I keep thinking about a conversation I had with my sister S a few years back. She was very tipsy but that's when she lets her true feelings out. Speaking of the way our dad was when she was little and how he was when she last saw him and spoke to him 7 years ago. She said "He was my great big Christmas tree, the strong one, the one who knew how to handle everything". That was very true. Ok. Maybe he didn't know how to handle EVERYTHING. But he sure made it seem like he did. His dad died. No tears. There were a couple of tears here and there when a beloved pet died. And he did cry a river when my mom died. But when we were kids? No tears. There really wasn't much emotion at all. Two of us knew that he loved us (2 out of 6) but he never said it, not until after he got AD. And not until we said it first. What I wouldn't have given to hear an I love you before AD. I am grateful that I hear it now.
I come from a really messed up family.
Anyway, I think it really bothers me when dad cries because it just cements the fact that his AD is getting worse. You know how dementia is in that the person can seem almost perfectly normal one day and then way out there the next? I think sometimes that's how my emotions go when dealing with my dad's declining health.
Dad went back to the doctor and was told "Mr. H. You MUST take your meds!". They (doctor AND R) are still sometimes relying on him to remember!
Dad wanted a cane to help get around. When the doc asked if he wanted a cane, he said no. I think that's a good thing and apparently the doctor did too. She said she thought a cane would just make him decline even faster. The doctor also thinks that a stroke may not be too far off in his future. He's on bp meds but his diastolic bp (lower #) keeps going up and down. At his doctor visit, his resting bp was 121/110! After a few minutes, it did go down some but remained high while at the doctor. So now R has to take his bp a few times a day and record it.
Martha, I imagine this Christmas is particularly difficult for you. Please try not to let the woulda shoulda coulda's get to you. You are a good daughter. You did the very best you could. You sacrificed 5 years of your life to take care of your mom. So maybe you didn't do everything right.....none of us do. But you did the best you could.
I do get nostalgic when it comes to Christmas. My dad's parents always made Christmas special for us. Many of the family are gone now. But now we are in the role of people who make Christmas special for our younger generations-you with your grandchildren and me with my son. So I think of years gone by and yes, I do get sad and miss my mom, my 2 brothers and all who have passed on. But I LOVE to see the smile on my son's face on Christmas when we are all gathered together at my in-law's house. And that makes me happy.