St. Vincent dePaul came to my mom’s house yesterday to pick up Dad’s old recliner that he can no longer use and a few other items. I can’t remember exactly what the problem was with the recliner. I think Dad couldn’t get up out of it. So Mom started sitting him in a wing-back chair for their regular evening television time in the family room. Only now they’re not in the family room anymore. They’re in the living room because the family room was too far away from the bedrooms and everything just works better if Dad doesn’t have to walk or be moved too far. One day, maybe a year ago, my sister Carol and I moved their big T.V. into the living room and rearranged things for them.
Mom has since replaced Dad’s old recliner with a lift chair that seems to be working out pretty well, as long as Mom can manage to get Dad into it straight and far enough back so that he doesn’t fall out. One of his symptoms of Alzheimer’s is that he is not comfortable turning his body around, or backing up. In fact, I think it’s safe to say he actually seems scared of that type of movement. So getting Dad into any kind of chair has its challenges.
Anyway, St. Vincent dePaul was supposed to look at the computer desk with the hutch in my parents’ bedroom to see if they would take it. I was pretty sure we would have to at least remove the hutch. That’s what Mark and I had to do when we donated our roll-top desk last year. It’s a mute point because St. Vincent dePaul came at 8:15 am, about an hour earlier than Mom was expecting them, and Dad was still asleep in bed. They didn’t look at the desk.
Getting that desk out of their bedroom has been a goal of mine for probably six months or more. I moved the computer out of there early in January, and Mom cleared everything out of the desk, but the desk has continued to sit there taking up space. It’s kind of large with a pull-out side that converts it to an L-shape desktop. I figured it was going to have to be dismantled.
I am happy to say that yesterday I got into my dad’s tools in the garage and was able to separate the desk into three main parts that my sister Carol and I, with the help of Paula (Dad’s home health aide), moved into the garage until Mom can find someone to take it. Carol and I cleaned the dust that had accumulated behind the furniture and rearranged Dad’s chest of drawers and Mom’s dresser, making room for a hospital bed when Mom is ready to take that step.
It felt really good to get that desk out of there with all the reminders it sparked of Dad sitting there working on his computer. I’m glad it’s gone. It looks like a new room now for a new time.
Mom opened Dad’s side of the closet while we were in the room organizing and cleaning. I just glanced over for a moment and saw all his clothes neatly hung: his sports coats, dress pants, button-down shirts. Now he only wears pull-on shorts or athletic pants and t-shirts. He never wears shoes. Seeing all of his clothes hanging there, and his shoes neatly arranged on a rack, brought a glitch to my stomach.
Everything in its time.
One step at a time.