Monday, May 26, 2014

Helping others to cope? I can only hope....

I came home Friday after work and found the dog in the house, the television on LOUD and Gary's Trikke sitting inside the house by the front door. He was not there.  He didn't answer his phone because it was turned off.  The GPS was on the counter. 

"Diva, where's Daddy?" As normal, she always knows where he is....sort of....she went to the front door and then to the garage door and then to the front door.  Didn't make sense.  So, I checked the garage and his bicycle was missing.   All I could do was wait.

A few minutes later, as I opened the mail, I heard the front door being unlocked.  He was carrying his bike tires and was followed by a nice young man carrying his bike frame.  The man carried the bike to the garage per Gary's instructions.  He asked if there was anything we could do for him as his bike was not working so he was carrying his bike home from the store.  The man stopped to help him.  Gary offered him $10 for his trouble and after four demands, he took it and left. 

I asked Gary where he had been and he handed me his Raley's bag.  Hot salsa.  He had been making a late lunch and thought it needed salsa, so he went to the store.  There were two unopened jars in the pantry but he didn't think to look there. He decided he wasn't hungry.  I shared that it was not a good idea for him to go to the store without telling me and that he should wear his GPS and turn on the phone that resides on his belt.  He apologized and said that he didn't call me so as not to disturb me. We ate dinner and go ready a few things for our trip. It took me awhile to come down off that adrenalin rush.

The next morning, I packed our belongings, readied Diva for Camp Bow Wow and after quite a bit of frustration, we headed out.  We dropped off Diva at 10 and went to the grocery as I forgot to pick up our Granddaughter's birthday and graduation cards off the counter at home.  We bought her gift cards and went for breakfast.  I knew we had to be in Dinuba by around 2:30 because the party was to start at 3 and Heather had said we would need to give her a ride.  We entered Denny's, got a table right away and I mentioned several times that we needed to eat rather quickly and get on the road. 

"Okay, honey."  The food came rather quickly and we began eating.  Half-way through the meal, he started his newest odd behavior.  He slowly and methodically cuts up all the food on his plate.  Country fried steak, gravy, hash browns, rye toast, scrambled eggs, jelly, butter, pancakes and syrup.  Mixed up, over and over and over.  Oh, that is not small enough, cut it some more.  Mix some more.  "Gary, can you please just eat your food.  You will be hungry before we get dinner."

He finally ate every bite (usually, he takes half his chopped up delight with him to-go, but he didn't this time) and we were on the road by 11:30.  I was SO aggravated that it took me a while to calm down. As we started down the road, Gary switched out some compact discs and we started singing.  He really liked the live Rat Pack recording.  I asked him to play the drums along with the recording and he did.  We actually had a good time.  I drove way too fast to get there. 

We arrived in Dinuba at 2:15 so I hurried us to the hotel to check in.  The room was not ready.  I sent a text to Heather who said she would call us when the coast was clear. It was not till then that I realized the party was a surprise. I told the manager that we wanted to extend our stay for one extra night so we could spend more time with the kids and do some swimming.  I was looking forward to swimming with Gary.  We always liked to frolic in a pool. 

Heather called a few minutes later and said for us to come over.  We arrived at her apartment at 2:30.  I had left my makeup kit at the hotel with the manager.  I asked to borrow some makeup.  She surely didn't seem to be in a hurry.  She asked if we wanted something to eat as we would probably not eat until 5:00.  Somehow it came out that the party was around 5, not around 3.  She said she told me of the change....somehow I missed that fact.  Just one more frustration. I told her we were staying an extra day and she said that they were going to her other Dad's house for the day. So, maybe we should do something else on Sunday.....

Around 3:30, Gary looked sleepy, as did Alexander.  I suggested we go to the hotel and take a nap.  Of course, the room wasn't quite ready and we had to wait.  We finally laid down for a few minutes for a nap.  When the alarm went off Gary was confused about where we were.  I explained and he recovered quickly.

