August 22, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Hello my friends,

We seem to have hit a plateau in the effort to outrun my FIL's dementia. Each day we have a holding pattern and he still finds something to enjoy about life is a present.

As a life-long active man who could always find something to do, something to fix, sitting in his big brown easy chair with his swollen feet up drives him crazy. He recognizes he will no long drive his tractor, mow his lawn, or feed his cows, but his heart still yearns for some kind of movement. So the solution this summer has been the phone call that says "can we go for a ride?".

We've been a lot of places these long summer days, but by far his favorite thing now is to push the cart at Wal-Mart. If it's good for him it's good for me. Today his beautiful daughters came down from Seattle to take MIL to visit family graves, so FIL and I took the opportunity to really goof off. His choice, whatever he wanted. Three hours up and down the isles at the newly revamped Wal-Mart superstore. According to my pedometer that was 3.2 miles.

He bought a nice bunch of bananas. I bought a cushy chicken floor mat, a really lovely soapstone incense burner, and a little tripod for my new camera.

I know Wal-Mart really takes a hit from communities who've seen their local shops fold when WM moves in, from lower echelon employees who have little hope of getting insurance and making a family living wage, their ungreen practices, all the overwhelming stuff each store contains. But it will always hold a special spot in my heart where my FIL spent his 91st summer, driving the grocery cart train in out around and about as his mind slowly degenerated and his body weakened. Thank you Wal-Mart for being there for me.

Saturday Thankies:
Multiple Public Restrooms
Traveling Oxygen
Good Transportation


asheridan said...

Bless you for being such a caring DIL! And although I don't much like Walmart, I'm glad it is there for you and for your Dad-in-law.

Piecefulafternoon said...

What a lovely post - and how fortunate your FIL is to have such a creative companion in his 91st summer.

Sommer said...

It never ceases to amaze me how awesome family can be! I've been reminded of that once again :-)

Lots of love,

W. Latane Barton said...

You are a gem. I know your father in law loves getting out. My husband has Alzheimers and is now in an assisted living memory care unit. Life is strange without him to care for 24/7. God bless you for your loving and generous nature.

Kimberly said...

awesome picture, thanks for posting it. That was great that you found something so fun that works for him!

Dena said...

How wonderful the two of you are able to enjoy each other's company and a great way to get some exercise. I know your FIL holds your time together close in his heart.

Bizarre Quilter said...

I just love to see the pictures of you both.. I heard you describe it before, but this is truly special. You look so good!! Keep counting those miles!!
Loz in Oz xxx

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! And I love your list of things you are thankful for, I find that to be such an important lifeline for me--realizing we are blessed and do have things to be thankful for, despite the difficulties of being a caregiver.

So proud of you for making the long hike so FIL could be entertained and inspired. Good for you! And obviously good for FIL, too!