Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gotta do it

5:39 p.m. Today's project was to spend a pleasant afternoon with Steve, who'd been busy at home during my weekly home Bible study. So we set out to find a matinee showing of "Toy Story 3" after our lunch.

We settled on a 2:15 showing. It was going on two o'clock when we arrived at University Village Ultrastar with a coupon for a $5.50 ticket price. As I walked around from my side of the Jeep, Steve was struggling in some confusion over putting the windshield shade up, but he finally got it done. I just stayed patient, because I hate movie trailers and commercials anyway, so arriving a bit late suited me fine! At the box office, the girl told us that the $5.50 price didn't apply, according to the fine print she showed us, "on 3-D movies." Their matinee price for two tickets would have been $21.00! I only had $15 to spend, thanks to a Mary Kay sale earlier, so we politely took our leave. (Things are more than a tad tight this week!)

I remembered that the Mission Grove theater was showing the same movie at 2:30, so it was back to the car for us. We only had a couple of minutes to go, but Steve just had to fold the shade up exactly, even though there was plenty of room on the backset and we'd be putting it right back on the window again. It's similar to his time-consuming folding of dishtowels after washing his hands in the kitchen, totally unnecessary because they're small and don't take up any appreciable space, and they are tossed into the laundry at a rate of 3-4 a day--not worth the bother, they get damp so quickly. I've encouraged him to just relax, drop the rumpled towel, and to get on with whatever we're doing. The "lady of the house" and chief cook and bottle-washer (me) has not cared about the appearance of the dishtowels for about 29 years now, and has assured him of that fact repeatedly! It seems like he's developing some compulsive behaviors, though, because he really does struggle with physically letting the towel out of his hands without folding it. It's like he emotionally has just "gotta do it." Is this part of the Alzheimers? I don't know, because every week or so, there's a new and unusual behavior that develops and I'm taken by surprise. However, thankfully, the Lord knows what's next, and will give me the fortitude to help Steve be as appropriate and responsive to requests and suggestions as possible! "The LORD knows the way that I take," Job 23:10a says!

Following directions, finishing tasks (even those of his own choosing) and awareness of left/right, up/down, "over there," etc., are becoming a struggle too. At home, we can be somewhat relaxed, but even household jobs and gardening have specific components that have to be accomplished in order. He needs a lot of repetition of instructions, no matter who is giving them. I also see a real difference in Steve's independence in the garden. More than one incidence has occured with staking up tomatoes, which he did on his own last year. Now he can't figure out where the string goes in relation to the stake and the vine. So we do it together. Some days I am able to make it more fun than others, so I do pray before I go out to help him that I would be tactful and kind, gracious and loving!

One of the issues which will make a huge difference in Steve's quality of life, is for me to stay consistent with retraining him to use good table manners, such as putting a napkin on his lap and using a knife and fork correctly. I want him to behave appropriately around others at fellowship potlucks and parties, not to mention Heidi's June 2011 wedding reception dinner. I want him to be able to participate comfortably, and have it be comfortable for others, for as long as possible!

We did end up watching our movie for $15 total at Mission Grove, no coupons necesary, and enjoyed it thoroughly. (I do admit to dozing off a number of times, because I'd gotten up at 5:15 to see Heidi off on her Mexico missions trip!) We went from there to Kmart to exchange Steve's very huge mislabeled jogging pants for a better-fitting pair. I encountered some resistance from Steve to removing his shoes to try them on, but in the end he did fine, with some "gentle persuasion." No, I did not threaten to hold the door shut unless he put the pants on!!

When we got home, Steve lit the gas grill for burgers. I just "happened" to look out of my office window at the garden. "Boy, I remarked, "the water seems to really stay down at the end near the cantaloupes!" "I left the water on the whole time we were gone," he sadly said. I just told him, "Think about it: what if it rained for two straight days? It wouldn't hurt anything!"
the watering has now become one more thing I'll need to check on, but if I've "gotta do it," I'll do it!

These days, I lean on, love, and live, Psalm 27:14:

Wait on the LORD;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the LORD!

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