Evenings and weekends are the hardest.
Before Jerry's illness, we were busy at work during the week. Our kids were either married or off at college. Our evening's and weekends were our own. It's the time when you're ready to wind down, take a breather, maybe a glass of wine, share the events of the day.
But, that doesn't happen anymore. You'd think I'd be use to it by now. Grant it there are times when I've got things planned and my time is filled with small talk and chatter with friends. But tonight, and for the last few nights, the sun has begun to set and I've caught myself looking over at the front door.
It's a half door with filtered glass on the top and I keep looking to see if Jerry's silhouette is there. I want him to come home.
Today, I went to visit him. As i walked through the doors to the unit, I could see him sitting outside on the covered porch with his roommate and his family. Jerry was sleeping in his chair. It's a site I see quite often. Sitting up and dozing is his norm. The aides pointed to the porch. "Do you see him out there? He's asleep. I want to see him when he sees you." I walked on out and the aides were watching through the window. They love to see his expression.
I softly walked over in front of him and reached down and touched his knee. I said, "Jerry. Wake up. It's me." He barely moved. I shook him again, this time a little louder. "Jerry. Wake up sleepy head."
Everyone watched with their sad sweetness. Jerry began to open his eyes. He looked. "It's me. Do you know me?" He didn't. He didn't know me. After a few minutes and a bit of prodding….I kept hoping he would reach out his arms like he usually does. He didn't.
For some miracle, I was able to keep my composure. The aides slipped away with a sigh. I managed to get him up and we sat together on one of the double rockers. Held hands. It felt good to lean against his shoulder and feel his skin. He was not there. I visited with everybody, just as if it were a Sunday afternoon. We rocked. It was a glorious fall day in North Carolina. For over an hour, we chatted about the weather and our "stuff". Jerry silent sat. His eyes were big and blue and blank. He never knew me.
Tonight, I miss him terribly. He's not coming to the front door, saying, "Honey, I'm home." WHY AM I SO MELANCHOLY?!!!!! I thought I was over that! I suppose because it's a Friday night and people are suppose to be going out with their friends, socializing, going to the movie. My retired friends say I'm stuck in a stage of my life….stuck in the 49 range..when people still had routines and went out on weekends. My retired friends say every day is the same….they don't necessarily go OUT of a Friday night. They may go out every night..or not at all. But for me, since our Alzheimer journey started when I was 47 and Jerry was 51, my date stamp checked out then…and is still checked out. TIme stood still and is still standing still.
It's such a weird place to be but as I told my daughter today…"it's my life". It's become my life and it's on hold. I hardly know anything different. It's ok. It will be alright. This to shall pass. Tomorrow's another day and my paint brush is waiting. Thank God. Is it morning yet?