We got Tim to the reunion. He was willing to use the walker when we had to traverse the expanses of the LA and Chicago airports. He didn’t wander off and get lost.
He’s having a positive, relaxing time with the rest of the family. There’s absolutely no sign that anything is wrong with him physically or mentally. He wanders up and down steps and staircases and around our niece’s rolling pastures without his cane and participates in all the discussions and many of the less-active activities. He’s contented. He doesn’t complain about being depressed and bored. He doesn’t shuffle around the house in his robe and slippers or sleep most of the day, his thin bare feet sticking straight out over the end of the bed. He regales the family (one as young as seven) with garbled anecdotes about me going outside naked as a child (I was two but he doesn’t mention that) and with obscene jokes. He’s being waited on hand and foot by a dozen people instead of just me and tomorrow Ted, Ted’s kids and grandkids are taking him to Yellow Springs, Ohio, where we grew up so he can visit his alma mater, Antioch College, and see the Glen, which he loved as a boy (and where Mum’s ashes are scattered).
That’s the upside. The downside is–well, all that matters is that we got him here, Jerry and I are spending most of our time at a motel nearby, and I haven’t been crying as much as I did at the last reunion in Michigan when he and Ted were making fun of my faith and political beliefs before we even got to the house from the airport.
This time, before we left for the motel the first night, I offered Tim the anti-depressant he had insisted he needed (after getting a social worker to let him into a group on depression and walking out of the first meeting) and which several professionals had gone to some trouble to have prescribed for him. When I put the little blue pill before him, he raked me before the whole family, “Do you see how Jessica tries to control my life?” That was my father speaking and I quail before an angry man. Tears welling up, I pulled away. He isn’t taking his Ginkgold either and when we saw him today he was already getting confused, argumentative, contradictory, and irrational.
In three days we are supposed to take him home with us. He says he doesn’t want to go, doesn’t want to be dependent on us again. He doesn’t know how tempted I am to give him his wish and leave him here! (In private, two nieces and a nephew acknowledged to us that they know how much stress he puts us under and they wish they knew how to help.)
All that matters is that he is here, he’s having a good time, the family is enjoying his company and will have good memories of him.
I have already decided that if he does choose to fly back with us, I will let Jerry drive him directly to the roach motel and leave him there. I won’t fight it anymore.