I'm back. We had to go out of town somewhat unexpectedly last week. My husband's dad has alzheimers and isn't doing well, and his mom asked us to come see him. They live in Coarsegold, which is about 4 hours north of us in the Sierra foothills. They're about 30 minutes from Yosemite. Anyway, Jim hasn't seen his dad in a long time (long story there) and to see him now with his memory failing was really hard. He kept confusing Jim with other family members, couldn't quite remember that he's his son. It was painful.
There were aspects of the visit that were really enjoyable, though. It's beautiful where they live, lots of amazing scenery. I got to know his mom better and that was really nice.
We were there for four days, we left on Monday. We decided to go to Cambria on the way home and spend Monday night there - sort of a mental health break. Jim needed a little time to compose himself before going back to work. We needed to be someplace that makes us happy, and Cambria is one of our favorite places to be. We spent most of our time on Moonstone beach looking for moonstones and agate for our rock tumbler. I'm a little bit of a rock hound and I get really obsessed when I'm there - I have a good eye for moonstones and tend to find a lot of them, it's so much fun. So we did that, and had a nice dinner and just sort of pulled ourselves together. This is going to be a really difficult thing for Jim to adjust to, and there will probably be more visits in the future, so we'll see how that goes.
Alzheimers is a terrible illness. It robs the victim of their memory and eventually their ability to function at all - and family members are left caring for someone they love who know longer knows them. It's like having someone you love die, yet a shell of them remains, requiring all your care and attention with very little reward for the caregiver. His mom is losing her husband more each day. He's losing his dad - yet they can't mourn and move on because he's still here, needing help.
Anyway..we're home now and I'm trying to catch up on work I've fallen behind on. I feel out of sorts, worried about Jim, stressed because I've been gone and now have lots to catch up on.
Guess I'd better start catching up now.