Anthony was weighed the other day and he is only seven kilos heavier than I am – 20 kilos lighter than he was a few years ago.
Despite the weight loss, his appetite is fantastic! The food at the nursing home is good and plentiful, with the main meal being lunch which is often a roast. Thankfully he has not yet graduated to vitamized food and, even if he does begin to have difficulty swallowing, I am hoping this will never happen.
I love bringing in treats, and sometimes the kitchen staff give Anthony an extra serve of dessert if it happens to be pavlova. But most of the desserts are served with ice-cream (which Ants finds too cold) so lately I have been bringing cream in which he absolutely loves. He is, after all, a dairy farmer.
The other day I brought a cheesecake, a ripe banana and some double cream and, in less that ten minutes, Anthony vacuumed it all up! But the thing that made this extreme dessert so wonderful was the ‘grit’.
‘Grit’ is the sugar sprinkled on top of already decadent desserts. The other day I forgot to bring the grit so as I was feeding him mouthfuls of cheesecake, mushed banana and double cream, he suddenly protested:
Anthony: Where’s the grit?
I rushed into the nursing home kitchen and snuck a bit of sugar for him.
Anthony: This is much better.
Over the last few weeks I have been making a determined effort to get healthier (you know, the usual things: fitbit, green juice, no wheat, organic wine, aromatherapy) and …
… exercise. Not happening, despite the fitbit!
So yesterday I went to one of the many gyms in Bunbury and tomorrow I will begin one of those 3-day free trials. I met one of the managers (D) and she was lovely. The gym isn’t big and flashy and has an easy-going atmosphere. D asked what I most wanted out of the gym and I said, “No tummy and stronger arms; I don’t want to walk or cycle in here because I would rather do that outside.”
Anyway, I’m quite excited about tomorrow. I’ve had gym memberships before but not for years so I will have to re-learn how to use the equipment.
When I told Ants he said, “Well, you’ll be battling to compete with my fitness” patting his flat tummy. He then proceeded to tell me that he did 25 push-ups per day and that I should try it.
Me: I can’t even do one push-up!
Anthony: That’s why you have your problem.
Me: What problem?
Anthony: The tummy (pointing to mine before I put one of his pillows onto it).
Me: Are you calling me fat? How DARE you!
Anthony: Jules, you know I’m kidding; you are perfect.
This verbal exchange was enhanced throughout by Anthony’s fantastic smile. I’m just glad he won’t see me struggling with the weights etc. tomorrow. I will paint a much better picture when I see him, so that he will be as proud of me as I am of him.
Me: Ants, I admire you so much, so much – the way you keep on being well and fit despite the Parkinson’s! And you never get down like I do. You are amazing.
Anthony: I know.
Me: Oh. Well, anyway, I’ll start the gym thing tomorrow morning and come and see you straight after.
Anthony: I know [yawning]
Me: Sorry if I’m boring you!
Anthony: Off you go, then.
Me: What? Where?
Anthony: To that wildlife park…
I guess the health kick challenge is on!
Tomorrow I will pretend to hold your miniature, wrinkled toes inside my swollen, postnatal fingers in the whiplash of a memory of pain and joy in equal amounts: your birth.
You, like many other babies, wanted to stay safely within the parameters of life and death/inside and outside, but you eventually emerged. After too many hours, you were inducted out of your cubbyhole and splashed into the too-bright-light of a bassinet.
I have never loved anyone as much as you, my wonderful, winged son. Yes, we argue and disagree; yes, we agree and philosophise; yes we occasionally look for walls to punch, shoulders to cry into: yes.
Nothing can ever change the gift of you to us – to Anthony, to me, to the extended family. Thanks for being this gift, for being exactly who you are. We are so proud that you are our son, Ming!
Tomorrow I will pretend to hold your miniature, wrinkled toes inside my swollen, postnatal fingers in the whiplash of a memory of pain and joy in equal amounts: your life.