Just need to talk about my Mighty Maximus for a bit. My cat and I are so attuned. At 4.20am this morning, he was miaowing loudly. Whenever my Max miaows, I always reciprocate with a hello. So this went on for about 3 minutes. He was continuing his miaowing and I was responding. Then he got really persistent, until the penny dropped. Bugger it! The cat flap was still locked after we’d had to keep him in for his 4.30pm annual checkup at Aunty Sandra’s, our amazing vet. The poor cat god was desperate for a wee!! I just thought he’d been extra clingy with me all last evening, following his blood test and prodding from his Vet. Not that he was imprisoned! As soon as I went downstairs and opened the cat flap, I could sense his relief (literally!). He looked at me as if to say ‘What took you so long, the line of communication needs adjustment?!’ I LOVE MY CAT!
Yesterday morning, My Dad had had a heavy hour with the OT. It’s amazing how she pushes his brain. She’s now got days of the week cut out, so Dad has to decipher which day it is, then stick it on the wall. My husband had previously mentioned getting a board to hang up, that Dad could write the day of the week on. So I thought her idea was a great one. Dad showed her the digital watch I’d bought him the previous day. He’s unable to work out an analogue clock, so hopefully this digital watch will help him to read time. He can just about read the numbers, however, he just struggles to understand what these numbers represent during the course of a day. After his long session, he managed to have a good sleep. When I got there, both my parents suggested a walk.
It was such a sunny afternoon, so I knew the warmth was helping both of them. Like me, my parents are avid sun worshippers. As we walked along, they were chatting about their grammar school days. My Dad’s long term memory is incredible. My Mum’s long term memory is very damaged. However, she has a familiar narrative that she is able to recount. She said she went to Frome Grammar school. This is correct, but when I asked if my Uncle Scruff had gone to the same school, she couldn’t remember. (I knew the answer was that he had). Dementia and memory loss is so cruel. I’ve noticed my Mum now lies to cover up for the fact she can’t remember things. For instance, if I say “Do you remember when we ….” And talk a about a happy memory, she’ll reply “Oh yes,” when I clearly know that she sadly cannot remember. This breaks me.
As we walking through the Glen, I pulled back with Evie and just watched my frail parents walking, arms entwined. They’ve always been a couple who hold hands when they walk. They’ve always been so connected. It’s been the most amazing partnership. Their different personalities have always complimented the other’s. 55 years of marriage stood before me. Yes, they’ve had their fair share of heartache along the way, but they’d be the first to say they’ve had a good life. I really do feel I’m grieving for the familiar parents I’ve known and loved my entire life. These two older people are frail and mentally broken. I feel fiercely protective of them in their vulnerable state. They’ve always be my protectors, I feel this shift of roles so intensely. Watching them walking, if time could be frozen, this would be the best time to do so.