Sown the Seed
By this time my whole days were being consumed just by getting Alan out of bed, fed and showered. He was no longer drawing, and he wasn’t sleeping well at night, roaming about the house, or yelling at me. I’d already changed the locks on the outside doors so that they were out of his line of sight and he couldn’t remember how to unlock them; he didn’t know to look up. During the day, he would walk out the back door and all around the outside of the house, just kept walking round and round in circles – sometimes he couldn’t remember his way back and would climb over our 6ft. wooden gate. We live on a small lake, and sometimes he would go down to the dock and try to climb over the railing to jump in the water. I had to constantly watch him, when he wasn’t walking in circles around the outside of the house, then he was following me around everywhere. If I was cutting the grass with the lawnmower, he would stand right behind me, if I was vacuuming he was right behind me. For me, I’ve always found solace being out in the garden in the air – sometimes we could have just had lunch, and I would be pottering about in the garden and he would come and scream at me that he was hungry and why didn’t I feed him. It was no use arguing the point, if he said he was hungry, then he was hungry, so I would go and get him something more to eat – I don’t know how he never put on weight! I tried very hard to change my attitude on how I reacted to a situation, whatever he said or did, he was right. I was in his Alzheimer’s world – my head was spinning but I just tried to stay calm.
What was wonderful we were still sleeping together in our bed; we’d both always slept naked, so it was just lovely to still snuggle up together, and I know he got as much comfort from that as I did. Nevertheless, even when he dropped off to sleep; I would be laying there waiting for him to wake up, and either chattering to me, or wandering about the house.
One night about 3.00 in the morning, he woke up and told me he had a little sister and she called him Ally Pally as he was her big brother, and he asked me if the next day I could drive him to see her. I tried to explain that would be difficult since she lived in the UK and we were in America, he was insistent that I could drive him and told me I was lying to him again. Once he finally went back to sleep, he had sown the seed of me taking him back to England for one last trip. I tossed and turned, remembering our last overseas trip to Argentina. Then thankfully, I fell asleep. #AlanManningArt