The party was fun and Samantha had a great time.  After the party, we went back to the room and planned our next adventure.  I told the manager we would not be staying an extra day and came up with the brainstorm (with the help from a party guest) that we should drive into Sequoia Park, see some big trees and end in Fresno at a hotel with a pool.  We invited the kids to go to breakfast the next morning. We slept well. 

Gary awoke at 5:00 and started talking.  I don't even remember about what but I do remember being aggravated that I wanted to sleep more.  He kept talking and I repeatedly asked him to be quiet but I did become fully awake and was frustrated.  He was too. We were both laying on our backs and he said, "This is just not working out. This is just not working out." 

"What is not working out?"

"You see, I have been married 28 years to the love of my life.  We have a great marriage and I am very happy....yet, I find myself laying here with you."  The contempt in his voice was unbelievable.  I was shocked.  What I had feared was happening.... I wanted to vomit.

"Gary, I am your wife.  What are you talking about?"

"What are YOU talking about?  Are you Ada?" 

"Yes, honey, its me."  He instantly clicked and realized what he had said.  He held me while I cried.  We fell asleep.  Two hours later I had to tell him about the event as he had no memory of it.  Perhaps I should not have shared it, but I needed my husband to understand how the dementia had hurt me.  I say the dementia hurt me because I know he would never hurt me on purpose. 

We joined the kids for breakfast.  I shared with Heather what had happened.  I don't think she knew what to say either.  After a nice meal, we headed out to the park.  We left for the park around 11:30.  He kicked off his sandals and put his feet on the dashboard and tapped his feet as we continued to listen to the cds.  Tina Turner, Blake Shelton and more Rat Pack.

To make a long story short, I drove for many hours yesterday.  We sat in line at the gate of the park for almost 45 minutes. After we got into the park, we saw the Big Trees, a black bear, a brown bear and lots of scenic views.  We thanked God for all he has done.
Gary at the foot of a giant Sequioa

As we got near the edge of the park, we got cell service again.  No Internet.  As soon as we got down from the park, I stopped to find a seafood restaurant in Fresno on my phone.   We found one and set the GPS.  I thought I could find a hotel with a pool after dinner so we could play.

We ate a descent seafood dinner and then I searched for a hotel.  I found one and called the 800 number to check vacancy.  The operator was in a foreign phone room and I had to spell Fresno three times.  I told her California twice.  She couldn't tell me anything so I decided to just drive to the hotel.  On the way, Gary and I had an argument over whether or not I had made reservations.  I explained that I had not made reservations due to her not being able to find the correct hotel.  The argument escalated to yelling because he would not back down.  By the time we got to the hotel, I was fuming.  I left the car running and told him to stay in the car while I went in and checked for a room.

Yes, they had a room and a pool.  I checked in and while doing so, Gary walked up behind me with all our belongings.  He had moved the car (remember, he has no license now), unplugged my telephone and locked the car.  I don't know why this infuriated me but it did.  In front of the clerk, I was very belittling. I hate that.

We walked over and looked at a horrible pool that was under an overhang, with no sun, no heater and no jacuzzi.  We went up to the room.  I was a wreck because I had not asked the right questions and had checked in.  So much for frolicking and fun.  It was too cold. 

Gary convinced me that it would be best to check out and find another hotel.  I had gotten so worked up from the argument that I was not thinking clearly.  Gary was right.

We went back down and checked out.  The plan at that point was to find another hotel nearby.  We entered the freeway and started North.  Gary got down on me about having made reservations and then changing my mind.  The argument started again because he was still saying that I had done something I had not.  It wasn't that he can't remember that upset me.  It was the fact that he can't remember, I tell him the truth and then he doesn't believe me and argues.

Needless to say, the hotel plan changed and I decided to drive home three more hours instead of "frolicking in the unknown hotel's pool".  On the road, Gary asked me how much he makes monthly from social security.  I answered and he got furious and said that I had told him a figure three times larger.  After telling him I had never said that, he became very angry and argued so much that he confused himself and then swore that I told him a third, fourth and fifth amount.  Each time, swearing I had lied to him.  We argued for almost the whole trip....ranging in topic on so many issues that I can't list them all.  I just wanted to escape and tried everything I knew to try and change the subject to something light, happy or just off the subjects he was obsessing over.  He then said that he was hungry.  I told him we would stop at our exit.  He agreed.

