Summary Notes on Trip to Texas

We are nearing the end of our trip. Here are a few observations of things that have happened.

Kate has been confused about when and where we are going the entire time. Fortunately, she has not been frustrated or depressed., but she keeps asking me where we are. I know that has been a special problem because we have been going from one place to another visiting family and friends. We flew into Dallas where we visited two childhood friends, one of mine, Carter Owens, and one of hers, Meg Wright. Then we drove to San Angelo where we are stayed two nights with Kate’s brother, Ken, and his wife, Virginia.

From there we went to Lubbock to spend Christmas with our son, Kevin, and his family. Then we drove back to Fort Worth where we visited one of Kate’s cousins and his wife. We also made a day trip to Waco to visit the Magnolia Market that has gotten so much attention on HGTV. Considering all of this travel, it is not too surprising that Kate has been confused.

When she has had the opportunity, and she did almost every day, she has rested in the morning and the afternoon. She has also gone to bed at a decent hour. Only the first night in  San Angelo did she get to bed late as did I. That is a good thing. She has needed her rest.

One afternoon we called Laura Williams, a high school friend of Kate’s. She was uneasy about what to say to Laura when she got on the line. She didn’t want me to leave her alone in the hotel room to make the call to Laura without me. I stayed.

In a number of conversations she asked me to tell a story to others instead of telling it herself. She seems to remember the gist of stories but can’t remember enough details to relate them to others.

One of those stories goes back to the days of our dating. It involves a phone call that Kate’s grandmother took one night. As I recall the story, when the person asked for Kate, her grandmother (a very proper person) said, “She’s not here. She’s at a dinner party at the funeral home.” Recently Kate has been telling it as a call her mother received and that her mother said to the caller, “She’s not here. She’s at the funeral home.” One night at dinner with a former professor of mine she said that her mother received a call for her and her mother said, “She’s not here. She’s gone out of town with Richard to pick up a body.”

One morning in San Angelo before Kate came to the breakfast table, Virginia whispered in my ear that she really felt for me in terms of what we are going through. I told her we had been fortunate so far but that the tough times lay ahead. She nodded in agreement. I know that she is observing Kate’s behavior closely since Ken also has Alzheimer’s having received his diagnosis about three years after Kate.  That is about the same difference in their ages.

During the trip even this afternoon and evening she has expressed some irritation with me. This afternoon it involved shopping at the Magnolia Market in Waco. I told her she needed to set some priorities on what she bought because we were flying home tomorrow and would not have room for a lot of things. She also got annoyed when I was about to reach the checkout counter after waiting a while in line. Kate had wandered around. I saw where she was and called to her to come to me. She was irritated. We have not had a lot of moments like this, but they occur frequently enough for me to notice and comment on this behavior. I am wondering where this will lead.

While the trip has gone well, I am glad that I made the decision to make it. I believe we are likely to visit Lubbock and San Angelo again, but I am less confident about Fort Worth.

I continue to feel confident about our trip to the Caribbean in January and optimistic about the trip to Europe in May and Chautauqua in June-July. I don’t know after that.

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