Brad has fish. He loves his fish. They are in a tank in his room. He feeds them every morning and they have survived for over a year. Every month the rest of the family pitches in and changes out the water. It usually only takes about 15 minutes and is a nice team effort.
Recently it was way past time to do the fish tank. I was still in my PJ’s at 2 pm on a Sunday, having spent the day cleaning, baking bread and fixing a meal for a dinner party we were hosting. Our guest would be arriving shortly and I had everything planned out. I had time for the fish tank. This would fit in and work with plenty of time for me to shower and get ready while Frances baked some brownies.
We start the process. I realize as the water is quickly rising up the bucket that we don’t have the second bucket for the water being siphoned out of the tank. I yell to Jim, who is across the hall in the bathroom filling water jugs, that we need the other bucket. He quickly runs outside and in a few minutes returns with another large bucket to put the completely gross fish water in.
All is going well until I look down and see that the bucket is leaking. Fast. There is a very long split in the side and the water is going straight under Brad’s bed. Which is heavy. And has drawers full of clothes under it. Which the water is quickly disappearing beneath. Ughhh. And I let it be known that Jim got the wrong bucket (this has happened before). In the rush to find something quickly, he grabbed the one with the big crack in it that we had just discussed not 30 minutes before when he was collecting items to use for the water switch. I had reminded him NOT to get the bucket with the holes in it (for a drainage project he started months ago) or the one that leaked when we did the tank previously. Looking back, I am kicking myself for not paying closer attention; for not making him get rid of the cracked bucket; for not getting all of the items needed myself. You see where all of this can lead….to a person completely having a breakdown. So, I have to let go of the hindsight scenarios and remember for the next time. It is very difficult to be environmentally friendly and economical sometimes when you have a person with Alzheimer’s Disease living in your home. The easy solution is to just throw EVERYTHING out, which isn’t practical or environmentally sound.
Yes, I lost it just a little. Not as bad as I have in the past, but since I haven’t lost it in a while, it was a setback. It almost feels like an alcoholic that is counting the days. And then when you slip, you have to start counting again from day 1. I have to start back over. Damn. I had been doing so good.
Brad whispered to me a while after, when I was back in the kitchen fixing the salad…”I knew Dad was having a bad day when he forgot how to play table football.”
What do you say to your 9 year old son who has to live each day trying to figure out how his Dad is doing? But the worst thing he said: “Mom, please don’t be mad at him. He can’t help it. It isn’t his fault.”
Yes, I am starting over. Back to single digit days and working my way up to another milestone. My advantage? Two loving children who are keeping me on the right path and looking out for us both.