For thirty years now, "Who are these people?," has been a joke line in our family. We didn't have a cottage or loons, but we had plenty of old photos sitting around.
Now Dad's loony questions have become his obsession. For a week he's been struggling to sort out the names of two grandchildren and their dog. He canoes all around the issue, but can't quite express his question. He worries about this every waking moment. These moments are fewer and farther between, but are as likely to be at midnight as noon. Today he asked me about "Nadine and Hogan" wondering what were "their short first names?"
Don't know why I didn't try this days ago. Wrote cue cards in very big letters and tacked them on Dad's bulletin board. Scoped it out to be sure he could see them when he is sitting up in bed. It won't help when he's flat on his back in the middle of the night, though.
Dad and I both have ET, essential tremor. It's a very common progressive non-fatal inherited neurological disorder. Mine is mainly in my right arm, and is aggravated by stress, fatigue, and overuse. Good vibrations from car wash spray wands, power tools, mowers, and weed-whackers are the worst.
Katharine Hepburn had ET, too. Ethel Thayer should have tacked up some cue cards for Norman. Katharine and I send this advice for Dad while I'm "out of pocket"*:
"Don't be an old poop."
*"Out of pocket" is not limited to medical expenses unreimbursed by insurance. "Out of pocket" is Texan for unreachable by any communication device.
© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder