I reached the first box that I knew was going to be problematic today, when attacking the "staging area." First there were three small photo albums, each commemorating a specific event or trip and...well...how can you toss those? So those go in the keep pile.
And then was the first book of the carbon copies of my letters, these from 1966. Big decision. This would determine what I do with the rest of these books (and there are many of them). I decided to see what I was writing about on this date in 1966 and found a letter I had written to Walt's uncle and aunt, telling them about Jeri, who had only been home from the hospital for a couple of days at that time.
She's a very well-behaved little girl, so far, and only seems t get real fiussy after she has been on display for some time. She has a head full of reddish-brown hair which loooks like it's going to turn curly when it starts growing. Her eyes are big and blue and it would be nice if they would stay that color but I suppose time will tell about that.She, of course, has her Daddy and me completely mesmerized. We still can't believe that this adorable little bundle is ours. It seems like all we can do is sit around look at our full cradle and shake our heads.
I mean....throw that away? I got all teary reading it, then showed it to Walt and he got all teary reading it. We both agreed that the letters stay.
This letter was followed by a letter to Walt's good friend, who would become Jeri's godfather, asking him if he would be her godfather. Letters to the Blackfords in Alaska, to Father Quinn in New Jersey, lots of letters to my friend Gerry who was by this time expecting the little girl who would become our goddaughter.
My life for a period of time is in these letters.
Then I thought about my great-great grandparents whose letters to my great grandfather have been saved by the family for all these years and present a good account of what life was like "on the farm" back at the end of the 19th century. Of course they weren't nearly as verbose as I have been, but I decided that this is my life and it may happen that at some point after I'm gone, my children (or grandchildren) might want to know what I was like when I was 22 years old.
I took a break from cleaning to go to Atria. I had bought some fresh strawberries at the strawberry patch yesterday and this morning made a strawberry pastry using some puff pastry dough. It was quite tasty and I decided to take a piece to my mother (I know it will still be in her refrigerator when I go there in 2 days again to bring her clean laundry because each time I reminded her to eat it, she couldn't remember I had brought it in the first place.)
She was in as good a condition as she ever is, memory like a sieve, but in good spirits. I got an insight into what dementia does to your brain. She told me that as she sad there looking at the door of her apartment, she didn't have a clue what was outside that door and she didn't know if she would go left or right or straight ahead. She figured she would know when she opened the door, but she could not visualize it...after 3 years. I also mentioned Walt and she asked me who that was.
These days I am more resigned, but sadder too, and I always leave the place feeling like I'm carrying the weight of the world. I often go for a short drive in the country just to clear my head of dementia-brain before I go home. I also find I sometimes postpone my trips to visit her. She would like me to come every day, I usually come every other day and lately I've been going every 3rd day. And I get angry with myself for finding reasons to postpone going to see her. But I guess the good thing about dementia is she can't tell one day from the next, so I could probably skip a whole week and she wouldn't realize it.
I hate this disease.
I had a notification from Linked-In today about the new skills Tom had added to his profile:
Integration, Agile Methodologies, Personnel Management, Vendor Management, Management, Remuneration
Uh...Ok. I still don't know what he does for a living, but apparently he is very good at it.