I’ve noted before that I often wonder when is the right time to let the children know. I am now comfortable with the decision to hold off as long as we can, but can’t help wondering if the week with the family this summer in Jackson Hole might not give the children a reason to suspect. Having talked with Kate, I know that she is far from ready to mention anything to anyone.

A related issue is when do you (Kate) stop accepting certain responsibilities. She seems eager to volunteer for certain things that are hard for her. Last summer she volunteered to be the editor of our neighborhood association newsletter and directory. She was going to get an issue out last fall with pictures from a Labor Day picnic and our flag at half-staff for 9/11. She still hasn’t gotten the newsletter out.

Late Saturday afternoon when I got home from visiting Dad, she was very glad to see me. She had been working on the neighborhood association directory and was quite frustrated. She asked if I could spend Sunday afternoon helping her out. I agreed to do so. I should say that after lunch on Saturday I had created an Excel file she could use to enter any new neighbors or to update the information we have on existing ones. This was a simple matter in that I simply did a “”save as” from the original file she was given. Then I put the information in a form that she could work with more easily than the original file. I tried to ask her what she wanted me to do now, but she didn’t want to explain. This is a very, very common pattern in our relationship. It is difficult for her to explain things. The explaining part of her brain just isn’t working properly.

On Sunday afternoon we worked together to address her problem. It turns out that she needed to organize an existing hard copy of the directory. The way the directory had been assembled the names were organized by streets but neither arranged by house number nor alphabetically by names of the owners. That makes it very hard to locate a particular person. This is a very easy task akin to organizing a deck of cards, but she simply got too confused and couldn’t do it. I simply did it for her.

This raises the question of how long Kate can continue to do something like this. It is simply too difficult. She was called for jury duty by our municipal court last week and was excused because of her age. She was disappointed. She thought it would be interesting to serve. I, however, thought it would put her in an uncomfortable position since it would require asking her to comprehend arguments, remember details, and to render judgment on a person. These are all things that would have been difficult for her.

Sometimes it’s funny; sometimes it’s not.

The overriding response to AD is sadness, anger, depression, etc. – all things that we think of as negative. We’ve had our share of those things right from the beginning. I still remember the tears that came to my eyes when the doctor told Kate the diagnosis. Much of what I have reported involves the negative even though it is simply a report of something she has done that illustrates her condition.

On the other hand, we experience funny moments, or perhaps I should say, we don’t always react with sadness or depression. For example, yesterday Kate called me from her GYN’s office to say that she was through. We decided to meet at Bruegger’‘s for lunch. Her GYN’s office is on the same street as Bruegger’s. I had worried about Kate’s getting to her doctor’s office since she had not been in a good while. I had offered to lead the way for her. She declined and was able to get there without any problem. After we hung up, I thought I should have asked if she could get to Bruegger’s without any trouble. I didn’t; however, since we go there so regularly and it is on the same street as her doctor’s office. Nevertheless, I did worry a little and thought I might hear from her. I left home to meet her at the restaurant and noticed that she was not there when I arrived. I had a bad feeling but went in a started placing our order. While I was doing so, I got a call from her. She was frustrated. I asked where she was. She told me she was downtown near UT.  That meant that she not only did not simply drive on Taylor to the restaurant but that she had gone the opposite direction from the restaurant.

Anyway, I guided her over the phone, and she arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes later. When she arrived, she laughed about what she had done. This is not an uncommon reaction when she does something like this. I told her I was glad she could laugh about it. She then told me she had seen Ellen that morning. Ellen asked when we were going to South America. When she gave her answer (which she wouldn’t even tell me), Ellen said, “Oh, that’s right away.” Then she realized she had given the wrong answer. This is a very common occurrence. She has no idea when she has appointments, when or where we are going, etc. She and my dad both forget times and dates within moments of my telling them. They simply don’t register.

My point here is that sometimes we just laugh. I find that is good for both of us. We have enough of the more negative reactions. I am wondering what how we will react as time passes and things become more serious.