Getting ready for
I have new luggage. I have new appropriate clothing. I have my paperwork in order. I have new boxes of contact lenses and a new pair of prescription glasses. I have made last minute appointments for doctor visits so I can get prescription letters for my medications. I have a 240 volt hair flat iron and hair dryer. I have dvd movies. I have downloaded music that contains an almost schizophrenic array from Disturbed to Frank Sinatra. What I don’t have is complete peace of mind and comfort about the move.
Tomorrow my father will be admitted to the Veteran’s Administration for a two week evaluation. It was all planned last week. During his stay his medications will be adjusted and his health conditions (of which there are several) will be assessed. I will use the two weeks he is away to make sure that my mom gets some much needed rest and that she attends to some medical appointments of her own that she has been putting off. She and I will also dejunk the closets at her house and toss out the vast and overwhelming collection of items that my father has managed to accumulate during his extended Alzheimer’s hoarding phase.
Tomorrow will be one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. Mom and I will walk my father into the Veterans’ Administration and leave him there. My mom will not want to leave. My dad will not want to stay. He becomes agitated if he is away from my mom for more than ten minutes. He will feel betrayed, I know, and the blame will be placed on my head. My dad will not be able to process the information that “it is only for two weeks”. He will think we have abandoned him. We have been told to leave quickly and quietly. No goodbyes. No see- you-laters. My mother will fall apart, I know. She has been falling apart a lot lately due to exhaustion, stress, and grief.. She no longer smiles. When my father was first diagnosed almost four years ago, I promised him that I would take care of my mother. I promised him that I would not let this disease take them both. I promised him that I would not allow my mother’s health to be affected adversely. I have to keep that promise. My dad is counting on me, and I will not let him down.
This past weekend my brother was finally able to see the ravages and the changes that have occurred over the past six weeks. He does not see mom and dad on a day to day basis; sometimes six months can go by between visits, although in the past year he has seen them more frequently- once every two months or so. His work has kept him away in
Tomorrow I will be a brick wall for my mom and dad. The day after that I will allow myself to cry for exactly ten minutes..