I think one of my biggest flaws is that I try to put on a brave front and pretend like I’m strong enough to handle whatever gets thrown at me. I came to this realization this morning when I started crying at work again just because my boss (but most importantly, my friend) asked if I was ok. I didn’t intend to share my sob story because I thought I was fine, but all it took was a simple “everything ok?” and the words just came pouring out. The more I got into it, the more I felt the tears coming on. And after repeatedly saying that I was fine (almost like if I kept saying it it would be true), she asked if I wanted to go home because my eyes looked misty. My mascara smudged a little, but I finally got the cry that I had probably been suppressing all weekend.
You see, my dad has dementia. And this weekend just happened to be the turning point where my family decided we need to seriously start looking for a care home. I was never very close with my dad. The memories that I do have of him in my childhood are not really good ones, so when dementia started to set in, I was honestly a little angry at him. He decided to retire early and then proceeded to sit in front of the TV all. day. long. He didn’t go out because all his friends were from work, and when he retired he stopped seeing or talking to them. TV became his life. Was it any wonder he got dementia? He’s only 63, turning 64 this year. By his retirement, he left all the strain of bill paying along with paying for my sister’s tuition who won’t graduate for another year, to my mom. She works 2 jobs and is thinking of taking on more hours to help pay for a care home.
Up until this past weekend, he was fine. He could still take care of himself without any help from us. But now, he’s completely dependent on us. I’m finding myself doing things I never thought I’d be doing for at least 20 years. It’s hard for me to write this post, but like crying, I think this is therapeutic. I can’t keep bottling things up. Only now am I starting to feel sorry for him, which I guess is also a necessary step. I need to let go of my anger and accept the situation for what it is and deal with it.
So while my family deals with sleep deprivation (he calls out a lot during the night), we’re starting the care home process. This is a big transition period for all our lives. We’ll make it through all right. I know this because in the midst of all our troubles, we’re still able to find something to laugh at. Laughter is good for the soul.