Groundhog Day

DOCTOR: I’m sorry to break the news to you, Mr. Smith, but you have cancer, and you also have Alzheimer’s.

MR. SMITH:  Well.  At least I don’t have cancer.

Implied fornication aside, I love the movie, Groundhog Day.  Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a weatherman who finds himself repeating the same day over and over again.  As of this morning, I totally get that.

Effie spent part of yesterday relishing cherries in a sunny orchard, but last night was fairly lucid, and this morning was yet coherent—except for the amnesia again: Yup, Groundhog Day. I had to go through the explanations all over again.  I dare say two days of that is plenty; caregivers no doubt learn quickly to skip the details.

Our first hour was really fun!  “Is this your house?  How long have you lived here? …  Do you have a pussycat?  Do you have a dog?  … Can you give me something to read?  Do you have a TV?  Can I watch Little House on the Prairie?  … I’m so happy!”

Then she wanted to lie down.  Enter the rough patch:  “I don’t think this is going to work out.  David lets me walk around at the apartment.  You don’t want me to walk because I’ll mess up your living room.”  I placed her feet on the floor:  “It’s okay with me, Dear; see if you can walk to your bed.”  After a minute she said, “I think I’ll take a nap first.”

After nap time she tried to get up.  I was ecstatic that she realized it on her own:  “I didn’t know I was so weak.”  I untangled her gangly bones, changed her doodled-diaper, and switched her back into a one-piece (yeah, she had disrobed).  She uttered tenderly, “You’re a brave woman to do all this for me.”

I served crackers and juice, and we talked.  She had quite a few false starts, obviously confusing reality with delusion:  [Pointing at the closet] “When I was up there, David came in.”  … “I have a relative that comes; is it my sister?”  [daughter.]  … “Am I dead?”

Movie Spoiler Warning:  Quite possibly, we may begin living that Groundhog Day experience.  But I just hope I’m less like Phil Connors in Punxsutawney: May God allow that I don’t have to repeat the trip time after time before I finally let it teach me something.  And may God have mercy on this feeble, confused, sweet, little widow.  Amen.

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4 Responses to Groundhog Day

  1. Tamz says:

    These blogs are wonderful now, but they will be priceless in years to come!

    • elsiephoebe says:

      I actually had not thought of that, Tamz–that this “weblog” will indeed be good for posterity. I’m glad you mentioned that; I’ll take my drafts and make a little book some time.

  2. Toni says:

    Bless you Laura for the service that you are doing. I will be praying for you and Dave, and for Effie.

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