I have given thought to changing the name of my blog, because, although I am still passionate about the polar regions, travel and theatre, taking care of my nonagenarian curtails my personal activities. A statement of fact, not a whine, I stress. I haven’t made the change, because inevitably, my life will return to what it once was. That will be a sad day indeed.
Today reminded me of that inevitability. Once a month a friend comes to visit. That is a big event in a nonagenarian’s life. Most of her friends are no longer with us, and of the ones that are, today’s friend, unlike the others, lives nearby. I do whatever I can to facilitate social opportunities with her peers. Sometimes one just has to talk to someone who gets it. I certainly don’t.
The day began with the last minute scurry to ensure everything is in place for the luncheon my Nonagenarian was hosting. I chivvied her to get dressed earlier than normal in her daily routine. About an hour before the guest arrived and a few minutes before my departure, (I always leave them to chat in private), she toddled into the kitchen attired for a tea party . “What is all this in aid of” was her question. The coming visit had slipped her mind completely, although 30 minutes before she could have told me what was for lunch and who was coming.
That slip of short term memory has been increasing. More and more, I have to remind her of something we talked about only a few minutes before. She remembers her childhood and the trauma of WWII vividly, but that she was having company for lunch today, that was a blank. She is aware of her befuddlement. She is afraid of it, and embarrassed by it, and I am guilty of exacerbating her anxiety.
I hate that I am as much a part of the problem as I am a solution to the problem. I do not want to be THAT person, oblivious and short-tempered. Just as she doesn’t want to be THAT person – befuddled and confused.
Well-meaning folk suggest that it is time for her to enter a home. Her doctor thinks she is better off with me than the alternative, despite my short-comings. I believe she is too. The day I surrender her to the care of others will be a black day indeed. Don’t get me wrong, I know that in the future a home may be the best way to care for her. I expect there will come a time that my siblings and I will agree she needs more than I can give her. May that day be far off.