It was Saturday and time to pick Dad up and head to the shop. If you refer to the aforementioned shopping list a few posts back that’ll cover more or less what we got. It’s always the same and he can just about remember it because it’s the same and that’s important. Saturday wouldn’t be the same without sweet & sour chicken.
Dad was fair taken with the prices of things and not in a good way:
£6 for vests? Eh? Oh it’s for two!
£12 for jogging trousers … can you see navy blue?
That’s a nice pink polo shirt. I like pink. How much is it?
It that within your price range?
Put it in the basket and don’t be so bloody cheeky. He was laughing.
Then a long discussion ensued at the banana stand (I stood and he sat in his wheelchair with the shopping basket on his knee) about the price of grapes of all things, the government and the news about Barclay’s Bank. He did think the strawberries, bananas and pears were worth forking out for and couldn’t possibly go without Bournville and chocolate gingers. Obviously!
He looked a bit tired and complained about a sore head and back and the need for more paracetamol these days. Nevertheless he was on good form.
I’m still doing ok.
He seemed in tune with the present until, sitting finishing off a coffee and pancake, he mentioned his granny again.
Do you know who I haven’t seen for a while? My granny … think I might take a walk over to see her this week.
I’m not saddened by this as I used to be. Instead I help him to explore fond memories of her so that he can share them with me; the two of us enjoying these moments. How good she was, how she helped him, how hard she worked and how much he cared for her. I don’t like to rush him when he’s in this place, it wouldn’t be fair, nor do I change the subject too soon simply because it makes me slightly uncomfortable.
Sometimes everything merges together. There is no timeline or timeframe to operate within. There may be moments when I gently challenge but more often we stop for a while, remember, then move on to regain a presence in the here and now.