Friday, October 23, 2009
Katie is working through, and day by day conquering, her memory issues. A difibrillator has been implanted to keep her heart functioning, and she will go home as soon as her doctors release her. She is bored. In this case, bored in good! Really sick people don't get bored.
My dad, on the other had, is loosing his battle with memory. Mother and I picked him up this morning and took him to Kapiolani Park for a picnic lunch. He recognized me, called me by name, and knew that we were going out. He transferred relatively easily from his wheelchair to the car, and then asked me "When did you get in?" As in, when did I arrive from California. He did not remember that I visited him yesterday.
He seemed to enjoy being out, devouring two chicken legs, deviled eggs, potato salad, and his share of olives, tomato wedges, and cucumber sticks.
As our meal ended he asked if we could "drive by the boat to see if it was still there". So I drove to the yacht harbor at the other end of Waikiki. As we drove past the access to his slip it became obvious that "look at" meant "go aboard". I refused to play the game, had to tell him NO in very clear language. He was not happy with me.
Fortunately, by the time we got back to his care home he was in need of a toilet. He barely said good-bye. He was, in his mind, home safely. He had forgotten, at least for a time, that I wouldn't let him walk to the boat. Mother and I were no longer needed. ... His memory fades.
Give thanks for your memories. Enjoy the memories shared by our kupuna, the elders. They are worth preserving. Don't forget to pray.