By way of starting the meeting after all the ‘business and announcements’ had been taken care of, the facilitator looked around the table and asked if anyone had something they ‘really’ needed to share.
This could get interesting I thought as I relaxed and sat back in my chair; I felt as if I had popcorn and the feature film was just about to start after the previews.
I barely had time to guess who (if anyone) would speak when one of the older women sitting across from me spoke right up; she was not shy at all.
She introduced herself as *Jane (not her real name) and Jane was like a little spark plug all coiled and ready to ignite, as if she’d been waiting (however long it’d been since the last meeting) to get ‘something’ off her St Johns, knock-off twinset covered chest.
She looked to be seventy or so, somewhere in the same ballpark as Miss Cathy but with an obvious difference.
Jane was a petite woman, I’m sure her sensibly shod feet barely touched the floor (if at all) as she sat in the high backed office chair. She was very well put together; silver hair coiffed, ‘day’ make-up applied ‘just so’, she had the look of a ‘fighter’ about her, something that mom used to possess but with Alzheimer’s she’d lost that spirit somewhere along the road.
She shared about her loved one (more specifically, her husband) and his issues with anger; sudden and unexpected outbursts she said that were out of character for him and starting to scare her.
Jane said that she had known him most of her life, marrying when they were very young and that in all that time he’d never been violent or ill tempered, in fact, he was quite the opposite until he developed Alzheimer’s.
” I just don’t know what to do with him,” she said, confused because she wasn’t sure how to handle his newfound rage and worse still what she should expect next.
“I try to ask him why he’s so angry and it seems to me that just gets him more mad.”
“I’m convinced he doesn’t even know half the time.”
I found myself (unconsciously) nodding (along with some other heads I saw bobbing around the table as well) in recognition at the similarities to her story and mine )or ‘ours’ as it were).
Seems a lot of us could relate to what she was going through; her surprise, frustration, helplessness and fatigue.