I have a lot of stuff I want to write, but I’m on vacation, I’m sick and I’m grumpy.
I’m trying to stay away from the comp, but it’s hard.
In lieu of writing, here are some pics from my trip. Hope to get back up and writing this weekend.
Have a nice weekend y’all!
Nothing like New York in June
Grandma visiting Lionel in his new assisted living home. They miss each other.
Lionel holding a picture of his younger self so he can remember his life.
Little Miss Lucy
As many of you know, the person I’ve only known as a grandfather, Lionel, has Alzheimer’s. It has gotten worse and these past few months have been difficult for my family. I decided to write a fairly personal post on CultureMap about it. It was a tough one to write.
“Yesterday, Lionel couldn’t make it to the bathroom fast enough,” my mother told me. “I guess he made quite the mess.”
I lingered on the mental image of this for a few seconds before I answered my mother.
“Why is he unable to make it to the bathroom in time?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I guess he can’t walk fast enough.”
“He told Grandma that he should just kill himself.”
The only man I’ve ever known as a grandfather has Alzheimer’s. I spoke about his disease in the past, but so much has changed since then. The tipping point has dropped. We were fearful it would come with a loud bang, but instead it’s been a never-ending, tortuous whisper.
Lionel recently moved out (more…)
I’ve debated whether or not to write this post out of privacy of the person its about.
Due to the delicate subject matter, I will keep the less dignifying moments- and there are a lot of them- out of the story. However, I’m still going to talk about the matter at hand because the matter is very real and very prominent in my life and in the lives of so many others.
Alzheimer’s is an ugly disease. It is a repugnant and bitter illness that has its way with the host- stealing memories, stirring up unwelcome emotions, breaking down the body- until one day it leaves nothing but a shell.
Lionel is at the point where he’s fighting the invasion tooth and nail. He’s been committed to the hospital where he’s gone in an out of lucidity. He knows who we all are, but he often forgets the details of his life. One thing he is certain about? He doesn’t want to be at the hospital.
The sad realization is- this is the tipping point of Lionel’s true descent.
He will not be going home.
Ah, writer’s block.
You never know when it’s going to hit.
The current writer’s block that reared its ugly head last week after a homeless man tried getting into my house while I was taking a shower, was actually a long time coming.
I wish I could pin it entirely on the homeless man, but in reality, he’s maybe only 50% of the blockage traveling through my creative vein right now.
The homeless man has preoccupied my thoughts.
Though he is not a danger, at least I keep telling myself, his presence has recharged any already existing fear I’ve had living on the eastside. With my fear comes the frustration that I should not live in fear in this neighborhood I love so dearly. I try to remind myself that living in a big city comes with its “character”, but within the past year, I’ve seen more sketchy shit than I have in my entire life. When I lived in Los Angeles I was shielded from the grit and grime because I lived in an apartment. In Austin, I live in a house and I’ve never (more…)
Grandma and Lionel ate Burger King kids meals tonight. They bought Lucy the Jack Russell Terrier one too.
“I don’t cook anymore because Lionel can’t chew!” Grandma explains to me.
“I thought he just got new teeth, Grandma?”
“Yeahhh, but they hurt. They don’t fit him right.”
She had already changed the subject three times. Grandma didn’t want to talk about the elephant in the room.
I don’t even particularly want to write about it.
“What did Lionel’s son say, Grandma?”
A pause, then my grandmother’s familiar shielded acknowledgement and dismissal of my question due to Lionel’s close proximity to her.
“Mom said he wants to put Lionel in a home?” I ask quietly.
I hear Lionel’s booming voice in the background, asking for mock help as Lucy tongue whips his face.
“Hold on a second,” my grandma says as I hear her small footsteps walk towards the bedroom.
She gets really quiet. “They want to put him in Walden Oaks. We went over there today to take a look, ” her (more…)