So. I’ve been quiet for like EVER. Sorry about that. But things have been happening!
I spent the weekend in a suburb of Pittsburgh, visiting with family. My grandparents live in an assisted living facility and my aunts and uncles try to make sure at least one person is there with them to help out most weekends. Mummy is legally blind, so she can’t keep things as clean as the facility would like, both of them are diabetic, and Pops…well Poppy is a lot of things. My family is very good at Not Talking about things it would be better to talk about, so I don’t know exactly what to say about him, but his memory is not there, and he is fussy, and sleeps a lot and eats a little. It’s sort of like babysitting a toddler who doesn’t walk around much. He repeatedly asks and/or reaffirms people’s identities and their relationships to one another and himself. This weekend he remembered my dad, my aunt, and Mummy almost every time, but had trouble with the rest of us (two cousins and two other uncles were there as well), though it didn’t seem to bother him as much as it did last time I visited (which, I am ashamed to say, was over a year ago.) He’s an off-the-boat Italian, so he is happy to tell me and Mum and my cousin and aunt how “bee-yoo-tee-ful” we are, and my cousin is great with him (which makes sense, since she is also great with kids) and I did well with him too.
Pops likes to be the center of attention when he is awake. When we got there, he was napping on the couch (sitting upright) and we visited with the rest of the family, and then we all sort of took turns sitting with Pop. I sat with him for a while and he told me “no one is paying attention to me!” right before telling me I didn’t have to stay with him, so I snagged dad from the conversation to spend time with Pops too.
Dad and Mummy went to church that evening, and not long after they left Pops was insisting on dinner (we had taken him out to lunch, but he barely ate anything, not even french fries when we tried to tempt him with them) but we were waiting for Mummy and Dad to come back and also for dinner to be ready, so had to tide him over with a snack, and he got a bit cantankerous. “This is not dinner!” he’d shout, and when asking for Mummy to bring him dinner, he was told she was at church, causing an outburst of “damn the church!” We’ve all gotten used to Pops like this so it was funny, but I am not sure it comes across as such when relayed to non-family. He was still fussy when Mum and Dad returned, and I don’t know why but he told Mummy he was going to divorce her (to which she laughed “again?” so obviously this is a common threat) and while dinner was getting put together he kept asking us if he was a in an English prison, why he was being treated like a prisoner, etc. My cousin, who had been shopping for dinner stuff with my uncles, stepped in with her mom’s iPad and then with her sketchbook and distracted Pops. He used to be a very talented (amateur) artist (and a professional chemist,) and my cousin hopes to be an art teacher, so they drew together for an hour or so while dinner was prepared, and Pops was so content he didn’t even get up immediately for dinner. (He again did not eat much, alas, and my mother temporarily took over my body to put salad on his plate even though he refuses to eat it.) After dinner he moved to his chair and I got him a blanket, and then got him his walker when he decided to go to bed instead, and then we ate ridiculous amounts of chocolate (one of my uncles lives in Switzerland and always brings chocolate with him. I’m thinking of having him sainted.)
I did some drawing with Pops before dinner too, the first time I’d sat down to draw in years. He wouldn’t draw unless my cousin or I asked him to draw something specific, so I’m thinking of sending a sketch pad with a list of things for him to draw for Mummy to give him when he needs distracting.
It’s bout week in DC! Saturday, March 30th at the DC Armory at 4 pm see two bouts and the SITY Allstars Jumprope team at halftime! Plus, if we get 55% of our goal for the warehouse fund by starting whistle of the first bout, Frightmare will shave her head!