Dad. Loves his trips out with all/any of his daughter-in-laws, son(s) and grandchildren. Likes to go for walks with all any of the aforementioned. REALLY enjoys a coffee and cake stop. Chats (OK, he repeats himself) and seems at ease. Then we drop him home.
Mum. Not yet back (she popped out to see a friend, to get some personal time, maybe just to have her hair done) and suddenly Dad frets. He wonders where she is? Asks that question every 90 seconds, despite being told she’ll be back shortly. We’re not leaving him, just got him back home, and Mum’s not there.
Dad. I never saw him as a dreamer, really. Yes, he joked about being the next Robert Redford. I joked he might find a part in Lassie. He didn’t really make stuff up though. Now, as with a dear friend who also has Alzheimer’s, he tells stories of people and places that I know for a fact he a) never met or b) never visited. Yet I am certain that as he regails me with the latest story, he believes with all his heart what he is saying is true.
Me. Appreciating what I have left of Dad. He still knows me. Recognises my voice. Not the man he was, and, worst of all, I worry that, at the moment, he actually knows that. Is that a bad thing to say? What should I wish for – a slow decline, a swift drop to a lower plateau, or a miracle?
Dad. Looking forward to a family celebration. As far as I can tell. We’ll see…