This is a picture of my dad in the barracks on an Air Force base. The back of the photo reads: BARRACK'S LIFE IS RUGGED! The handwriting isn't my Dad's, though, and he also wouldn't have mispunctuated.
Often Dad's reality is mismatched from the moment actually transpiring to a moment from long ago. In addition to the Alzheimer's diagnosis, Dad has recently been plagued with pneumonia, and other random viruses passed along to him from his goobie grandchildren who are laden with germs so he's been more confused than usual. Sometimes it seems like my father is already gone. In truth, he cannot do any of the things he once loved to do. He spends most of his time on a couch in a living room and cannot find his way back to the living room once he wanders out of it. Attempts at dialogue are a challenge. Dad talks with me like his words are making sense but more often than not lately, they are not. Other days, he cannot talk at all. I recently began scanning Dad's old photographs from his Air Force photo album. One of my regrets is that my father kept some mementos and photographs but that their story could 'die' with him. Most of his photographs are not nota
Before my father moved in with me, I'd occasionally go up to Cambridge to spend the weekend with him while Barbara was working. "So, are you planning on spending the night tonight?" he'd ask. When I'd announce I was spending the entire weekend, he would look overjoyed, "Oh! Good, good! So..., you'll be here all weekend, then? That's great!" Sometimes, he would ask me this more than once and when he realized it, he would simply laugh and say, "I already asked you that, didn't I? Why am I repeating myself?" and he'd laugh, and then drink another glass of wine. I'm not quite sure why - if his intention had been to regulate his amount of drinking? - but he often drank wine out of a small juice glass. Unfortunately, he had a tendency to continually refill his juice glass. It was difficult to tell whether his drinking confounded his memory, or his memory confounded his drinking. It's hard to know. Today, Dad asked me,