I have been home for over one year and a half and I have begun seeing their lives as frames. When I reflect on their lives I see stills. Composed still photographic images. She's watching TV at the kitchen table in a wavy white wooden chair, HER spot. He's huddled over the computer desk listening to or reading something. He is twisting his hair poised in rapt blind attention to every detail. They are engrossed in buffet food, hovering over plates of mish and mash and soup and salad. She is face down sleeping at the table. Sometimes I check to see if she's o.k. I touch her lightly, tell her to go to bed. She nods and says o.k, but within seconds is face down again. From minute to minute, they laugh, they love, they fight, they fume. Small things become huge. A simple request becomes a raging inferno, in seconds.
They are still learning about love and companionship, even though they are 86 and 90. Learning takes longer. they are more stubborn, more set in their ways, more stalwart in their stances. But they are still learning. He has learned to modify his critical over-reactions. She is learning to restrain from criticism and learning to praise. They, both, are learning to pick their battles more carefully. They are learning about limitations, too. Things that were once so easy have become tiring. Walking, hearing, breathing, even just standing up. They are learning the importance of naps. It is true what Shakespeare mused. From infants we come and to infants we will return.