Never Goodbye

Navigating the Journey through Dementia

I call my dad daily, and I never know what the call will bring. Even though his memory consistently and exceedingly slips away from him, his imagination makes up for what his memory lacks.

Yesterday when I called, he told me he didn’t have time to talk. He was too busy. Now what could an old geezer have going on while hanging out in the Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home? It is anyone’s guess. How could he be too busy to take a phone call? Though my curiosity was certainly peaked, I knew there was no point in trying to find out. I certainly didn’t have his attention. So I simply told him that I called to wish him a good evening and that I would call again tomorrow. He told me that would be better, and he would expect my call tomorrow.

The next day when I called, my dad said they (he and other residents) were trying to decide if they should go home. I told him that dinner would be served in about 45 minutes and so perhaps they should eat dinner and then decide what to do. He was surprised to find out about dinner and asked me to wait a minute while he told them. He set down the phone and announced with great importance, “They are going to serve dinner soon.” We both were resolute that the situation was now in hand and said goodbye. I pictured a revolting group of oldsters, set to leave in mass exodus with my dad as ringleader. Luckily, they were easily placated by the idea of dinner being served.

Busy indeed.