Just When You Thought Things Couldn’t Get Any Stranger…
Ellie May Clampet has taken a serious turn for the worst. End stage Alzheimer’s is a devastating thing to witness. It’s been brutal for her foremost, but this brutality spills over her loved ones like an impermeable oil. Every single aspect of their lives is covered in this oil. She has reached a stage where it’s become impossible for her to swallow solid foods. She is unable to get out of her bed, and every part of her body aches from the steady increase of atrophy that is taking over her muscles. The human body has just over 200 muscles so there isn’t a single part of her body that is not experiencing this pain.
Things with “Mysterious Frank” have also reached a new forbidding level. I witnessed behaviors that left me dazed in disbelief. I had just reached a point where I could see him as an awkward nine year-old boy, but all of that went right out the window (no pun intended) when I arrived at his house, and his mother pointed me towards his room where she had boarded up both of his bedroom windows with plywood.
Apparently he had been given the choice to clean up all the toys off of his bedroom floor, or his mother would sweep up his toys, and throw them into the garbage. He chose not to clean up, so she swept everything on the floor, and tossed it into the trash. This is the point where Frank retaliated by smashing his windows out with a wooden book end! When I asked him why he looked up at me with a very flat affect saying ” I’m not her fucking maid!”
It’s my friend’s first Christmas without her husband in over thirty years, and she received a credit card statement with a 2,000 dollar charge from one of our most expensive jewelry stores. Guess who wasn’t getting a gift from that store.
As for me I never did decorate my house. There is no menorah, no Christmas tree, and no lights. I did however spend most of the afternoon shopping for each person’s Christmas stockings. Ever since I was a small child the one thing that I loved most about Christmas (Christmas tree aside) was searching through my stocking for hidden treasures
A simple pleasure that requires extreme knowledge of the person to whom it belongs. The only thing better than slowly emptying your own stocking is watching those you love go through theirs. First I will take care of Ellie May in the morning. It’s my gift to her, and her family. They will be able to have some time with their families without wondering if Mom is okay. She will be freshly bathed, and I will make sure she has her Ensures for nutrition.
Then I will go home, and cook for my family. I will not worry about all of the many things I was unable to accomplish. I will talk, laugh, and watch my favorite Christmas movies with those who mean so much to me. I will not forget how lucky I am to be able to do this with my family. I will take moments to remember those who can not be with us as we enjoy the holiday because that is how we are able bring them along. I will also take a moment to wonder what so many of you will be doing with your day.
However you celebrate your holiday my wish for you all is the same. May you be surrounded with love, have the gift of contentment, and someone who knows exactly what you would hope to find in your stocking. 😉
There is two of us actually, G-uno and g2. We have been friends for a while, met through our own similarities in duality, openness and love of listening. Our differences as well as our similarities always border on the extreme.