Sunday, April 18, 2010

Indie Music and Reading

My daughter decided she wanted the IPod that stores the most music instead of the touch. So, I got her the biggie and I got the touch. It still has her music on it. I am enjoying right now. She is a fan of Indie music. I am listening to music and ready Our Lady of Weight Loss All Is Forgiven Move On.

I need some relaxation. Yesterday I cleaned spots out of the livingroom carpet. I felt accomplished. It was a busy day. Today I tried to go mow the lawn at the rental but I found out the key to the deadbold lock on the front door was not among the keys the tenant returned. I left hating her more than ever...eek. I hate to hate. I gave the painter my keys. I changed the doorknob locks myself last weekend so I had the lower lock key, now I need to change deadbolts for my next accomplishment. I really wanted to cut grass. I have a key here somewhere to that deadbolt but did not want to take another 25 minute drive...oh well. I lazed around and had a good meal, baked chicken and veggies. Plus other various items later. I had some tea. It was a slow day. But maybe that's what I need.

New music. New anything. I feel in a bit of a slump. Reading is good. I read some literature on grief. I read a magazine. I am nurturing myself and taking it slow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tired Little Post

I just wanted to post a little bit to say thanks for the kind words. We had a burial ceremony Friday to honor my father. We are still going to have a memorial service but have to wait until June to accommodate some family members. His grave is at the Jefferson Barracks National Cometary for veterans. We had a service with military honors. His old work buddies came and afterwards we went to lunch and they told stories about him and held him in high esteem. It was just right. It was good for my mother and it was good for everyone who was there. I felt much peace afterward. I was able to go do some work at the rental property the next day. I was able to go back to work yesterday and not feel like my head was going to explode. The week in between his death and the service on Friday was very hard. I felt exhausted even when I slept for long hours. But this week is better. I have some peace. I have a little book of pictures that I carry in my purse. They are all pre-Alzheimer's photos. Some from when I was a child. Those help me focus on other memories. Today I ran across a picture saved in my phone that I took on father's day 2008. It was right when he started wearing a beard because shaving had become impossible and my mom started taking him to the barber. He looked good, still had a twinkle in his eye and looked like he knew me. It made me real sad because it made me think of all the years of slipping away. I know I can't avoid those memories completely but I am trying to balance them with other memories. I still struggle with regrets and such but at least this week I feel like I can get through the day and even feel happy sometimes. I have been taking the dog walking every day. It helps. I really feel fat right now but I am no bigger than I was when we went to Chicago. I am at my upper limit though so I have started to track food. I am tired and do not want to ramble. Just wanted to say I am still here and hopeful of better times to come.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Father's Tums

My father died in the middle of the night. My mother called me at around 2:30 a.m. crying because she had just received the call from the nursing home. Often lately I would think of my father at night before falling asleep and worry about him being alone in the night at the nursing home. It was agonizing at times thinking he may be trying to get out of bed or needing comfort but being alone and even scared. I had also thought about the call and how it could come in the night.

I talked my mother through her initial regrets of not visiting him that day. He had fallen on Sunday and had been hurt and this week had not been going well. Tuesday's visit he was not feeling well at all but very difficult to tell with Alzheimer's what is actually going on because he could not communicate much anymore. It hurts to think of it. But I had a feeling of peace come over me that he wouldn't have to wake alone in the night or struggle with staff or suffer anymore.

My daughter and I drove down in the hours before dawn. A beautiful spring day. I took my mother to the mortuary. She wanted to see my father one last time. His wishes were clear about cremation. We made initial plans and then I went with her into the room. It was so hard for me to see him lying there, eyes open, bruised on the side of his head. To me he looked frightened but I did not say that to my mother. I hate that I saw him that way. I hate that he died that way. I think he awoke in the night. He was alone. I hate he was alone. I cannot tell my mother this.

We stayed at my mother and father's house through the day. It is the house he built himself. All his things are there. When it was time to get ready to take my Mom home with us I began to panic. I did not want to leave his things. I did not want to leave. That would mean he was really gone. I went in his closet. I went through his clothes and touched them and looked at things I remember seeing him wear. I took to sobbing for a few minutes and pulled myself together. I found his suits. It had been quite some time since they had been worn. I took a jacket out and held it. I reached in the pocket. I found two loose Tums and the last mint left in the wrapper of a roll. A paper clip. Left in a pocket years ago. My father always had Tums I recalled. My fathers Tums in my hand felt so real and so a part of him. I don't know why. I clutched them in my hand and carried them as I got ready to go. I had no pockets. They are in a baggie in my purse. I found a shirt. I took it home. It is on my pillow with me.

I don't know what happens when people die. I want my father back the way he was before Alzheimer's. I can't believe he is gone. I don't know what to do. It is time to sleep as I have been awake since the call except for little attempts at napping so I could make the trip back. My mother is in the next room and I think I hear her crying. I want to curl up with the Tums and the shirt and bring my father as close to me as possible in my memory and not let him go.

I feel lost and I feel like I abandoned him. I felt peace earlier but now I feel like I want to go out looking for him, searching somewhere because he can't really be gone. He just can't.