We go home at 9:50. That was a long, emotional and exhausting day.  Sure, there were fun  points but overall, I just wanted to go to sleep.  I slept until 10am. The dreams were non-stop and I can't remember any of them. He was awake and dressed when I woke up.

We went to lunch and yes, he spent a significant amount of time mixing his food.  The waitress was a sweetheart and made multiple trips to the table bringing first two tortillas, then extra salsa, then another tortilla and then a box.  He brought the food home.

We had a good rest of day. We never did get to swim. He watered plants while I grilled steaks.  We are watching television and he is sitting here waiting to read the blog.  How will he react?

Overall, it was a long weekend.  It was fun, loving, celebratory and cruel.  I am not sure why this is all happening to us but there must be a reason.  I can only hope that it is to help someone else learn something from us to help them cope.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

You are so mean to me that I don't want to kiss you goodnight.

Dementia is a cruel, viscious, ugly disease.....and we don't even have a bad case of it! 

Gary went to THE CLUB on Monday and Tuesday.  Most days he says he enjoyed himself but on some days, he does not know what they did, what he had for lunch, or WHY he likes it.  I know why he enjoys it...its because no one ever expects "normal Gary from the past" or for him to do anything other than enjoy others' company, do crafts or like the entertainment.  He said this morning, I sometimes think I should live there. 

I am still learning to live with the man who is not the linear, logical, overthinking husband from the past.  Here is where the "mean" comment orginated.

Yesterday, Gary was picked up at The CLUB extra early by Paratransit.  (No clue why).  He had an hour "layover" at the Target bus stop before E-VAN retrieved him and took him home.  He called me around 5:10 and said that he and Diva were walking around "the ballfields at the school".  I instantly presumed that he was at Franklin High School which is about a mile and a half from home.  When I left work for home at 6:20, I called him to see if he would start dinner.  He was still walking but said he was on the asphalt paved path near the house.  (almost home).  At 6:50, I was driving down the street behind our house and there were Gary and Diva.....I didn't ask any questions rather stopped and got them in the car and we drove the several blocks to home.

No issues......until....Gary noticed that he had somehow lost the flowers he had picked for me on his walk.  I have to learn to not ask questions. 

"Where did you stop that you might have left them?" 
"Probably at the water fountain in the park." 
"What park?" 
"I don't know.  Why don't you let me drive down there and I will find them?"
"No, honey, you can't drive. Thank you for picking flowers off the bushes, but you really don't need to go get them for me."  The truth is, I did not want to drive around the neighborhood with no real destination. He obviously did not know where he had been. Besides, the final performance show of American Idol was coming on and then the finale of The Voice was airing and I have followed both all season.

We ate dinner and then he started again, "Can we please drive to the park and look for your flowers?"  I pointed out that he did not know which park he was referencing and that we would have to drive to several parks and I did not want to do that.  The conversation suddenly became about him not being clear on where he had walked and NOT the flowers.  After about 20 minutes of him not being able to answer questions about how he got from the ballparks to where I picked him up, he was TOTALLY frustrated and demanded that I drive him to the park. (Ten after 8 and we got in the car)

I was becoming increasingly more frustrated and angry because I knew our ride was in vain.  It was getting dark and he could not tell me which direction to drive. 

"Where do you want me to go?"
"Turn right, then right and drive till I tell yout to stop."  Six miles later and way too far from the house, I pointed out that he could not have walked that far and that he was confused.  I told him  that he had said he was at the ballparks and took him there to find some recollection for him.  Nothing.

We argued some more and I realized there was no logic that was going to settle him.  I drove to three different parks in the neighborhood and nothing looked familiar.  I then suggested that we go home and look a the GPS application which shows breadcrumbs as a history of his location during the time when he was possibly picking flowers.  He agreed.

