wings and things

Fixing fences

on April 11, 2013

This afternoon I finally got hold of Anthony on the phone. I had tried numerous times during the day because I was worried about yesterday as a nurse had rung me in the evening to report a fall just after he got back from here.

You see, yesterday I got Ants taxied home again but earlier than usual. I wanted to see if a whole day home would work because usually it’s just for a few hours and he gets upset to have to leave so soon.

So he arrived at 11am which coincided with one of his medication times. I gave him the pill, and Ming, Ants and I sat out on the front veranda making the kind of smalltalk you make when one person can’t participate.

At around noon the drug kicked in and Ants was able to walk, with our help, into the house. We then watched a comedy on TV, and they ate pancakes with maple syrup and cream for lunch (Ming’s idea – yuck!)

By 1.30pm Ants had again become wobbly so I slowly shuffled him to the bed and he slept until 3pm. I helped him up and outside again and then Ming and I got him into the wheelchair ready for the taxi.

This might not sound like a wonderful day but it was!

But this afternoon’s conversation was a bit of a blow. When I finally resorted to ringing the nurses to help Anthony answer the phone, this is what we said to each other:

Me: Ants, I’ve been ringing you all day. Why can’t you remember how to answer the phone? I’ve been so worried about your fall.

Anthony: Well, there’s a reason for that – we don’t get along anymore.

Me: What! What are you talking about?

Anthony: The fence.

Me: Which fence?

Anthony: On farms, you know – broken fences.

Me: No, all of the fences are fixed now, Ants.

Anthony: But us – the fence I mean – it’s broken.

Me: I don’t understand what you mean!

Anthony: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it, I was just joking. Jules, don’t cry please.


Okay, I got over this ghastly phonecall and we both ended up saying รกll the I-love-you stuff.

I don’t think this fence can be fixed, but I guess it can be mended whenever we fall on it.

55 responses to “Fixing fences

  1. You write so beautifully of such difficult moments. I would think the mending ability is the most important thing in most relationships. A good foundation, and the ability to mend and possibly rebuild.

  2. How up and down your time spent with Ants is….the emotional ‘roller coaster’…You have such a strength within you but I know there must be such a strain…Diane

  3. Hope this isn’t a duplicate comment….the first one disappeared…. I did say… that I believe these times with Ants are such an emotional roller coaster ride but that you have such a strength and also knowing it must be such a strain….Diane

  4. Aww such a beautiful and sad story – sorry you had to go through that. Glad you guys fixed the ‘fence’

  5. TBM says:

    I love your patience, honesty, and writing. Sending a hug

  6. terry1954 says:

    what a sad but heart warming story. I bet your heart is jumping and nervous when he comes home but when he leaves to go back your heart is breaking

  7. The admiration I have for you Jules just grows every day. I think that part of the reason that relationships are so challenging is that your reality often doesn’t coincide with the other’s. Your perception of a day well spent can be the opposite for the other or at least different. The ultimate challenge and its has to be so extremely frustrating is that you know deep down that Anthony shared a wonderful time with you but either the medicine or the dementia is leading him to perceive it to be otherwise, so his reality is getting warped and it isn’t his fault. I am hugging you right now.

  8. Robyn Lee says:

    It’s a lovely testament Julie… a testament that love can prevail, and in the face of acceptance and honesty about a situation that very challenging. I think Anthony and you both know this is the only way. You don’t try to pretend, or just withdraw into a shell … you face your heart (and even in his compromised state he does too!) — remarkable to witness this… and through it all you keep your sillies and wit! You’ve taught me a lot! xo Much Love dear friend… xo RL

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks, Robyn – I was having a bit of a saddy until I saw this – you really are a one-off. Your generosity of spirit amazes me, when you go through so much daily pain. Please tell me how you are! Juliexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      • Robyn Lee says:

        really mean what I say… it is you who are amazing. Me — well, would love to say grand but my leg thinks it’s a wild horse and does not want to stop torturing me. New doc next Friday (non surgical) but just to try to isolate what is in my way. I am stronger now (rehab — even grew a butt which I never had before) – but saga continues… nevertheless I am trying hard to improve…even took out my old bicycle (promise not to fall) for stints around the block here – never know where healing will come from ~ xo Love you

      • jmgoyder says:

        Oh no – not the bike – now I will be worried. Love you too!

  9. You can’t take these things to heart because they’re coming from someone who is not well. If it was any other organ in the body that was sick, we would accept it more easily, but for some reason, when the brain has problems, we find that harder to deal with. You have to try to let it go. There! I just gave advice that wasn’t asked for. Sorry.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Love what you say here and many thanks, Anneli. I wish I didn’t cry so easily. I know it’s the dementia but still keep getting a shock when Ants says this kind of thing (not often, but often enough!) Love Julie

  10. Lynda says:

    Arriving late in the conversation, I again find that everything I wanted to say has already been expressed above. Nevertheless, I wanted you to know I was here with a hug.

  11. lucewriter says:

    You know he didn’t mean anything by it. He didn’t know. But he didn’t want to make you cry. That was the real part. xo

  12. tersiaburger says:

    Dear Julie – you have to get tough. It will get much worse. He will become paranoid… I wish you could be spared this stage…and the rest of the journey. Hugs dear friend!

  13. janechese says:

    I like your sharing and how you find solutions. I think I need to apply this in my life right now.

  14. adinparadise says:

    Your time together sounds so precious, Julie. I’m sorry that the phone call ended up like that. Ant is obviously just confused in his mind. My mom says things and immediately forgets what she’s said. Hugs to you.

  15. Kozo says:

    Maybe he is saying that the fence between you two is broken. Maybe he was trying to communicate how much he enjoyed the day with you, Julie, and how hard it is to be away from you. Just a thought. {{{hugs}}} kozo

  16. diannegray says:

    *Hugs* to you, Julie

  17. As long as it isn’t a barbed wire fence, I think you’ll be okay ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Oh, it is so hard. I remember once my mother, in the complete throes of dementia, emerged for a moment and was crying. I asked her what was wrong. She said to me, “I want to go back to the way it was, the way i was.” Heartbreaking.

  19. dcwisdom says:

    But I’m so happy you had a good day, just the three of you. Keep fighting for those good times as much as you can. Yep, PPD makes for some strange conversations.
    Sending you some BIG Texas love across the waves…

  20. Glad a later phone call made it better. It’s so hard when our hearts are so invested. It’s just so f—–g damn hard.

    • Just came back and wanted to apologize for putting down the word before damn. Maybe even using that last word was too much? I don’t know if it offended. I thought out loud too quickly and wanted to come back and take responsibility for it. I really feel your posts.

      • jmgoyder says:

        Never worry about this sort of thing – I’m not even sure what you’re talking about! You are such a gem of a new friend and I really appreciate your moral support. Juliex

      • Oh good, glad you didn’t know what I was referring to, lol. It was the f—–g damn. There now I’ve gone and repeated it. Some people are offended by the f word. Me? Not at all. But hey, didn’t you post something the other day about worry over posting something and going back to check and I said I do the same?! Viola. I love this new connection with you, so honest and to the heart (with all that all over the place stuff). ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. FlaHam says:

    Julie, soft smile, I know you have a bin in which you keep the parts handy to mend the fence. Take care, Bill

  22. You show great strength Julie

  23. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    I love your reflections, Julie. Every single day has some kind of thing going on for you, & you just keep onward onward. I really enjoy reading you.

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