06-30-04 Mayatime: 22.214.171.124.4 2 Kan 7 Tzec (Portal)
It turns out my father can no longer balance the checkbook. My mother noticed he hadn’t done it since March and when he tried, he couldn’t, and got upset. Can’t say I blame him. My mom volunteered me to come over and do it. I don’t think so; I’ve never balanced my own checkbook in ten years.
I went to the library and got three books (the limit) on Alzheimer’s. I have to work on my novel today, yesterday I only did 2 pages. I have to paint the cellar doors and waterseal the front porch too, but that won’t be today.
Mom is of the opinion that her mother (my sharp-as-a-tack grandma) will outlive my dad. Grandma’s mother was 99 and her mind was fine when she died. She died of “old age” which to me means you just wear out. It’s like a copy machine making too many copies of copies, after a while it’s illegible. (Not to go off on a tangent, but I think that’s an issue with cloning. You’re starting out with an adult cell, not a virgin one. I’m 35 and if you clone me, you’ve started out with a baby Bert whose genetics think she’s 35. They had to put Dolly the cloned sheep to sleep and although the articles hedged why, it sounded like accelerated aging to me.) I have no problem with dying of old age. I don’t even have any problem dying of cancer, which is one of my other genetic options (via grandpa). This mind stealing, though, is awful. Damn you, beings from Orion.
My mom said my dad is really happy that I came over last week and had lunch with him and went to Home Depot. He also thinks the lunch he had at Red Lobster was the best he’s ever eaten (although he doesn’t remember it was at Red Lobster). She said sometimes he refers to me as “my daughter” and sometimes as “Berta” which seemed to bother her. I don’t think that means he doesn’t remember my name. Sometimes I say “my husband” and sometimes I say “Will”–it depends who I am talking to. If you know us well, I can say “Will” cuz you know who he is. If you don’t know me well, or don’t know Will (like my online friends, for instance) I say “my husband” because to those people, his name is less important than his function. Does that make sense? So I have no problem with my dad calling me “my daughter” as long as he remembers that’s what I am!
On a related note, I did go see “The Notebook” last night. (SPOILERS) It was a weep-fest, but not as bad as when I first saw “Titanic.” I probably would have cried less if less people were in the audience–hearing others sobbing tends to set me off, I’m very empathic. Beth said the same. Overall, the movie was not that good. The two actors who played the young Allie and Noah had no chemistry together–I never believed they loved each other. And her capitulation seemed too quick and without motivation. (I don’t remember how it was in the book.) A few of the Alzheimer’s scenes were pretty awful–one where she remembers him, and they’re dancing, and she says “How long do we have?” and he says “about five minutes” and within a minute she’s screaming in fear at him, “Why are you calling me darling? Who are you?” and the nursing staff has to sedate her while the husband sits there crying. And we’re pretty sure the book did not end the way the film did.
I am going to write some of my novel and then read all those books and take notes. My mother said my dad was drawing on his shoes. Maybe I’ll get him some nice coloring books. I love to color and he’s always colored in the funnies with his high lighters. I see no shame in coloring. I remember my father teaching me to color by cross-hatching instead of just filling in with solid color. I still like to color and I have about...hmm...maybe six coloring books. They are not kid’s books, but the kind you get at an art supply store, stained glass patterns and such. I could get him some nice bird and animal ones. It’s a thought. (738)
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