At home, American Idol was over.  The Voice was coming on when we fired up the laptop and located the application.  I showed him where he had been from 5:00 to 6:50 when I picked him up.  He could not understand the "map pins" on the computer as a history for his whereabouts.  He kept saying, "Show me where the parks are..." I showed him how to find the green sections on the map and how to zoom in and zoom out.  Keep in mind that this is a man who a few years ago designed an interactive voice response system and was a Windows 3.1 user.....he has just lost that part of his memory and skills. I cannot express in words the illogical, confusing expressions of thought I witnessed during that laptop experience. 

Around 10:00, I was so exhausted and angry that he was no longer trying to understand where he was or even why he was still sitting at the computer that I gave up on The Voice and begged him to shut down the computer.  I understood that I was asking him to give up trying to remember something that had become critically important to him.  He was frustrated and angry and I had started yelling due to frustration. 

I went upstairs and could not even find a "spoiler alert" that could tell me who won The Voice.  Nothing was going well.

He came to bed.  He continued yelling and I went back downstairs to take some Valerian Root for sleep.  Overwhelm consumed me and I cried for awhile.  After sucking up my emotions and clearing my frustration, I went upstairs.  While lying in bed he said,"You are so mean to me that I don't want to kiss you goodnight."

Let that one sink in a minute.  We have always lived with the motto of not going to bed angry with one another.  I guess we have outlived that one as at that point, I knew that sleep was important.  I rationalized going to sleep rather than having further discussion but saying, "he probably won't remember tomorrow anyway." 

This sign of the memories of the night before and all that transpired.  I need to learn how to stop it all before it starts to avoid the aggravation.  His mind just does not work that way.

Today, he called me during his layover at the Target bus stop to ask about the date of Father's day.  He was going to buy his dad a card.  I reminded him that Delmar was in heaven and he said, "well, then I won't buy him a card." 

I am still dumbfounded by his spirit for life.  We just need to keep him happy and not thinking about things that frustrate him. Maybe one day I will learn to do that without being "mean."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wow, what a fabulous weekend!

Wow, what a fabulous weekend! Our Saturday began at Carl's Jr. for breakfast on our way to the CLUB for a fundraiser. We got there after the day started but found lots of bargains at the "garage sale" portion of the "Country Fair".  My objective for the day was to spend the money I had allocated for the event.  (Their goal was to raise enough money to open one more day per month.  At a cost of $750 per day, that was an aggressive goal.  I'm pretty sure they surpassed their last year high but not sure.)

Gary spent the morning listening to the bands, socializing and getting a cool fish painted on his arm that matched his shirt.

I, on the other hand, hawked the silent auction tables and drove up the bids on many items.  Sure, I overbid on a few....but won lots of cool stuff.  Gary got into it at the end and helped me make sure we won all our bids.

He also spent some time doing the cake walk game.  He bought ten tries and boogied through each walk.  On the last circle, he won choice of a cake.  He chose a yellow cake with chocolate chips and chocolate frosting.  Its been a long time since we had a cake in the house.

We ended up scoring a cool hand-made quilt, an afghan, several gift baskets of soap, kitchen stuff, also a cool purse, two decorative plates, gift certificates to Chili's, Rubios, Brookfields and best of all, a personal tour of the California State Capitol by Assemblyman Ken Cooley.  I fell short of my spending goal by $250.00. 

I guess its pretty sad that my goal in the day was financial and Gary's was to have fun....well, I had fun too!  Erica and Ethan showed up and scored some great auction items last minute.
Ada Gerard's photo.

Next, we went to the salon to get my hair done.  Gary went with me and I gave him a credit card to go to Orchard Supply and Target.  He found his way to both stores and a coffee shop. He came back to the salon twice and seemed to have complete clarity.  He didn't buy anything.  For those who have followed the blog, not spending money on unwanted items is a new evolution!

We went back to Target and bought cards for Samantha's birthday and graduation.  No drama, no repetition, no issues with anything.  Praise God!

After a great dinner, we had some cake and watched television. I slept like a baby.

Sunday morning came and Gary got up early to make coffee and breakfast.  We had waffles and bacon and then readied for church. Going to church is always a joy but today, for some special reason, it was spectacular.  From the first note, the music was perfect.  Upbeat and full of praise!  It seemed as if everyone was SO excited to be there and praising the Lord!  The pastor's message was on discipleship and love.  I felt that love in that room was unbridled.

