My parents during simpler times. Dec. 26, 1964. “For richer and for poorer. In sickness and in health.” Alzheimer’s wasn’t around then, and “getting senile” was far from their minds as Dave and Rita prepared to spend the rest of their lives together. Mom had no idea what she would face 45 years. She’s doing the best she can, but times aren’t so simple anymore. Dad has trouble remembering he’s retired and doesn’t have to go to work. The kids are grown up and moved away. HIs parents have passed away, as have many other relatives, friends and movie stars like John Wayne.
Dad’s still in good spirits most of the time. He smiles and greets everyone he meets. People he’s known for years are new friends now. He waves to all he sees from the passenger seat. He’s not driving anymore. Thinking has become hard work. Dad sleeps a lot — during the day. He gets up a lot at night — thinks he has to be somewhere. Work. The doctor’s.
“I’m supposed to be in Canton,” he tells my mom. “I’m going to a car show. You don’t want to come, do you?”
“Go to sleep, honey. It’s late. It’s dark outside. You’re supposed to be in bed.”
“I know, but I’m supposed to go to that car show with Steve. Why isn’t he here? Where is he?”