Saturday, July 3, 2010

30-Year-Old Prom Dresses

Oh....Did things blow up today in my hubby's family!  What a fitting start to the July 4th weekend!

They are in the process of sorting through their mother's effects, in preparation for renting her house out.  A few days ago, my DH came home from a meeting with his older sister with the notion that he had been instructed to sort through the house by himself!  I was furious.  Didn't they realize he had a stroke five years ago, and had trouble sorting the panties in the laundry, nonetheless 60 years worth of memories?

As part of his sorting, he took a load of clothes from the attic to Goodwill.  He thought it had been decided by his sister that they were to be donated.  In general, yes, she had.  But then she placed a load of "memories" on top of them - baby clothes made by their grandmother and handed down, dresses their mother had worn to various weddings, etc.

Apparently, he wasn't supposed to take anything to Goodwill quite yet, and he was told about it in no uncertain terms - after the fact.  But the item that caused the most anger?  The white foofy crinoline-type prom dress with a petticoat-style skirt and red highlights that the younger sister had worn to her prom.  30. Years. Ago.  (Why?  "Because it's the type of dress that never goes out of style."  Really?)

It has taken me hours to calm the family down.  Dave is nearly incomprehensible, since the more stress he is under, the less he is able to form coherent sentences.  I was able to help recover said prom dress, and two of the four bags of clothing he had dropped off.  (Note to self - must remember to write them a wonderful thank-you letter.  Our crisis should not have become their emergency.)

Dave's family is also much more aware now of how his stroke has affected him.  "If I told him once, I told him a hundred times, he just needed to let me know when he would be here, I would go through things with him!"  Congratulations, welcome to my world, where he grabs whatever meaning he thinks is relevant to a conversation, and hangs onto it regardless of any evidence to the contrary.  Where he nods in pretend understanding, parrots back what you say to him, just so you will shut up and go away so he can act on whatever he thinks you actually want him to do.  Because he realizes that his brain does not work correctly, so even though he may have heard you say 10, 50, 100 times that you want to work with him, he thinks that what you really said was something completely different, perhaps even another topic entirely....

Well, so much for wasting my day.

1 comment:

Chartreuse said...

So good to see you back here. I really do hear what you're saying here. A friend of mine whose husband has similar problems told me recently how sick she is of hearing people say: "My, isn't D--- looking well!" She said she feels like answering back:"Yes, but try living with him!" That will sound so cruel to anyone who does not have to live with someone whose mind is impaired for whatever reason. So we can't say it....except among ourselves!

Here in Australia, it's a sunny Sunday morning and I've just finished giving my husband one of the little 'tests of memory' recommended by his speech pathologist. I think this is totally useless, as it only serves to upset him and remind him of what he can't do. So instead, we are going out to weed the vegetable garden. Much better therapy, I'm sure!

Hang in there, and come back more often, you hear?