Home again

I had a wonderful five days away, especially connecting over the weekend with four close friends from more than 30 years ago. We picked up the conversation as if we had all seen each other yesterday.  We are in our 50s and 60s and have collectively weathered the death of a child, divorce and physical impairment, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.  We are a testament to resilience. 

Reentry was not as difficult as it sometimes is. Perhaps I can credit the horrible sinus head cold I picked up on my way home on Monday. I slogged through work on Tuesday, went home early, and called in sick today. I can’t remember the last time I spent a day in bed. It was definitely good for my body and soul. Sleep, bad TV and online shopping can be therapeutic. 

My pace was frantic before this trip, so I can’t really be surprised that I got sick twice in one week.  The cold forced me to slow down. I even ate dinner at home two nights in a row and watched TV with J as our evening entertainment.  Note to self: ratchet down the schedule. 

The search for a part-time caregiver continues. A friend and J’s brother and sister-in-law are culling the list and presenting me with candidates to interview in person. I am very grateful to them.  We had a good meeting with a candidate tonight who might work out very well.  I was conscious of not being firm on the hours we are looking for. The truth is that I’m not 100 percent sure what we need. I only know that J is lonely and it is not good for her to spend so much time alone. 

That doesn’t mean she doesn’t think she is perfectly fine and requires no help. When she gets resistant, I explain that I need the assistance of someone to do light housekeeping for me. That explanation seems to satisfy J.

I continue to think that J is worse than she presents to others. When I was going upstairs tonight, I asked her if she wanted the radio on or off. I couldn’t understand her response. It was difficult for me to figure out if she understood the question and was having trouble communicating her preference, or if she had no idea what I was asking. At one point, she smiled and said, “Yes.”  The problem was that I had asked, “Do you want me to leave the radio on or off?”  “Yes” is not a helpful response. This gave me some insight into how she might fool others for short periods of time. Smiling and saying, “Yes,” might get her through a lot of situations. 

And then I thought that smiling and saying, “Yes,” might not be such a bad way to go through life. 

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