When I say goodbye and tell Dad that I'll be back in two months, his eyes well up with tears and then mine do too. He says that it's been wonderful to have me here. It's been nearly two weeks and I've visited every day but two. Spent hours looking at old scrapbooks and photo albums, watching CNN and reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, sipping licorice decaffeinated tea with Mom and answering her questions when that late afternoon anxiety hits. Dad asked me to visit in the afternoons because he says Mom's more difficult to look after then.
Not that he has to look after her. The caregivers are terrific. But she is restless at that time of day, feels she must be off accomplishing something, getting things in order. She doesn't know what needs to be done, but she is sure there are tasks that need doing. And she tries to rise from her chair that does everything but fly and the alarm goes off, the caregiver comes and we are off to the living room or the bathroom and then back again.
It is heartbreaking and seems endless. What's the purpose? But Dad's eyes light up when he sees us enter the room.
I'll be back in August for black berry season and Kate will apprise us of doctor's appointments and errands we can run on Mom and Dad's behalf. Dad will be grateful and very happy to see us. Mom will be wanting to plow ahead and tend to things and will look sad and have no idea what exactly needs to get done.
It's not done until it's done.