You tell me. I hate what this disease has turned me into. What it has turned my Pops into. The façade I put up for people keeps me safe; keeps them at arms length. I struggle everyday with the possibility that someone will find out I am a lie. I don’t have all of the answers. I am more lost than found. My heart torn into so many little pieces I am losing track of the last day I felt whole. I would walk away from my life if I knew it meant distancing myself from anymore sadness,pain and disappointment. But how do you walk away from those you love? What kind of a person would I be if I jumped ship just as soon as another deck hand was needed?
I skipped going to see Dad on Mother’s Day because I knew his nursing home would be overflowing with guilty children trying to cram a years worth of visits into that one special day. I went to see Dad this afternoon. I should have just stayed home. All the fresh laundry I brought to him on Saturday gone from his closet. I know things like this happen but everything? Really?
I can’t ask Dad what happened to his stuff. He doesn’t know. He exists in that world of zero accountability. I am just supposed to accept it, laugh it off and move on to the next topic. More often than not I feel frustrated after our visits. Like a carnival ride I can’t get off of.
We are a jigsaw puzzle with key pieces missing. We hold onto the box, our work in progress hoping that one day what is missing will be found. The problem? Dementia reshapes the pieces. The puzzle constantly changing. Only the edges are complete.
If I stopped going to see him would he even know? Could I live with myself? sleep at night? probably not. I go for him as much as I go for myself. He is all I have left of the family I once knew. In his smile I see the beauty of our family. It is there in his eyes I see the love he has for me. The trust he has given me. He believes in me. I used to look at him in that same way when I was a child.
For him I am brave. For him I try not to be lost. For him I would give all that I am.