The little things are getting bigger.

It’s him asking over and over “why they’re digging up our driveway?” It’s not understanding that the plumber’s crew aren’t “looking for” anything. They’re replacing our sewer line, collapsed and choked by roots, after 60 years.

It’s knowing that telling him something will make no impression, as if I never said anything at all. It’s knowing that he won’t even see my note, underlined in red, that I’ve left to remind  him of an event, a date, a task.

It’s putting a shovel in the ground exactly where I want a hole dug for the azalea that was yanked out last week, knowing the shovel will be put away before the task is even started. It’s knowing he’ll ask why the azalea, jammed in a big flower pot, was sitting next to the shovel.

It’s me YELLING because once again he managed to confuse our so-called “smart” tv by pushing the wrong buttons on the remote. I’m not smart enough to know what’s wrong, so I can’t fix it.

IMG_3266I thought I’d come up with a brilliant way to avoid telling him things he’d forget, or writing notes he wouldn’t understand: I suggested he write a note to himself about how to turn the tv on and off, for example. He liked that and labored over the words. His own message worked for 24 hours. We’re lost without the tv, Peter because he watches anything, anytime, and me because he’s content and calm when it’s on.

It’s me begging him not to move the plumber’s drainpipe extension because it helps direct rainwater away from our not-yet-resurfaced driveway. I growl when I see that he’s moved it to where he wants it again. I had him insert metal garden stakes along the pipe to hold it where it’s supposed to rest, thus reminding him that it shouldn’t be moved. Worked so far.

It’s me, arguing when he said he did not fill in the hole he’d just dug or “plant” the weeds I’d just pulled. I know better than to argue.

Yes, I look for laughs every day, but days like this, there aren’t any.


This is where the azalea once lived.

Header photo: The big dig.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 


13 thoughts on “The little things are getting bigger.

  1. Your words, can feel the frustration in your words. Wish I was able to write something to soothe you as much as your writing brings to life the angst of dementia. xoxo

  2. No word to help the frustration but sending a big hug to the cloud! This has not been your spring with all the extra going ons at the house. Praying for a peaceful moment for you.

  3. Hi, I was just introduced to your blog through one of Carolynn’s FB posts. You have such a beautiful way with words. You do a great job describing the frustrations of caring for a loved one with dementia. My Mom had Alzheimer’s, and your words bring back many memories. The TV remote was one of the things I had to smile about because I went through so much trying to make it easier for her to use it! Now that I look back at that time, I realize that even though it was so stressful then, it’s a good memory now. I know the struggle, but with your attitude, you will get through this just fine. I look forward to reading more.

  4. Can only send more love and hugs and prayers and say again “take care of the caregiver!” cj xoxo

Comments are closed.