Each day it is harder and harder to visit Mom and Dad. Dad is eager for me to arrive in the late afternoon and stay until 6:00 when they eat dinner. He says visiting later helps him with Mom. He watches her like a hawk and she is always restless, anxious and truly scared during these hours. Today she was in bad shape. Her chest hurt, she called for Jesus to help her, she couldn't swallow Tylonel tablets and then as we sat in the living room with CNN on the big flat screen , she fussed with the Velcro tab on her walker and 'attended to' the copy of National Geographic that the pocket holds. That magazine went in and out of the pocket at least ten times in an hour. I'd help her close the pocket with the Velcro tab and reassure her that all is OK. She says things to Dad that are way off the wall and he either cannot hear her or answers her quite factually instead of saying, "Yes, yes" to just about anything.
I left as they say down to supper. I was in a snit, irritated and sad. It is so hard to be there. I tell them what all the family is doing in fewer than 10 minutes and then I make conversation or respond to Mom's verbal wanderings. It helps me hang on longer if I type everything she says on my keyboard. Have word documents for most of my days there. I used to crochet a lot when I visited a year or two ago. One has to remain continuously engaged, but there is really nothing meaningful to say. It takes energy. I feel for Dad who sits there loyally day after day after day watching mom, telling her she looks beautiful. He does nothing but look out for her. That is love and loyalty.