If you don't go to church or have a relationship with Christ, I pray that you find him.  He helps the stress melt away.....I hope I can remember that on days when I feel overwhelmed. Savior means more than stress reduction.

After lunch we came home and took a nap.  Gary seemed so settled all day. Diva got a great walk and we did some food shopping and had a great dinner of Parmesan encrusted tilapia and basmati rice with a drizzle of peach balsamic.  Yummy.

The only moments of tension all weekend came when Gary revisited the subjects of finding a property to buy to build his retirement center and going back to college.  Multiple times I reminded him that our grant team failed us in raising the $63 million were hired them to and never raised a dime and that I told them of his dementia diagnosis.  He got angry, so I changed the subject.  He seemed to accept it. 

He also frequently requests to go to college.  Many times, Heather and I have explained that he has dementia and probably would not remember much of what he heard.  He gets very angry about this.  Maybe I should let him go, but I am concerned about another failure.....may make his situation worse.

Since these are repeat stressors, I am not too upset.....the rest of the weekend was so positive!

Diva dug up an old piece of rawhide that was nasty....very soggy and nasty.  Gary is trying to dry it out in the oven.....the dog is going to like it....right.

I wanted to write this blog since it was such a good day.  Readers seem to often feast on the negative days...readership goes way up with drama involved and a negative blog post.  Its ok.  We are all human.

I hope there are many more positive days in our future in which to report.  But reality says that my readers will probably be satisfied with the less-than-positive makes better reading.  If anyone benefits from what they learn here, I know that this blog idea came from the Lord.  Thank you!

P.S. If you would like to give a donation to the CLUB, it is a 501c3 and your donation is tax deductible.  There are many who go there are much more reliant on the caregive respite than us.  Please help if you can. 

Mail a donation to:

Cordova Neighborhood Church, the CLUB
10600 Coloma Road
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Where are we going today?

This morning, Wednesday, I had an 8:00 meeting for my Chamber responsibilities at City Hall.  I told Gary last night that we needed to leave promptly at 7:15 so I could be on-time for my meeting.

At 5:45, he was standing by the bed, in his robe, demanding that I read an email he had gotten about thyroid performance.  He felt that maybe I am so tired because of the symptoms he was reading about in the email.  I was furious.  I was happy that he cares about me, but at 5:45 am, furious was a stronger emotion.  I glanced at the email which contained a 26 minute video.  After reminding him that I had an 8:00 meeting, he accepted that I would watch the video this evening.

We managed the 7:15 deadline for leaving home.  "Where are we going so early?" "Honey, remember, we are going to city hall for my meeting and you can wait in the office and I will take you to CLUB at 9:30, when they open."

After a few minutes in the carpool lane....."Where are we going?" "Honey, remember, we are going to city hall for my meeting and you can wait in the office and I will take you to CLUB at 9:30, when they open."

After a highway change and several other conversations, Gary asked if we were going to the chiropractor and then to the CLUB.  I told him that the chiropractor appointments are on Tuesday and that we were going....well, get the drift.

My intention was to take him through McDonalds for breakfast so he could eat while I was in my meeting, but traffic did not allow.  (Glad I never mentioned that!)  He chose to stay in the car and read his book instead of going to the Chamber office and having coffee.  At 9:15, running late, I found him snuggled with a blanket (it was 75 degrees outside) and reading How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.  We went to McDonalds, got food and he said, "NOW, can I go to the CLUB?"  "Yes, dear."  I dropped him off and he was rather excited to be there.  It is thrilling that he likes the activities!

Then, at 4:00 he called to say that he was in the 100 degree heat waiting on the E-Van that was scheduled for 3:45.  I told him they have a 30 minute window and that he needed to stay there.  He was less than happy.  Meanwhile, the driver called to say they were at the house and that Gary was nowhere to be found.  They had reversed the pick up schedule!  ARGH!!!  I called E-van and reached a very distraught Amber who apologized profusely that she had mistaken the destination.  Gary was promptly retrieved and made it home okay.  What a fiasco. 

