Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hope

I wish I could say everything is fine but it's not. It's just that there's nothing to do about it. My father is entering his second childhood. At least he seems happy rather than angry. I can tell he is frustrated sometimes and confused. He can still function pretty well by himself but I wonder how much longer he'll be able to go for a walk and not get lost. Since there is literally nothing to be done--he has seen doctors and they do what they can--it's upsetting but I move right to acceptance. I'm sad for me and for him...but he's still with us and he's still him so I'm grateful for that. I mean, I can't have the same kinds of conversations we used to but we can have conversations. He still knows me. That's something.

My niece is most definitely in an emotionally abusive relationship. This is more upsetting because we should be able to do something...yet we can't. Her mother is angry, sad, and frustrated. I feel the same--but those words don't really my feelings adequately. Like with my dad, these are feelings I don't know that I've had very often. You want so bad to just make it stop. To pluck her and the kids out of there house and take them away to somewhere safe, but you can't. You can't if she won't allow it. You can't if she has stopped talking to her family. You can't if you live in another country and don't even fully understand her culture and way of life. Really you can't do anything but feel sad and exhausted and ready to cry if you think about it too long.

Yeah, this isn't a fun trip. These trips to Israel never are but this one is something special. It does emphasize to me that I need to start taking a more active role keeping up the family connections. I relied on Dad and his wife to do that. Dad can't anymore and his wife is overwhelmed. So, I have been getting everyone's phone numbers and email. I will start calling more often. I will offer my ear and my love. That is what I can do.

Grateful for: hope.

5 comments:

  1. My MIL is going through something similar and it's hard. It's odd to me to hear her giggle about some man in the nursing home, I feel like she probably sounded exactly the same in 1945 talking about some boy in her class, but it hurts her husband so much, as well as her children -- one of the only times I've seen my husband cry. Telling him it's part of the cycle and that his dad understands doesn't seem to help, but there's nothing more I can do really.
    Is your Israel family on FB? It's been very useful for me to keep up with foreign family.
    -Anon11

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    1. I don't quite understand how you would feel hurt because someone is suffering from dementia. Basically, that's what's happening to my dad though I don't know the exact diagnosis. We're losing him and that makes me sad but it's not like he's doing it to us--it's happening to him. If he could, he'd stop it! Anyway, I'm sorry your family is having a hard time with it. It's not fun to watch.

      My Israeli family is super religious--ultra Orthodox Jews, at least most of them--and they don't use Facebook. My brother doesn't even use a computer or have a cell phone that allows text or pictures (this is called a "Kosher" phone). One of my nieces does have a smart phone and I think my nephew does too. She has "WhatsAp" so we can communicate that way, which is nice. But their lack of internet connectivity means the main way to communicate is by phone. It's doable and that's what I'll do.

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  2. It's so hard when there is nothing we can do. It's great that you can feel some acceptance, but I'm sorry to hear about these sad things.

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  3. I don't quite understand how you can't get that someone would be hurt when they realize that someone they love doesn't remember them. Of course it's not the patient's fault and of course the loved one understands that, but it doesn't lessen the hurt of realizing that you no longer share memories with that person. Or, that the person is living in a completely different world that you don't have access to. I watched two people in my family go through this and it was heartbreaking to lose them this way. I don't get how you don't see that, honestly (this is a question not an indictment).

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    1. This is in response to your comment to Anon11.

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