Sometimes when I look across to where my wife sits within touching distance from me, my heart is heavy with sadness and sorrow at what is afflicting her physically as dementia gradually but surely overcomes her. There is her gradual loss of the ability to live life as we all do,holding conversation with others, forgetfulness and the debilitating physical weakness that steals her independence.away from her. She now has to live life dependent on others around her. My sorrow in not within me or for me but for her . How can I be sorrowful? I still have her with me....but I sometimes wonder if she has any sense of what she is going through. Is she aware that everything is changing for her?
But I know she is happy because she tells me so. Yesterday we do what we both now enjoy most doing together - going out for a drive in our dark blue1997 Mercedes C200 Elegance.
An oldie but a goodie.We could not ask for anything more....well we could but that would be straying into the "I want" zone rather than our preferred "I need" zone. I need a reliable, comfortable, safe car. I want a Porsche. Need is better than want!
We start with lunch at the central markets. King Prawns, scallops and fish cooked in delicious crunchy batter with chips. Then a leisurely drive through the city... enjoying the sights of the most livable city in the world - Melbourne!. She smiled a lot and sings to Neil Sedeka, Chuck Berry, Elvis - our "must have" music when driving around. The weather is great - warm enough to be in our T shirts and have the window down when we drive down the esplanade in St Kilda.
I try to make conversation.Hard to do when I am driving and having to make sure that she is listening to me before I can even "talk" about anything. So we do what we always do - shoot the breeze and every now and then give a thumbs up to each other to tell each other that all is well. And when I asks if she would like a pit stop at the MacDonalds drive-in for a Milk Shake...two thumbs up and a smile comes from her! There is no need for jewellery, new dress, new shoes or even a meal at some posh eatery...I can make my wife smile and be happy with a Milk Shake from Macca's (as the Australians call MacDonalds down here). How good is that?
She will decide when it is time to go home - not me. And she will say it so softly that I have to see her form the words with her mouth rather than be able to hear her say it. That would mean that she is tired and wants to go where she knows she can rest and recuperate after a couple of hours of singing to Neil Sedeka, Chuck Berry and Elvis! Sometimes it is hard work having fun.
Her attention span is waning. Her ability to manage her own affairs - talking, walking, eating and even getting in and out of bed she can only do with our assist. Most times my son and me will be there to do whatever is needed but there are still those moments when I forget that she is not lifting her feet to allow me to put her trousers on because she cannot do so. Her mind has forgotten to tell her how to lift that feet so that I can slip the trousers on. Yes I still do get upset, angry even, that she is getting "lazy" but it lasts for no more than a moment. She sometimes push me away when I sit beside her on the sofa because I am "bothering" her when what I doing is try to sit as close to her as is possible....but that too lasts only long enough for her to tell me that I am bothering her. A moment later she is happy again because I am sitting on my sofa and she in hers.
And so life goes on in Melbourne.
I just had my Mac cleared of viruses and an overload of "other stuff" that was slowing the Mac down till it finally died on me last week. I was budgeting for a few hundred dollars to do that but was pleasantly surprised to find a Vietnamese running a computer shop nearby who did it all for Aud $50. For a while I had to work on my backup - a iBook G4 that is as old as the Pyramids. But it did not slow me down in my writing. I only had to spend more hours and be more patient when blogging.
We are having pay TV connected on Monday and looking forward to having someone from KL that we all love dearly come over for a holiday early March. Life is good.