Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Day Harry Didn't Come.


She came to me, asking, "Can you help me with my hair?"

"Of course."

She looked very neat and pretty in a striped blouse and slacks. Her makeup was lightly and neatly applied. Just a whisper of blush, a slip a frosted peach lipstick. I pulled out the brush and helped turn her bob under using a curling iron. She fussed and picked until it fell just right and I sprayed it all down with Final Net. Then she fussed and picked some more and I wandered away to let her finish. After awhile she appeared in the kitchen with her purse on her shoulder.

Have you seen Harry, she asked?
Um, no,why?

He's supposed to pick me up.
 
I don't know. I haven't heard anything. I didn't think he was coming today.

He was supposed to come and now he's late.
 
I can't help but be curious, so I ask,

Where were you going?

Oh, you know, what's it called? A touch of frustration wrinkles her forehead.
That place. That place we always go.

Oh yeah, I answer, well as far as I know he isn't coming today. Maybe we'll hear from him later.
I'm sorry.

He's probably with that woman.

I'm shocked for a moment by that brow raising statement and ask,

What woman?

You know. That one. That floozy! He's probably off traipsing around having a grand old time with that tramp!

She flops on the kitchen chair, slapping her purse down, her brow furrowed and mouth set in an angry staright line.

Oh my. This is injustice. I feel it keenly in my heart. This is not fair. It is untrue. But I can't say what's true. I can't tell her why Harry will not be arriving. She is too fragile for this news. This is something she cannot handle at this point in her life. It isn't the right time. It will never be the right time. But I can't bring myself to cause her this pain. Harry would not be coming. Harry was dead.

My husband had come in the room and was listening.

What's wrong,? he asked her.

She started to cry. Harry was supposed to come get me. We were going out and now he's not coming and I got all dressed and ready to go for nothing.

I look at my husband, helpless, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say.

He stood you up? he asked her.

Yes, she smacked her fist on the table. I was looking forward to it all week.

What a jerk, my husband exclaimed, telling you you were going out and then standing you up!

My eyes widened in shock. What on earth was he doing?

Yeah, you're right she replied angrily. He is a jerk. I bet he's with some other girl.

Seems to me you don't need a jerk like that, he said. There's plenty of other guys. Why should you care about going out with someone who would treat you that way. Forget him!

 I guess you're right, she sighed. But I really wanted to go.

Would you like to go out to the store with me in a little while, my kind husband asked my 80 year old mother, since you're already dressed?

She smiled, Sure, let's go!

Good, he smiled back, who needs Harry anyway?

 Puzzled, her face scrunched with confusion, she looked at him like he was nuts and asked,

Who the Hell is Harry?
 
Just one day in our life and one of the funny moments from the time we spent with my mother and Alzheimer's. My father, Harry, had been dead for seven years - and was never known to run around with floozies either. What he didn't know was that, for all her fussing, sometimes she would have a date with somebody else ; ) They never showed up either. Despite the  delusions  caused by her illness, she loved my father very much

My mother passed away in 2008 just two days before what would have been their 59th wedding anniversary.  I'm pretty sure he was there to pick her up : )

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.

For information or to help you can visit here: alz.org

Another great place for information is here: www.alzheimers.gov


Offer support however you can. Donate. Participate. Hug an Alzheimer's patient-even have a chat with them-it's an interesting place to visit ; ) And if you know a Caregiver please offer your support, and Hugs...and Chocolate....
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If I don't reply to comments right away, I didn't forget you! I'll be going out of town for a little while. I'll be able to read comments but may not be able to reply, if not, I'll catch you when I get back.
Don't forget me either...eat some blueberries or something...



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16 comments:

  1. I LOVE the last line of your story! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! I'll bet he was, too.

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    1. I'm sure he was or he'll be hearing about it for all eternity!

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  2. Oh, your husband did the absolute perfect thing.

    I forgot about this and your mother.

    My husband does so well with my mother. When she tells him that Fidel Castro waned to marry her, he doesn't say no, he didn't. He says, "GOOD CHOICE TO SAY NO!"

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    Replies
    1. He became really good at playing along. Sounds like your husband is too, How Funny! : )

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  3. hysterically heartbreaking :-) but your husband is a peach! i just sort of love that she would get gussied up to go on a date with anyone. sweet. if it happens to me, i'll plant my butt on the couch and wonder why mike isn't getting me a blanket and a bag of chips!

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    Replies
    1. Oh me too! wait..I already do that : )

      One time Mid and I were riding through the neighborhood when an ancient old man in an ancient car waved at us to stop and ask directions. He had no idea where he was going and neither did I but after we pulled away Mid said, Maybe that was grandma's date finally showing up-that's why I love that kid.

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  4. This was lovely, funny yet brought tears to my eyes, well done!

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  5. That made me a bit teary and emotional. He handled it so well, and I'm glad he had a special way with her. Very sorry that she had to battle that though.

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean but we usually laugh at this particular memory. There were plenty of tears and we had to find the humor to survive it : )

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  6. 'Hysterically heartbreaking' sums it up pretty well. I had paranoid clients in the group home where I had similar conversations - I wish I'd had your husband there.

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    1. I get all pissed off imagining him being condescending to me when I've lost my mind ; )

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  7. Officially 'out of here' folks. Please leave a message at the tone and I will reply to your comment as soon as possible:

    BEEP

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aww. I remember when my friends great grandmother.lived with them and she had Alzheimer too.

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