“BRAD TOLD ME HE WANTS TO BE A CHEMIST. I WENT OVER OPTIONS FOR SCIENTIFIC JOBS IN CLASS AND HE SAID IF THE BASEBALL THING DIDN’T WORK OUT, HE WAS GOING TO BECOME A SCIENTIST AND FIND A CURE FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE.” —Brad’s teacher at Back to School Night.
One night this week I had to work late. I didn’t get home until almost 9:30, after working since 8 a.m. I was tired, I was wanting to relax and I was a little hungry.
Frances was still awake, as usual. She wills herself to stay awake until I am home and she wills herself awake in the wee hours of the morning to see me before I go. As I went into her room to kiss her goodnight and check on her, I realized I was worn out and just wanted to go to bed myself . Brad was sound asleep. I go back downstairs to unwind a little. I hear Frances go to the bathroom. A minute later I hear her calling me upstairs, telling me something is wrong and I need to come up right away. I immediately have thoughts of blood and a possible need for an emergency room visit.
As I am coming up the stairs, she tells me the sink exploded. As I get further up the stairs, she changes to a story of not the sink, but, just come see.
As I turn into the bathroom, I look at the sinks and nothing. She points to the cabinet. “Look, there Mom.”
What the Hell?
The shaving cream Jim uses and puts on the very top shelf of the bathroom cabinet had exploded and there were 3 shelves with fluffy, light blue foam all over them.
She tries to tell me she didn’t know what had happened. I can hear in her voice that she is worried I am going to be upset. I can tell she is scared for my reaction. I tell her it is ok and to go to bed. I thank her for telling me. Inside, I am completely aggravated.
10 feet away our bedroom door is wide open and I know Jim just went in there. I know he can hear our exchange. I know he knows I am cleaning up this mess. I am really frustrated that I haven’t been home 30 minutes from a very long day and I am cleaning up something he knew about and didn’t recognize to do. Frances had told me it was like that earlier. And I know Jim had just been in there before he went to bed, after I got home.
What can I do? I clean it up and head back down stairs. Trying not to be upset with the fact Jim is in bed, relaxing, as I clean up the shaving cream and never bothers to get up and even offer to help. The fact I am hungry and exhausted and just plain worn out seems secondary to all that needs to be done around the house. How in the world will I ever find the energy or time to get this house cleaned up?
The same scenario had unfolded just a couple of days before when Frances broke a glass on the kitchen floor that was full of ice water. Jim sat at the table, eating his meal as I tried to clean up wet glass. Again, my insides were churning. An impasse has come and an impasse has gone. I think.
Mixed interchangeably with the frustration of having to clean up a mess is the realization that someone who normally would be beside you to help is sitting on the sidelines watching; with little reaction or recognition of the situation.
I am growing as a person. I am not questioning him about it. I am not yelling, I am not even mad.
And I know that I am subcoming to the disease too. I am losing my hope. I am losing my fight.
That is sad. To lose hope and to stop believing and fighting is a sign that you have accepted the outcome. That is very distressing and uncomforting.
So, I continue to fight. But not with Jim. Not with the disease in my home. I will fight this disease on an even playing field. Where it counts. Raising money, raising awareness and fighting for research and help with care.
Please join me in the fight.
Please make a donation to my Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team.
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