She looked over toward the walker leaning against the rail around the steps to the downstars.  She said she saw a cat.  Then she said maybe we should adopt it. 

At first I responded with the usual, “we don’t need the hassle of taking care of a cat.”  Then a little while later it dawned on me that there was a more appropriate response.  I told her that it would be fine with me if we adopted the cat she saw.  I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like “nice try.”  I added that it would be perfect since there would be no food to buy or litter box to clean.

There was another time that she was talking about something that I could not follow.  The hallucinations were not as constant as they were two days ago, but they were more present today than yesterday.  Yesterday especially, it was hard see her struggling so to track.  She wanted to make a list.  I got her a note pad and a pen.  She did write something about birthday cards.  (I have been trying to remember at the right time to phone one of my Brothers, whose birthday was January 3.)  There were a couple of scribbles after that, but when I offered to help in the writing, she got the sort of look that seemed to say, I have important things to write on the list, but I can’t get them into my mind. 

At those moments she is so helpless, and I am helpless to make any real difference.  So much of the time she has no words, then when they do come, she gets lost in what she was trying to say.  Sometimes what she says makes no sense, and she realizes it in mid sentence.  Other times she remembers things accurately and is right on with what she is saying. 

Maybe that is part of the reason.  Maybe it is the weather and the prospect of being homebound again for a few days.  Maybe I am just tired from the lack of an uninterrupted night’s sleep.  Maybe it is just getting tired of the constant demands of the task.  Maybe it is guilt over what I am not doing that I should be doing or the lack of patience with her.  Maybe it is the short days and long nights at this time of the year (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  I have just  felt out of sorts today.  I think Mary Ann has too.  I asked her if she was feeling goopy (technical medical term) or depressed.  I thought her lower lip was revealing that it might be so.  Her words did not confirm it.  She did decide to take a nap, indicating that she was tired.  It is hard to be sure about the lower lip sticking out as a non-verbal sign of sadness since that is one of the facial changes often brought on by Parkinson. 

Whatever is going on today in both of us, she is in bed and I am going to try to get to bed early tonight.  Maybe some extra sleep will help. 

By the way, those who read this blog and happen to be members of the parish from which I retired, let me clarify that my faith remains strong.  I have no doubt of the Lord’s love for me.   My future is certain and my purpose clear.  Even the Lord Himself experienced times he felt overwhelmed and needed to get away.  He got angry.  He cried.  He felt pain.  He expressed feelings of abandonment on the Cross.  It is a comfort to me that I don’t have to be afraid of my feelings however up or down they may be.  In fact my faith frees me not to run away from them.  I can own up to them, lean into them, experience them fully and move through them to the other side.  My relationship with the Lord is not sustained by my feelings one way or the other.  My relationship with the Lord is sustained by the Lord. 

I do not ask of those who read this blog that you share my faith.  I hope that what you read in these posts is helpful to you whatever your spirituality or lack thereof.  I share my faith on occasion because it is for me the key to my survival and the power that fills my life with meaning in the face of circumstances that seem bent on stealing our lives from us. 

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