There are few bright spots in the story that is Alzheimer's. About the only one I can point to is the way trying to deal with an impossible situation has drawn me closer to my siblings. My sisters and I got together on a recent weekend to try to figure out ways to help my parents, who steadfastly refuse to be helped. Any assistance we give them has to be surreptitious, and (compounding the problem) if we all arrive at their home at the same time, my father immediately becomes suspicious, certain we are there to bundle him off to the "home." So keep him calm on this occasion, my sisters and I announced that we were getting together for a quilting weekend. One of us would work on a quilt in the front of the house, while the two others hid in a back bedroom going through bills and making sure they were paid. We rotated in and out on the quilting, so that my parents always saw one of us working. Here I am, looking like I know what I'm doing:
Of course, we didn't start and finish the quilts while we were there, but each of us had a one in one stage or another of completion. I hadn't done any quilting for years, but this little parent/quilt-project (and one like it this summer) started me up again. That is a photo at the top of my finished quilt, out in the garden with my tool trug and squash. It is a simple, traditional four-square pattern, with homespun fabrics.
And then, just before it was time to go, we got together for pictures. Here's a picture of my sisters with theirs:
And a sweet photo of Mom and Dad:
My sisters and I live in different places, with different lives, goals, priorities, politics, and religions. But this thing we're dealing with has brought us back together and strengthened our bonds, and I guess that's a little tidbit of joy in the middle of the nightmare.
So what am I thankful for this year? All those little tidbits, the bright spots that make life bearable.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.