she understood one of her chicks is in pain and needs a mother’s touch.
Ran a few errands this afternoon and have decided that this city has become far too crowded for its infrastructure. It’s nigh on impossible to get anywhere without a major traffic tie up. More and more apartment buildings are going up everywhere signalling even more people arriving. I think it’s turning into one of those ‘nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there’ areas. I had thought about retiring here in another decade or so to be close to what family I have but I don’t think I can afford it.
Spent some time with both my brother and my sister (who is working on a tattoo design. The black widow spider has been discarded) to catch up and saw the nieces who are both turning into elegant young women. Both sibs and my father are making the journey to Birmingham for the memorial next month so the locals can meet them if they so choose.
I am conking out early tonight. (The single malt may have something to do with this). I’ll try to think of an entertaining memory or family story to post tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll put up an old MNM column.