NOTE TO SELF:  always double check the pick up point and destination point IN ADDITION to getting a confirmation number.

Sedalia is my friend.....



Monday, May 12, 2014

Roller Coaster life reveals the Ups and Downs.

Life is quite a ride...with the ups and downs we experience daily, sometimes it feels more like a roller coaster.  Luckily, I have ridden a few in my life so I know what to expect when one slowly works upward, and upward....eventually, you come down the other side.

All last week, our daughter Heather and her 2.5 year old son spent the week with Gary while I went off to some business meetings (see her post from last week).  I really wanted to go and ultimately, had no choice.  We had a Presidents' meeting, a budget meeting and the retirement party for my very dear boss.  All were very eventful and two of them were quite stressful.  Sometimes I forget how stressful my job can be....anyway, Gary apparently did just fine the whole week with less stress and anxiety than when I am at home. That is disturbing.

I came home Thursday night and then back to work Friday.  It is nice having Heather around and Alexander is a blast.  He and Gary have bonded very well.  He is so cute when he has a question and looks to Gary and says, "Papa?"  Watching him have a grandson melts my heart.

We went to church on Saturday evening because Gary has said for many weeks that he was looking forward to praising with Heather.  So, we went and there was no daycare on Saturday so I stayed in the nursery with Xander and let Gary and Heather go to the service.  Xander and I could hear the music from the nursery so at one point, he was playing along with the music pounding on a xylophone and I drummed on the drums that looked alot like a firefighter's hat! 
He missed his mama about half way through, so I spent the rest of the service keeping him occupied.  I guess we bonded, too.

The pastor's wife checked on us and reported that Gary and Heather were singing together and praising....just like he envisioned!  I can imagine the smile on his face as he put his arm around his "girl".  Jesus must have liked it as well.

The following day found us taking the kids to the train in Stockton.  It was sad to see them go home.  We got to wave at them from the platform.

Gary and I had some tension in the evening. He returned to the CLUB this morning and was smiling at the crafts table when I left him. He had a great day and made it home using the Paratransit system and E-Van with no issues.  He took Diva for a way-too-long walk and of course, forgot to wear his GPS even though I reminded him.  I ended up driving to pick them up so that Diva did not get overtired.  I was pretty upset about lots of things that happened today, so this kind of put me over the edge. He noticed and said, "are you angry with me?"

I explained my stress of the day and he then understood.  He always apologizes and I always go soft......or really, I just bury the anger.  We spent some time outside watering the plants and then had leftovers.  He is tired at 9:00 and went to bed. 

I often wonder what our future will hold.  Will he stay as he is?  Will he further decline?  Should we travel?  Can he handle it?  There is so much more to do in life....I'm not sure of the approach. 

There is Panama.....our dream house awaits in a fabulous neighborhood.  Not sure how I would earn enough income but perhaps our quality of life would be better.  I could teach online.....I did earn that Masters Degree in Education so I could do that.  Wow, the risk.  Then again, how risky is any move?

On another note, five headhunters have called this week trying to boost their business with yet another placement.  How flattering that was in the old days but not anymore.  Gary will have difficulty with any other moves we make because he needs routine....and cabinet labels, lots of cabinet labels! Our entire kitchen and all his closets and drawers are labeled with their contents.  He still can't find things....

I ask all who read this to pray that he stays happy and that I am able to assist him in not being overwhelmed and have anxiety.  Those are the worst times of all because I can't fix it.  For a control freak, that is Hell. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Man’s Memories… or a lack thereof.

A Man’s Memories… or a lack thereof.

Today’s blog post is being written by Gary’s daughter Heather.

My son Alexander and I arrived in Elk Grove on Monday night. We came down to help take care of my Dad for the week while Ada was away at some school meetings. Ada left on Tuesday morning and is due back Thursday evening, tonight.

