Belated Birthday

I spend the most of today with the man I call Grandad. My mum’s dad. I always enjoy our time together, but he gets increasingly more confused these days.

He suffers with vascular dementia and the signal from his eyes to his brain is not all that great. The smallest tasks are difficult for him and his known and loved personality is fading. It’s a killer for him, in his most lucid moments he tells us he hates it and he can’t go on. It’s hard for us around him becauae he is a shadow of the man he used to be. All because of dementia.

Delilah, Demon dog and I walked to the grandparents place this morning and arrived at about 9.30ish. Grandma had already set off for her morning out with a friend. They were off to see some historical picture at the film and photography museum. Grandad was waiting for us with the front door open, I just hope he wasn’t standing there for too long as I’m not sure what time grandma left.

Parked the pram up, got baby and dog inside and made us a cuppa. We had an upbeat morning together. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about. I’m finding it harder and harder to tell what he is talking about. I agree to most things and try talk with him about things in his distant past. Asking him questions about his old hobbies, cycling or bodybuilding or even his work. He was always so passionate about everything he did, almost obsessive. He’d have the best of everything and do things to extreams. He was, as far as I’m concerned, good at it all.

We’ve always had music in common, but he’s lost the ability to stick on a CD or even work the radio. He used to play guitar and banjo, relatively well; he can’t see where he’s putting his fingers now. He does love hearing his old favourites. Old rock and roll stuff like “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino. He lights up when you put on some music or they play live music at his dementia club on a Wednesday morning.

I miss him. His calming influence and his logical thinking. Always positive and very much an engineer with his approach to life in general. I’d like to think he’s taught me a few things over the years. (Delilah’s snap).

Mid visit, we had to take demon dog out to the toilet. Just so happened the post man came to visit at the same time. Demon dog decided to give the postie a head start before chasing him down the street. Playfully of course, but all the same running after the dog with baby on hip is a hardship. Poor postie must have been pooping himself, I mean know one else knkws hes harmless. He came back with his tongue hanging out and his ‘I’m pleased with myself’ playful ears on. He has demonic moments, hence the name. He is actually a very sweet dog, just a little mischievous on occasion and always protective.

Another cup of tea, and four hours later Grandma came home. Absolutely inspired by the film she saw and singing it’s praises, telling me I must go see it. I wanted to stay a little longer, but Dela decided she wasn’t going to nap. I knew as soon as I go her in the pram and set off she’s fall asleep, so I packed her and demon dog up and off we went.

It was a lovely day. One to memory bank. I hope for more of these with him, and I’ll continue to miss the man he was.

Xoxo, L.

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