Des O'Neill | October 21, 2017
Confrontation can be a powerful stimulant.
As Fiona readied the couples home to brace itself against the rages of a cyclone, George sat passively in his arm chair, nonchalantly doing his cross word puzzle.
“I have secured all loose item around the yard, and masked the windows,” announcing to her uncaring husband, “I can’t think of anything else that needs to be done. I guess I lose my garden too.” The pity of where she is now made her heart wallow in a sinking despair.
“How can you just sit there, so calm, as if you don’t care George.”
“Well darling, no need for two of us to be in panic mode, you are doing enough for both of us.”
The abrupt answer that carried no feelings, just like a clinical incision that needed to be made.
Nature’s onslaught slammed their home with all the ferocity expected.
Rattling windows and creaking roof beams were sounds that magnified the crescendo of wind and rain.
During the night Fiona had an idea of using the spare double mattress as a barricade to the huge double fronted windows that, so far, had withstood the battering rams of wind. Adrenaline raced through her veins, veins that once carried the pulse of love, as Fiona struggled with the cumbersome mattress. George still sat passive, no light available now for his crossword.
That was in the early days.
The specialist described it to her the best way he could.
“Progressive display of Alzheimer’s disease. George fits into the stage 5 area of decline, very rapid I must say. There is no getting back, no fix, you are both on a course.” Looking at the middle aged, well presented woman with thick blonde to ash coloured hair before him, he could read her positive, strong willed nature, he could also read the alarm and fear.
“Are you strong enough to stand beside your husband as the disease follows its course?”
No cyclone could fill that room with the fear and challenge that now swirled about her.
“Yes, I am doctor and yes, I can doctor.” Words that would be buffeted by the winds of change.
Time itself was marked by the steady progress of symptoms. Little lies had become an understanding.
“I don’t know where your car keys are Darling, where would you like to go? I can take you.” Negotiation now a means of protection.
“I think you hid them on me, you took them I’m sure.”
“I have my own car, why would I do that?”
“I heard that doctor say I could not drive any-more, that is why.”
Changes also provided the couple new living in another part of the state, closer to family, and away from possible dangers associated with city living. All factors now to alleviate any possible drama.
The modest home however, was becoming crowded; cats, many of them, roamed at will.
New friends were making themselves welcome, and staying over, last count was five.
“No you should not be sitting there please.” Always courteous, George would advise
“May I get anyone a drink?” He asks. The ever obliging host, to these unseen visitors.
“That lady who lives here and looks after everyone, well she must have had a party last night, will have to speak to her about it, was even driving the car around inside.”
Fiona was now downgraded to; ‘That Lady who looks after us’.
Various characters that he introduced provided some entertaining relief, particularly the swarm of little people that live behind the buttons on the couch, and come out every now and then.
“I can live with this.”
“ Goodness! I can’t deal with this.”
“I am actually becoming afraid of him.”
“To him; I am just that lady who stays here and looks after everyone, but the cause of all that goes missing and wrong.”
“Just agree, that is all I can do.”
These moments of reflection are the winds of change that dared to unsettle Fiona.
Two days a week the couple escape, George boards the Blue Care bus, where he masterminds new procedures for them. His main problem though; all these new found friends, or someone, keep stealing his plans and notes.
Fiona visits the world of normal, where she takes flight upon the fluttering wings of the many colourful birds she photographs. Away into the tree tops, her song mingles with the chirping melody of the birds.