|Jim and Alice circ 1988|
To give you a little bit of back story, I will start with about five years ago my mother-in-law, Alice, started to come down with symptoms of vascular dementia, her condition steadily worsened to the point that she needed to go into an assisted living home about two years later. Alice's new home was about 2 miles from their old home where Jim was still living. Jim seemed to be great living on his own; in the beginning he was visiting her every day, running errands, going to appointments, golfing and even fishing with my husband, Eric.
|Jim & Alice March 2014.|
|My special lunch date. April 2014.|
At the same time we were starting to notice Alice declining as well and getting concerned she was receiving the level of care that she really needed. We limped along status quo hoping and praying they were both alright.
|Eric talking with his father about the accident.|
|Hayden visiting with his Grandpa Jim after Jim's terrible fall.|
|Jim & Alice with Mackenzie, Brittany and Ridley at one of our family dinners. March 2014|
|Jim and I enjoying lunch after one of his appointments.|
The doctor said that Jim was still legal to drive because the cut off is 80% in one eye, but that he highly recommended he not drive anymore until after the surgeries. Oh, boy, what do we do now? We told the doctor our situation, that Jim lives alone and likes to visit his wife at the assisted living home every day. He said that if it was a short route (which it was) and one that he was familiar with that he could continue to do that, but limit all other driving.
The day had finally come for the finally measurements before the surgery. We were having difficulty finding a ride for this appointment, but decided that he could drive himself because it was only a short distance from his house.
I called the night before and told him I would meet him there on my way to work. I arrived at the doctor's office, but he was not there. I called the house, but no answer. Worry and concern ensued. I called Stacey and she called the assisted living home and his neighbors, but we could not find him.
Finally, the doctor got a call from the surgeon's office, Jim had driven to the wrong place and he was confused. Thankfully he was okay, but this was very distressing on the whole family. We really knew that we needed to address this soon.
One week later, it was a Friday and I was off work and my husband had come home real early from work. At about 10:30am we got a phone call from the surgeon's office. Jim was there again and he had no appointment, they went on to tell us that he was very confused and he could not find his car. The nurse that I spoke with told me that they needed us to come and get him because even if he found his car, they could not allow him to drive in that confused state. She also went on to say that she was a mandatory reporter, meaning she had to "turn him in" to the DMV for his driving. Oh my gosh, I just never thought we would ever get a phone call that one of our parents was confused and lost. This was so devastating.
|Jim helping Eric in the yard. Eric has a lot on his mind and is very concerned for his father.|
|The circle of life. Years ago little boy Eric watched his big strong Daddy work in the yard, now the father watches his strong son working.|
|Jim visiting Alice in the assisted living home.|
|Jim showing me his left eye about an hour after surgery. It's truly amazing!|
|My father-in-law running errands with me.|
|My Goodwill buddy!|
|Jim and Alice at the new Town Care Center where she is doing wonderfully!|
|My fence scrapping and sanding buddy!|
|My Dollar Store buddy!|
|My coffee buddy!|
|My garage sale buddy!|
|Jim loves his new home!|
"You shall stand up in the presence of the gray-headed and honor the face of an old man and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:32
"Honor your father and your mother." Exodus 20:12a