Speaking of my dad, as I was just a few posts ago, I decided to show you this painting of the old guy sitting by our side door on a fine summer afternoon, lost in his reveries as the sun begins to lower in the west.
Cuppa painted it and gave it to me as a gift one year, and it now hangs in my den. It's one she painted towards the end of her back-injury-shortened watercolour painting phase. It's too bad about that injury because she did a number of fine paintings, even though she hadn't been at it long enough to allow her craft to ripen to its fullest.
We scanned most of her work, but this one came to me as a gift and framed, so I just took a quick photo of it the other day. (Actually, one can do quite a bit from a photo of a painting. If I were to process this more, I would crop away the frame and mat and reprint it as something close to a 5x7, and it would reproduce relatively well ... but I'm wandering from my theme.)
I really wanted to say more about Dad, his senility, and me.
About four years before he died, Cuppa and I took a trip to my boyhood stomping grounds in Montreal. I took pictures of my growing-up residences there and showed them to my parents when we got home. Dad had no clue what they were about, and that was probably my first clue of his dementia. I think it was the same year that relatives from Montreal visited, and he asked who the heck they were when they left. Well, you get the point, and I don't need to trot out all of the details. However, I will say that near the end, he was diagnosed and pronounced unfit to attend sessions for Alzheimer patients: sessions designed partly to give their caregivers a break. Being judged not up to snuff for an Alzheimer session is quite telling, don't you think?
And this scares me ... a lot sometimes ... because I know my brain doesn't function as well as it used to. More and more I find myself searching for words and finding it difficult to spit my thoughts out. My ploddingness becomes even more obvious to me when the A Team comes home. Puff tries to teach me how to do a Cryptic Crossword, and I stare stupidly. Oh, if she explains the clues, I might get some of the answers, but unravelling the logic of the clues seems to be beyond my ken. And then we play computer games on the DS or on the Wii, and the girls are miles ahead of me, and ... and it's scary, you know?
I'm just in my early sixties, and I already feel my brain declining, and it worries me. Should I live that long, in twenty years from now will I be like he was then? Scary indeed.
Help me, Rhonda 'cause I don't quite want to fade into the west like that.