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More Changes for CR

June 25, 2018
Pen (Pilot Lettering pen #10) and watercolor sketch of Dick as he sat in the driver’s seat of the car while we waited for Everest to open for dinner service. (In a 4.5 inch square watercolor journal, commercially bound, full review to come after the hiatus.)

It has been a long weekend of change.

Friday we got a call from the care facility that CR would need to move into the memory ward. We had expected this day would come, but it still seems like it happened very fast. 

His short term memory disappeared a couple years ago. Both Dick and I noticed that CR’s ability to carry on a conversation and use appropriate vocabulary words was failing in the past two months. But coupled with his almost complete blindness the incidents of his wandering into other resident rooms and trying to wander out of the building increased. The good news—a large private room was available, some of the staff were people he already interacted with, and it was on the second floor and closed off so there was no way he could wander out of the building.

Saturday, with the help of some great staff we were able to move his furniture and belongings in a few hours. I was also able to sort through things and cull the accumulated paper and non-essentials so he would have no clutter—something essential when you are so blind you can’t see across the room and remember that you made stacks of stuff over there—he does that a lot.

We then spent some time settling CR in. He liked the size of the new room and the lovely view out onto a tree-lined street. After a bit of a chat Dick and I took off to shop for a chest of drawers. (In the new room CR has two large closets, but no drawers. In the last room he had a drawer-filled armoire.)

Our efforts were not fruitful. We ended our search by driving over to Everest on Grand. (Have you not tried this wonderful restaurant which serves Nepalese and North Indian cuisine? You need to go there.) For me the Kauli is comfort food. 

On weekdays they close between 3 and 5 p.m. to put away the buffet and get ready for dinner service, so we sat in the parking lot, car windows open, and I decided to sketch Dick. 

I had only my small kid’s palette with my warm and cools—but I’ve been testing so many larger palettes that it was odd to be working with those past familiar colors. I really like the splotchiness of this sketch.  At least I had a good yellow—you can count this sketch as an eyebrow update!

Dick actually nodded off while I sketched. A light breeze flowed through the windows. I can’t remember the last time we simply sat quietly together.

Sunday we ran over to IKEA in search of a chest of drawers with smooth opening action and prominent handles that CR could work from his wheelchair. Then we made our way back to CR where Dick assembled the piece and I answered CR’s continuous loop questions. Normally I can sketch when we have these conversations, but I was too tired to focus on both. 

The good news is he loved the chest of drawers, it fits great in the room too.

I think over time he will be more comfortable here. He’s certainly safer. And the staff have fewer people to tend. 

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    • Julana
    • June 26, 2018
    Reply

    I’m glad the move went ok for you all, Roz, but sorry it had to be made. Sounds like he is in a good place for his current needs. I did have to smile when you reduced the assembly of the IKEA dresser to a sentence or so, emblematic of the whole post. You make it sound so much less emotional than it is, but one who is in a similar situation knows. !#$%^! Those directions! Your people sketches, as always, are such a great dance of line and color. With you on the Indian food…..

    1. Reply

      Thanks Julana for your comment. Actually Dick was putting the dresser together so I just had to watch and keep CR’s attention.

      In a way the whole experience has been unemotional in the sense that we view it as normal life, and this is what we we do because this is the present moment we are given. But this was a particularly sad change for me and writing this post helped me organize my thoughts about how I’m going forward.

    • Cyd
    • June 26, 2018
    Reply

    Big hugs to you, Roz. Thanks for all of your sketching inspiration in the midst of family & life challenges!

    1. Reply

      Thanks Cyd.

  1. Reply

    Beautiful washes – handsome elder. Enjoy your posts a lot!

    • Elle Gould
    • June 27, 2018
    Reply

    I had to move my Mom from assisted living to memory care. I flew her from ORD to PHX to be closer to me. It was the longest trip of my life.

    But she found new friends and was happier than I’d seen her in many years. I hope CR’s transition will be as fine as my Mom’s. I send hugs and good energy your way

    1. Reply

      Elle, I am glad you could relocate you mom nearer to you. I can only imagine the trip. But I’m so glad to hear she found new friends! Thanks for your kind thoughts!

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