I just received a text from my sister telling me that we will have a full moon in three days. This will surely mean that my dad will be quite active and likely depressed.
I have noticed that my dad spends more time in “La La” land lately. He is always happy to see me and from what I can tell he know who I am. We have great conversations. To an outsider, everything looks quite normal.
My mom desperately misses my dad. She misses their outings and most importantly, she misses their conversation. She will try anything to make him be the man he once was.
Last week, she told me that he needed to feel important and that he wanted feel like he was contributing. Her suggestion was that I bring over the bank statements and let him comb through them. I reminded her that this was a trigger and the end result could be less than fun. I reminded her that he could no longer read the statements. I reminded her that if I explained the activity he would not follow it and if he did, he would not remember it.
But, I gave in and I took the statements to my dad. His face lit up when I asked him if he wanted to look at the statements. I gave him his glasses and his hearing aids and together we plowed through statements.
And so it began.
“Is this all my money?”
“Is your money commingled with my money?”
“If she (my mom) decides to leave me and get married, can she take all my money?”
He asked all the ‘normal’ questions and I had all the ‘normal’ answers. Yes, it is all your money. No, my money is not mixed with your money and finally, Mom would never leave you! You are the love of her life.
Dad often thinks he is another place. Sometimes he is in Mobile and sometimes he is at the beach or in Tuscaloosa or at his mother’s house or anywhere but his apartment at the retirement community. Today he was in Europe! It tool me a minute to realize that he had traveled so far a way. He explained that he was willing to come back to the states if I thought it would be better for him to be closer to his money.
Triggers + Full Moons = Endless Excitement
I knew that the statements would not “fix” my father. Yes, I did see a glimmer of the retired banker in his eyes when I brought the bank statements in but that was very short-lived.
I wish that a stack of bank statements would end the dementia and I would have my father back. But that will not happen.
I wish that my mom could enjoy normal conversations with my father again but that will likely not happen either.
Dementia is awful but fortunately we can still enjoy moments with dad where it seems like nothing has changed. You have to be on your toes!
If you are not careful you will think you are in Homewood and realize that you are in Europe and you will have no idea how you got there!
Full moon! Three days and counting.