It's 4.32 AM. Thursday morning - 13th August.
My wife is 71 years old today. She lies asleep beside me - out of St Vincent yesterday afternoon, a day short of a month stay - almost recovered from the troubles that saw her admitted on the 14th of July. When she saw our car she had such a great smile on her face because that was when she realized she was going home! And the smile never left her face until she was sitting again in our humble abode with our cat, Lea, sitting on her lap...and then she knew she was home again.
Yes she is 71 years old today. We have been married for forty seven years. Damm that's a long long time. This early Thursday morning as I lay awake in my bed unable to really sleep, that song by Ricky Nelson - I Need You - was playing in my head...and so I powered on my MAC, looked for the song and played it over and over again to sooth my soul and started to write this.
I am in my sarong and T shirt (I have always slept in them from my time in KL and I cannot change - even in Winter!) and at this time of the morning in Winter in Melbourne....it is slightly chilly and I do want to get under the blanket to warm up again and hopefully drift off to sleep...but not until I write what is in my head.
I have yet to decide how we will spend my wife's birthday today!
Of course we will get her a cake, a card and maybe some flowers....but then all that will be to make us feel good.....but does she understands that it is her birthday? She will probably smile when we tell her that it is her birthday but does she know that it is her birthday? These are the thoughts that run through my mind everyday when I am with her. How aware is she of what is happening around her? It is impossible to know but seeing her smile for any reason is reason enough for us to try and make her smile more...but always the smile is fleeting and does not linger for too long and that is why I am still deciding what we will do today on her birthday because I am sure whatever we do with her will not leave her with any lasting memories....but then again I do not know for sure.
That is what dementia does to you. You live in the present until some thing triggers your brain to think of something from the past - and that too just momentarily - and then you are back in the present where you really are all by yourself unless people you love are around you - and they are there for whatever your needs may be. And that thought of being there for my wife if and when she needs us makes my son and me happy because we want to be there for her should she need us for any reasons at all.
And to be honest we do that more for us than for her because we need her more than she needs us.