Sunday, January 13, 2013

Victoria BC

Starting a new year in a new place. Sis and BIL have moved from Regina and are now living and working in Victoria, on the Pacific coast. As I write I can see the sun glinting off the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Olympic Mountains behind that. I think I'll miss Regina, but this seems a very pleasant place to live.

I wasn't intending to be here, actually, I should have been back home in Germany a week ago. But there's no work that particularly needs doing, and my mother asked me to accompany them on their annual pilgrimage away from the depths of the Torontonian winter. By the time I leave on Thursday I will have been here a full month, 19th to 18th. I will be so very happy to get home and be able to close a door behind myself. I love my family, but my gods I really need some time alone.

My father continues his slow decline. There are some days when his hands shake so badly he can hardly feed himself. His handwriting, once elegant, is as scratchy and wobbly as a four-year-old's. Some days he can walk without his cane, others he wobbles even with the cane and needs to take a rest after walking from bathroom to sofa. He needs help getting dressed — hell, he needs to be reminded where his clothes are kept.

Probably most distressing to him is that he's losing the ability to converse: his memory is so bad that he forgets what he was saying before he reaches the end of a sentence. This is in part because he tries to speak elegantly and properly but is losing his vocabulary, so he spends all his attention on recovering the right word and loses the thread of his thought.

Mom cannot face his condition, she flips between supportive sympathy and harsh cruel-to-be-kind determination. She will not consider any alternatives to staying home to take care of him, even as she bemoans that she has no life of her own because she is compelled to stay home and take care of him.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

Wow. You're here again. I'm very glad to read your words, Udge! Hello from Montreal.

January 21, 2013 at 11:49:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Dreading when I will get old, and how I shall turn out.
Nice that you can take such a long vacation, but sorry that there is not much work so you can.

February 12, 2013 at 7:34:00 PM GMT+1  
Blogger Zhoen said...

I rather hope no one is around for my inevitable decline. I'd rather sink quietly in the mud, unreminded of what I was.

February 20, 2013 at 11:24:00 PM GMT+1  

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