Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Visiting relatives

I visited my relatives in Nova Scotia at the end of September.

Mom and Dad are getting very skinny. This is because Mom serves very small portions, not because of any health issues. One night Mom had to go to a church event, so I made supper for Dad. He ate double his normal amount, and still had room for ice cream.

Dad's Alzheimers is slowly getting worse, but Mom seems happier when she is taking care of him - as if he fills a void left when all of us kids moved out. Or as if he's a pet. She's relaxed and cheerful as she directs him to do his daily tasks.

Dad's Alzheimers gets worse when Mom is around. He doesn't say much, agrees with whatever she says, and sits quietly most of the time. When she goes and he's alone with me, he suddenly becomes much better. He becomes vocal and speaks eloquently at length, voices his opinions, and moves about briskly doing whatever he feels like. As soon as she comes home, he becomes quiet again, and lets her make all the decisions.

Mom complained to me that she couldn't get Dad to sign over his retirement funds to her, so that she could handle them as his abilities decreased. Dad complained to me that my mom keeps trying to continue my family's ancient tradition of stealing the assets of elderly relatives. I told Dad that if someone's going to steal your money, it's better that at least someone in the family gets to use it.

Mom drove us to visit my grandmother in Hantsport, Nova Scotia (Dad's mother). My grandmother's Alzheimers is severe, but she managed to pick up enough hints to know that I was her grandchild that had moved to Toronto. I tried massaging her head and shoulders (which my other grandmother likes), but she asked me to stop. She seems happy, as the nursing home is in a well-maintained historic mansion with elegant fireplaces and ceiling moldings. She doesn't remember where she is or how she got there, but she knows she must be doing well to have such a nice house.

Mom drove us to visit my other grandmother and my sister in Melrose, Nova Scotia (Mom's mother). The trip was nice, as the leaves were turning colour on all the trees. My grandmother and I planned a vacation for her in the spring. Sandy and I will fly to Halifax and meet her and my sister at the train station. We'll all take an overnight train to Montreal, staying in first-class sleeper cabins and eating in the restaurant car while watching the scenery. We'll stay in the hotel at the train station in Montreal for a few days, touring about and eating poutine, before taking the train back to Nova Scotia. It'll be a relaxing time where she can meet Sandy, and will give her a chance to travel and see the sights. Importantly, she will never be more than a few steps away from a private bed where she can rest.

One day, Dad and I were alone in the house. I had given him a Kobo Arc Android tablet, and loaded it full of TV shows and movies for him to watch. I asked him what shows he'd like me to add to its memory. He said, "Oh, how about some light porn?" I coughed, and said if he gave me some specifications I'd see what I could do. Then the washing machine finished its cycle, so I dashed off to take care of that. By the time I had come back, I had a better idea. I showed him how to open a web browser on the tablet, and how he could open a search engine. I then showed him how he could search for images or videos of kitties, or of fields of corn, or of pork, or other things. He seemed to get the idea that he could find anything he wanted on the internet.
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