Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Double Car Ride

After the evening meal Friday, my wife was again agitated. Something was not right. “I want to go home.” I suggested a ride in the car like we used to do before moving to Provision Living at Columbia. “Yes.” She waited in the activity area as I got our founding member coats.

She insisted on going directly to the car instead of going a bit farther east and coming to the car from the back end. So up a dry grass 40-degree bank we went.

At the entrance to the street I paused. “I don’t know where to go.” We followed Chapel Hill Road west out of town a couple of miles and then turned right to Interstate 70. This brought us back into town by the west Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee. No response. Then down Scott past our old subdivision. No response.   

At Chapel Hill Road we turned east to Provision Living. She had no problem getting out of the car and walking into the lobby. Then that look again appeared on her face. “I want to go home.” It was now dusk.

I first drove back to South Hampton Place. Was that home? No, she hurried me out of the parking area before the entrance. There was no response to the building equipment outside our former skill-nursing room. A few days before we left we had watched a killdeer couple build a nest on the barren ground between our window and the construction site.

We headed east on the new outer road on the south side of Columbia. It was now fully dark. She commented on the south Wal-Mart. Then it hit me. She responds to the lights. At Interstate 63, I turned north two miles to Broadway. Again she responded to the lights.

Half way to the former Boone County Hospital, where are two boys were born, she read out load, “Boone Hospital Center.” She responded to the familiar buildings along Broadway until I again turned south by the west Hy-Vee. “Turn here!”

With no traffic at this time, I made not the best right turn to the store. “I cannot get inside. I have no way to get in.” I said, “We can park and go in.” “Oh.”

We got into the store in a hurry. The wind was cold. I got a cart for her to push, and for me to hold on to when my back gets to bothering. Her selections were a large orange, a dozen small chocolate pecan cookies, and a loaf of white bread. We cruised most of the store. [We are slowly eating the yummy cookies. The loaf of bread is a contribution to the memory care kitchen.]

She was satisfied when we got back to our apartment. We had reviewed her old stomping grounds. I think she has “gone home”.

Much of her responses are similar to those over a year ago, but more limited. I am also not a full disinterested observer. I tend to see, and report, on the more positive events. I commented on how one resident looked as if being a two-month refugee had improved her health. Her close relative, who visits almost every day, turned to me and softly said, “But she no longer recognizes me.”

Today my wife is up and making her bed. She has her cloths all on by 10:30 instead of by noon for the past five days.

I need to clear out some space in the two-drawer lockable file cabinet for stuff we need to keep ready to use. I miss the magnetic drawer locks we had at South Hampton Place. It is easy to go buy something else to solve a problem, when in reality, we just need to clear out our current living space.

Lock up the small stuff. Reduce room search time for everything else to less than five minutes. Then we can both live in our two different worlds in the same space as we did at South Hampton Place.

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