Never Goodbye

Navigating the Journey through Dementia

Ken and I visited several times. Dad was hanging in there. He enjoyed his independence and privacy. He studied investing, and lined his book shelves with numerous books on healthcare, money management, and other practical skills. For years Dad collected coins. Coins were real, tangible and a good investment. He appeared to have an endless appetite for learning that filled his life and days.

Unfortunately, even in Eden, paradise becomes fleeting, and trouble lurks on the horizon. Dad always said, “I never have to look for trouble, it comes right to me.” And invariably trouble would find him, when he was bored. Boredom remained Dad’s worst enemy. I chalked it up to boredom when out of the blue he phoned me to say he was calling the police to report that my son Brad had stolen some coins.

After reasoning with him, Dad agreed to confront Brad before taking action. Upon hanging up, I immediately phoned Brad to find out what I could. Brad was shocked. He swore that he did not steal Dad’s coins, nor had he ever considered doing so.

We surmised that underlying dad’s accusation, were the facts he was bored and that Brad hadn’t been spending much time with him. Left alone with too much time to think, and not enough interesting events to spark up his life, Dad probably felt abandoned, and that meant betrayal.

Brad went to visit Dad and convinced him of his innocence. When I called Dad the next day he no longer believed Brad had stolen from him. Then as Brad began spending more time with Dad again, the matter was put to rest.

Y2K proved a wonderful adventure. My dad began preparing for the end of life as we knew it. He bought dried foods and built a shelter in the woods. He purchased several first aid kits, guns, bullets, and loaded up on survival information. He even flew to San Diego and took a wilderness survival class. We talked a lot on the phone, and he urged me to get ready. Then Jan 1st, 2000 arrived and virtually nothing happened. Yes, Y2K was a dud, but at least it provided further entertainment, for now we joked and laughed about it.