Not every day can be stellar. Some are doomed from the first jarring ring of the alarm clock. I hate days like that. I was fooled today. I thought today was going to be a history maker. You know what I am talking about that kind of day when everything fits and you are in the zone. I slept well. I felt well. I was waking up and it was NOT snowing. I barely got my first cup of coffee down when my perfect day suddenly twisted in on itself.
I am struggling with the everyday need. He needs me. He Needs me. HE NEEDS ME. Some days he calls me fifteen times in the span of a few hours. I get overwhelmed. I can’t catch my breath. I feel small, alone, helpless, a failure. I am tired. There is no room in my life for anything. I take excellent care of my Dad; yet at the end of my day I feel like I have accomplished nothing.
My Dad (yes, with a capital D) is a hot mess. He lives with dementia. I love this man. He has taught me so many things. He helped to shape the person I am today. I love to laugh, sing and watch old Tarzan movies. He took his daughters on many odd, out of the way field trips, therefore I am adventurous. He loved ice cream, still does but I won’t let him eat too much of it. He loved us with his whole being. I saw him cry a few times when he thought he had let one of us down. My Dad is one of the good guys.
Dementia takes a toll from everyone involved. It magnifies your loved ones quirks. My Dad was always slightly mistrustful. Now he doesn’t trust a soul not even himself. He is easily frustrated and doesn’t remember how to calm himself down when he gets worked up. He is lonely in a crowded room. It is too hard for him to follow a conversation if there are more than two or three people involved. He thinks that people break into his house to leave things. This always makes me laugh. “Pop, for real? Who breaks into someone’s house to leave stuff? No one does that. Well, not any crooks I ever heard of !”
His life revolves around routine. Disrupt the routine disrupt the peace. Winter is a tough ride for us. Every storm brings a new challenge. Anxiety is the worst enemy. He starts to worry that I won’t be able to get to him. He worries the lights will go out. He worries he will run out of food ( ice cream ). He worries I will die and no one will take care of him. He worries so much he frazzles my last nerve.
You know what I miss? I miss him. The man I called Daddy was strong, handsome, funny. He made me feel safe, loved.
I lost my sh*t Sunday. He called. He sounded nervous and unsure of himself. He said he needed me right away. I picked up the phone, I yelled at him and hung up…and then I cried and cried and cried. I want someone to tell me that everything will be ok even if it’s not the reality. I want my Dad to have his memories. I want him to be free.