Caring for a parent


I have my father’s temperament, or at least his temper: rare, but explosive. As I very nearly reduce Mama to tears this morning (though she held it together with her head between her knees), trying again to reason with her (if, as I have just proven, the Cuisinart doesn’t work, why does it have to remain on the counter?), it occurs to me. Finally. Wow, I’m slow. Those menopausal years when the furies took over her body-perhaps because Daddy tried to reason with her over one thing or another-and he stormed out of the house to get away from the tears? Maybe he wasn’t angry with her, as I have assumed until this moment; maybe, like me, he was mad at himself for pointlessly rocking some boat. Yes, it is her dementia that makes trying to be rational futile, but like so many things it also is not new! And when I get visibly frustrated with her, does she flash back to those hard marital years? A pox on me. I am her worst nightmare.

She escaped to the garden to pull weeds with gentle Dan (and apparently told him the outlets don’t work-but only for the Cuisinart, everything else works in them).

And why does the Cuisinart need to remain on the counter? My best guess, other than because Mama doesn’t believe it doesn’t work because there is nothing visibly wrong with it, in spite of trying it in three outlets, is because it holds up all the other unused things that are on the counter. At least the flat unused things. And yes, Virginia, a cake can be made without the Cuisinart, which is the only thing she would use it for. And which she would not be able to put together even if it did work. I made the cake with a hand mixer and returned everything to the counter as it was. Now I have retreated to my corner.

3 thoughts on “Retrograde”

  1. Though frustrating at times, this walk will be one of your finest; the one you will remember most and the one you will be the happiest you took. And it is enriching you. I can tell from your posts.


    1. People used to say all the time that the dreadfully hardscrabble early years of marriage would be the best ones. I scoffed. But now I see, they were kind of right. So, okay, thanks Donna. Not there yet, but I will trust.


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