Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Couple of Days in Alternate Reality Land

Many people think their parents are crazy, my mother is steadily slipping into alternate reality land.  All of the time she talks about going up stairs, my parents have lived in single story “ranch style” homes for well over 60 years.  Yesterday she asked my sister to go up into the attic over the upstairs bedroom and help that man out of the long sleeve satin dress. We had been talking about wedding dresses (my sister is getting married again) but we have no idea who the man is and why he is in the attic over the imaginary second floor in her 65 year old satin dress. Yesterday evening she looked at me and said, “I am sure there are shovels in the garage, you can plant anyplace along the front.”  When my father asked what in the world she wanted me to plant, the answer was roses - I could plant as many as I wanted.  I assured her that I had planted all of the roses and they were doing fine.  I had planted roses across the front of their house, about 25 years ago.  At midnight last night she was blowing her distress whistle and then arguing with my father that she wanted to get up (she can’t get in and out of bed without help.)  She was refusing to turn the television in their bedroom off, every time my father drifted off to sleep she would turn the volume up until he woke up.  He would turn the television off, she would turn it on and turn the volume up and hide the remote.  At one time I wondered where I learned passive aggressive behavior.

My parents are 86.  It has been a rough year. Mom was in and out of the hospital and a nursing home.  My sister and her soon to be husband (he knows what he is getting himself into,) moved in with my parents to provide in-home care for mom.  Mom has Parkinson's, is unable to walk, stand or transfer from chair to chair, or bed to chair without full help.  Her memory has been fading and her personal reality has settled in quite soundly over the past year.  I am not sure what special land she lives in, but she is comfortable and happy most of the time.  How the rest of them in this house remain sane living in her alternate reality, I don't know.


  1. A telling and personal post
    Been there myself

  2. It is a woeful and frustrating journey seeing our loved ones grow old and frail. I feel for you. My turn is coming up all too soon.