Well the week seemed to run pretty smoothly, only a couple of mishaps. Dad had forgotten that I had given him his morning pills one day and without my knowledge took his morning pills a second time. So after noticing that he had double dosed himself I have since hidden the pills and we are back to the correct amount and on schedule. Then there was the house hunt for Diva’s missing collar. I finally remembered that Dad had brushed her fur earlier in the day and found the collar in the back yard where he had unknowingly to me, taken it off.

Even though Dad was reminded every day and night that Ada would not be home until Thursday evening he still seemed to forget. Xander and I sleep in the guest bedroom of course, which upon occasion is where Ada ends up sleeping when Dad is too loud. I sleep with the room in pitch black darkness, no night lights or anything. So at 3:15 this morning I awoke to the sound of the guest bedroom door being opened. Since I was unexpectedly awakened it took me a moment or so to get my bearings on the situation. I heard Dad asking why I was in here and I said, “Because its bed time, it’s the middle of the night”. He continued to ask why I was in here and I said, “Because this is the guest bedroom”. He kept telling me he knew that, but why was I in here and I again said, “It’s the guest bedroom, this is where I sleep”. Then he said, “Was I being too loud?” I said, “I don’t know”. That’s when my brain finally kicked on and it dawned on me that he thought I was Ada. So of course I told him, “It’s Heather Dad, remember Ada is away at the school meetings and she won’t be home until Thursday night”. He finally understood, apologized and went back to bed. At 6:50 this morning I was again awoken by the sound of the bedroom door opening. At this time the sun was shining in and it lit the room up well enough that you could see everything in the room without the lights on. I popped my head up and asked if Dad needed something he continued walking into the room saying that he figured he must have done something wrong to have run me out of the bedroom last night. I said, “Dad I’m Heather remember, Ada is gone”. That’s when it struck him I guess as he starred at me and said, “Oh you’re Heather, that’s right”. I told him he was going to wake the baby as he continued to state that Ada was gone. He walked out and closed the door behind him.

I am so thankful that my Dad has been blessed with a great wife who loves him completely and unconditionally. I love Ada with all my heart. She may not be my mother and since she’s not much older than me I don’t even call her my step mom, which she technically is. None of that even matters. To me she is family and she always will be! To Xander she is Grandma and she always will be. I only have one thing to ask of her; Ada please don’t leave this world before my Dad does because he would be utterly lost without you.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

A busy day in the life....

I awoke this morning after 11 hours of sleeping to the sound of our coffee grinder. Having coffee delivered to me from my loving husband is a wonderful thing!  It was double sweet as he forgot whether he had put Agave in it already....that was very sweet coffee but I loved it.

We had alot to accomplish today since Heather and Xander are coming Monday night to stay with Gary while I go to our corporate meetings in the Bay Area.  We started with lunch at Dos Coyotes, courtesy of a gift card from my birthday!  Gary ordered a Chicken, mango quesadilla.  I know how much he likes chips so I ordered extra for him.  One thing I have noticed about Gary's eating style is that for the last year or so, he frequently chops all food on his plate and mixes it up and eats it.  He can't explain it, but he says his food tastes better.  Ok.  So, I often find myself done with a meal and waiting on him to finish.  Today, I watched him chop, mix and eat.  I must have been looking at him with lots of love or gooey eyes because he stopped, looked at me and we shared the sweetest exchange of words. I still can see his beautiful soul in those eyes.  There has been one time recently when he was stressed that I am not sure he was all there. 

I did notice that he was wearing his old, tan eye glass holder. He didn't remember that I had bought him a new one last weekend and that he had pitched such a fit about it a day later.  I found the new one and gave it to him.  He put in on in place of a tattered one....he said he liked it.  (See a previous post for this whole story)

After lunch, we headed to Walmart to get all the things we needed for the kids' trip.  He was so cold in the store that he went to the car to get warm.  I trusted him with the keys and he was taking a nap when I returned. 

We came home and finished putting together the  "little tyke" car that we bought for Xander to ride in while he is here.  After much fighting, yelling and lots of tools, we accomplished our mission. Hopefully, he likes it.

We finished a long list of chores and had a lovely meal. He seems tired but very clear.  Its a good night.