In Too close for comfort we talked about mum falling back in love with dad. Now, in mum’s latest tale from the world of dementia, dad also visits her daily, sleeps in her chair and generally hangs around the flat. At first she said they had nice conversations but then on one of mum’s more negative days things started to go awry.
Sometimes mum goes to visit the ‘real’ dad at the care home where he lives. We book her in for lunch and she joins in the afternoon activities, like dancing, and she generally has a great time with dad and the other residents.
Dad also seems to like the visits, and although he is still rather confused to be treated like the love of mum’s life after all the years of grumpiness, he is enjoying the novelty. He did however think the dancing was a bit much and said mum made a spectacle of herself. But he conceded that so did the other women, saying it wasn’t very dignified to dance at 80!
But back to mum’s ‘other’ world. It seems that last time dad came to visit her he looked cross and wouldn’t talk which made mum really quite upset. She also said he kept going back to the little house outside the window where he was with his ‘other woman’.
A long conversation followed about whether dad really loved her and would he give up the other woman for her? How was she going to tell him it was ok, that she would put up with his affair because she loved him but they couldn’t… you know, if dad was still with his lady friend. She said she would instead continue to visit him in the care home as she loved him! Oh dear, it really was quite confusing trying to keep up with all these different people, real and imagined!
I tried to suggest that as the grumpy dad was perhaps in mum’s imagination she could instead imagine him happy to see her and just as loving as her. That worked for about 24 hours…
The affair goes on but as long as mum takes her medication there seems to be an accommodation. Mum still visits dad for real on a weekly basis and the ‘other’ dad still visits her flat daily but doesn’t talk to her. He also spends time in the little house across the way with the ‘other woman’.
My sister and I speculate whether at some time in the past there was an affair and that’s what mum is remembering. Our memory of them in their younger days was of mum being rather difficult and unhappy and dad having Hollywood good looks and a great sense of humour. So who knows…
We just hope poor mum gets some level of happiness from her new found feelings of love for her husband.