Friday, January 22, 2021 — Today was really different, because last night was different. Yesterday evening Robert said he’d been meaning to say something to me — then he stated that he’d seen an ad in the newspaper for a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air for $9,000, and he wanted to go take a look at it. I was stunned–I didn’t really know what to say. He no longer drives–so why would he want this car. He said ‘all the parts are there.’ Translation–it still needs work. He’s having trouble putting a plastic building together and he wants a car to work on?? I didn’t know if he was joking or serious, but I made a kind of noncommital comment.
I tried to write about it last night but just couldn’t bring myself to put it into words. Tonight, he called out from the living room “$875 Million dollars!” I didn’t know what he was talking about, so went in to stand by him. I asked him what sold for $875M. He said, ‘No. The Lottery is $875 million! and it only takes one winning ticket and I’ll have my ’57 Chevy. Then, he proceeds to say that he’ll sit in the passenger seat and ‘allow’ me to drive him around while he waves at everyone we pass along the way.’
Last night, I had asked him what he would do with the car when he doesn’t really drive anymore. He chuckled and grinned and said, “I have a driver’s license!” (Yes, he does, thanks to my going online and renewing it for him.) He said he thought it would give him something to do — i.e., go out and sand on a spot here and there. My mind is reeling, thinking of him wanting to go out into his cold, cold garage to sand on a car, when he hasn’t followed through with the HO layout he was going to build. I never know how to respond to things with him. I am at a loss most of the time.
Today, I had my grocery list in hand and was ready to leave to go shopping, go to the mailbox and do other errands. He was fixing hummingbird food (he was at the computer earlier and I noticed a hummingbird trying to get food out of the feeders–both feeders were empty. I commented that he would have to make hummingbird food today. Didn’t say right now, but that’s what he did — jumped right up, leaving his game half-finished and went in to fix sugar-water mixture for the feeders. I told him he didn’t have to do it right away, it was just that I noticed the hummingbird trying to get something out of the feeders and they both appeared to be empty. He then commented that we were out of bird seed. He said he didn’t know if Albertson’s carried it. I told him I could go to Tractor Supply and get it there. He half-way suggested that he wanted to go along, and then backtracked and said it was obvious that I didn’t want him to go with me. I stood there speechless. When he does come with me, I’m limited in how much time I can spend in the store because he has no stamina anymore. I laid my keys down on the counter and told him he could come with and I could wait for him to make the hummingbird’s food. He then became curt and said, “No. Go ahead. I know you don’t want me to go with you.” I said, “I’ll be back.” and left. What could I possibly say??
When I did get back, he helped carry in the groceries and then the 35 lb. bag of bird seed. After standing and folding the grocery bags while I put groceries away, suddenly he seemed drained and said, “I need to sit down.” I told him that just bringing in the groceries had wiped him out. I added that this was one of the reasons I didn’t want him to come with me grocery shopping, because he just doesn’t have the stamina for it anymore. He agreed, as he sat down in his chair.
I look through my caregiver books for help in responding to the unthinkable situations and found nothing. It’s like, “You’re on your own!” And so I am. One day at a time, one caregiving moment at a time.
Be safe, be well — get your COVID-19 vaccination!! — take care of yourself. You are important. And remember to tell those you love that you love them. I will save the bathroom repair saga for tomorrow’s post. Talking about it here would just make me tense again … have a good evening!