Remember that time that you lost your keys? Or, you tore apart all of the sofa cushions to find that remote that always goes missing? We've all lost things before, but... I would have never imagined that my dad would loose so much, so soon to Alzheimer's.
According to alz.org "Anyone who has memory problems and is able to walk is at risk for wandering." Dad started wandering this past year... Well, I guess I should say that mom has been telling me about the times that he wanders now. When mom & dad leave the house to go to the grocery store, to the bank, or anywhere really, the return trip back to the house is when dad starts to get confused.
He doesn't always recognize mom. He sometimes says that he is in his 30's or 40's rather than in his 70's. So... It kinda makes sense that he wouldn't recognize this older woman in her 70's riding in the car with him. I can't imagine what it must be like for dad, I can only console my mom when she tells me about how frequently he forgets who she is, and how when he "comes back" that he always promises her that he won't ever forget her.
I have to write this down just the way mom told it to me.
This past weekend mom & dad took a trip to AZ to visit mom's brothers and sister. They rented a car, as dad's truck is 17 years old and not as reliable as it once was. When it was time to return the rental car, mom had dad follow her to the airport to drop it off and then they started their ride back home... Once they got back to the neighborhood where my parents live, dad asked: "Where can I drop you off?" Mom knew exactly what was happening... It has happened many times before. But this time was different, Mom was tired and hungry, and felt like she needed to get home and eat something to get her sugar up (she has diabetes) before she "crashed". "Viejito, I'm your wife! I live with you, in our home." Dad wasn't buying it. He kept insisting that his wife wouldn't like it very much if he took her in the house, and there had to be some "buddies" or someone that he could drop this strange woman off with... Anywhere besides his home.
Against her better judgment, mom decided that she would not agitate him any further, and needing to attend to her own health as well... She let herself out of the truck at a stoplight and walked home. When dad didn't follow her, or come home after she had time to eat and get herself back together she started to get worried. Dad has been lost before, the police have been involved before. She was hoping and praying that today wouldn't be one of those days. But now... Too much time had passed. She called 911.
Apologetically mom told the 911 dispatcher the situation. They reassured her that she was doing the right thing by calling them, and that an officer would be out soon to take her report, and begin the search for dad. "Wait, I hear the door, I think my husband is home", mom told the dispatcher over the phone. "Yes, it's him - he just walked in the door, you don't need to send anyone over." Mom was relieved that dad was home, and began the process of showing him photo albums, and their marriage license to remind him who he was, and who they were together.
Later on that night. Dad went out front either to take out the trash, or get something from the glove compartment of his truck, I forget which my mom told me. The point is... When dad went outside, it was then that he realized that his truck was not in the driveway... It must have been stolen! Mom said dad came into the house cussing, and upset that someone had taken his truck. She went to go see for herself... Yep, no truck. Mom always says that everything is a test from God. This was no different... Truck gone - test. Dad getting Alzheimer's... Same. It's all a test, and how we react to our tests, how we live our lives, and put things into the proper perspective will determine how we are rewarded. It was late, already dark. They would report the truck stolen in the morning. After all of the tests they had been through today - mom needed rest.
Sunday morning... Mothers Day. Mom gets up after a night of tossing and turning, she prays the rosary a few times and walks to church like she always does. She has already been making plans to buy a new car, so this must just be another sign from God - that's what she should do. On her walk home from mass, mom see's a truck that looks just like dad's down the block on a street near the house... No it couldn't be she thought. She made her way over to the old pickup. There it was! Parked and locked about a half block from the house. She went home, got dad and they walked to go pick up the truck and take it home.
Dad probably wont remember any of this, but to mom...
Everything is in divine order.