Today was a day of very mixed emotions. This afternoon I went to see Dad for Xmas, when I arrived he was mopping his bathroom floor, a very unfamiliar sight. Dad has never done much for himself, he has certainly not done any housework, but now with my stepmother in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s he has little choice. I had been worried that Dad was not looking after himself but he has surprised me, it is amazing what you can do when you have to, I felt strangely proud of him.
After a bit of a chat we went over to the nursing home to see my stepmother, it has only been a few weeks since my last visit but she has visibly aged, at least 5-10 years, she looks dreadful. I was pleasantly surprised when she called me by my name, that won’t happen for much longer so I will treasure each visit as if it were my last.
Joy wanders off quite regularly now, both mentally and physically. I was walking her to her room when she just decided to toddle off in the opposite direction and leave me standing there, she has also started seeing things that are not there, and making abstract comments about nothing in particular.
Dad has decorated her room as best he can for Xmas, he really has no idea but I found the attempt extremely emotional. He has made an effort to bring Xmas to the love of his life, and she does not even realise he has done it. I feel so sorry for him, he is very frail himself and he misses the woman he treasures terribly.
On the way home I got a call from a very old and dear friends husband to give me the sad news that her cancer has returned. This is someone I grew up with and although we do not see each other often I love her dearly. My dear friend, I hope you have the strength to fight this as you have done before. My thoughts are with you and your family.