It’s been 4 months now. I’d like to say it’s easier but it’s not. People ask, “Does he recognize you?” Yes, he recognizes me. I grieve over him and tears can rain down my cheeks in an instant. All those months of preparing to place Jerry didn’t prepare me at all. There are times when he doesn’t know my name. In fact there are times he comes running to me calling me, “Mama.” There have been times when he looked shocked when our eyes met. Shocked as if...”Is this you?” or “I’ve been with you for an hour now...and “I don’t know you.” But, Jerry knows who I am. It annoys me when well meaning friends, in their loving way, try to convince me that his is not the Jerry I’ve always known. In his own way, he still is.
Today was Father’s Day. I was happy to watch my grandchildren as they presented their dad the album they had made. I saw those pictures of a delighted and happy dad celebrating times with his boys throughout their lives. Those boys are the light of his life. Our children were, and still are, the light of Jerry’s life. I remember those wonderful moments of bonding. Around noon, we all went to see Jerry for a picnic. It was the first time my oldest daughter had seen him in about a month. When I brought Jerry to the park, he saw someone familiar walking towards him across the parking lot. He held out his arms and sobbed as he held his 36 year old little girl and her babies.
No, Jerry may not be congisant of everything, but he still knows those who are close to him. No, he may not be able to hold a conversation or care for himself, but he can still give with his spirit. He still feels and smells like Jerry. His blue eyes are still blue. Weighing 150 pounds now, I have this insatiable need to hold his hand and stroke his soft skin, as frail as he is. It’s the same feeling of our newest grand baby. ...soft, unmarred, gentle. Yes, I am still attached. There are those who say that I need to accept that this is not the man I once knew. In some ways he still isn’t, but in some ways, he is. In some ways he’s even better. Kinder , gentler and more soulfull.
I am thankful for those who care for him. They are angels sent from heaven. Speaking of heaven. When Jerry and I were silently stopped at a traffic light the other day, he suddenly straightened up and with a bright countenance said, “God! He is good!” Those were the only words he said that day. I believe the spirit of God is communicating with Jerry in ways that are, well, “soulful and spiritual and well, Godlike.”
So, no...we cannot let go of 41 years in 4 months. We will take what we can get and we will slowly adjust. Each moment is a valuable nugget that must be stored away as treasure.