How Things are Going 5 Weeks after Dad’s Death

We just got back from Ellen Seacrest’s house where we had lunch with several other friends. Kate is taking a short nap before we head to a movie; so I thought I might make an observation or two on our current state.

All-in-all I think we are making slow but steady progress in our recovery. Surprisingly, I think Kate is having a harder time adjusting than I. I think that is due mostly to the fact that I have had a number of responsibilities with the  foundation, music club, and Sunday school that have kept me busier. Kate commented yesterday that she is finding herself not having anything to do. We have both talked about pursuing some kind of volunteer work. I have even gotten the name of a contact at one of our hospitals. I will contact her after the first of the year. I mentioned several different things I thought we might do, and working with children was the one Kate liked most.

I notice that Kate is spending much of her time playing Free Cell on her computer. I think that is because so many other things frustrate her. Also the weather has been colder. That makes it more difficult to be outside pruning the plants.

We went to New York last week and had a great time, but we can’t always be doing special things. Beginning now I need to make more effort to see that she is occupied in worthwhile/pleasurable activities. Otherwise, she will just vegetate. She can’t seem to focus on anything for any length of time. She started decorating the house for Christmas. I thought that was a good idea, but she stopped with garlands of greenery thrown on the floor or across the furniture.

Her short term memory is clearly getting worse. I think this is what is going to give her condition away to friends. She is very likely to ask the same question in relatively short time frame. This is beginning to happen a lot.

As we were coming home from the Ellen’s, she said she had talked with a man who told her that his wife “has the same thing that I have. What is that?” I told her it was Alzheimer’s. She, of course, remembered immediately. This is a frequent occurrence. Yesterday she asked me to tell her our passcode to listen to our voicemail. This is something she has been using for several years without a problem. Later in the day she had to ask me again.

I am struggling about telling the children. I want to honor her desire that they not know, but I feel I have benefitted by knowing. It means I make the most of the time we have together. The children don’t stay in as much contact with her. This is not anything that she even realizes, but I believe she would love it if she heard from them more frequently.

Yesterday I had just about made up my mind to tell them before her birthday in January. Today I am more doubtful. I don’t want the grandchildren to know. They might say something to Kate. Then Kate would know that I had betrayed her confidence. As I write this I am feeling like telling them anyway. I have a little time to think and will weigh the pros and cons.