Sunday, January 17, 2010

1/17/2010 Brunch Day

We were grownups today!

We had two friends over for brunch, a wonderful couple with a beautiful house and yard that they did themselves. Partly, I was after some landscaping advice, but I so enjoy the fun company, good ideas on interior decoration, commiseration on remodeling -- and understanding about parents with Alzheimer's.

Cathy's mother Norma was, until very recently, my Dad's lady love, his minute-by-minute companion, his touchstone, his guide and confidante in the strange world that is dementia. Few people find such closeness and connection in their lives as my Dad did with Norma. Alzheimer's brought them together, and ultimately, tore them apart. But they had an overall happy 18 months in their own special world together. They didn't know each other's names, but were rarely seen without their hands tightly clasped together, always sitting together, chatting, talking in ways that only they understood, guiding each other through the day.

They're apart now, and don't exactly remember each other, but we know Dad feels the loss deeply. Norma has asked, "Where is my friend?" but if she misses him it's internalized in a way she can no longer express either. Thankfully Norma has not declined at Dad's pace, and she is still contently living at the very nice assisted living facility where they met.

I can thank Dad for indirectly introducing us to Norma's two wonderful daughters though. Interesting, smart, active women, with really nice supportive and terrific husbands. Though my father is no longer living with their mother, I hope we will remain friends for a long long time.

Though Gabriel lamented that we only invited playdates for us and not him, the kids were overall surprisingly good and amused themselves peacefully -- Katrina especially -- while we acted like grownups for an afternoon.


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