Today is the free day of our county fair. Since Al and I had been cooped up within these four walls for a few days because of the heat, I thought he may enjoy getting out for a while. I knew that they were going to have a special section, that would probably interest him, as it was all antique tractors and old-time farm products.
I asked him after lunch if he wanted to go after he got up from his nap, and he said yes.While Al slept, I cleaned the bathrooms and dusted and swept. This is getting to be a custom for me on Sunday afternoons anymore. Surely, I can find something else to occupy my time besides cleaning!
After he awoke, I got his scooter tore down and into the car. I got some money, for our supper. Why should I cook, when the fair can cook for me? We were already and headed out the door. We got there and there was one handicapped parking spot remaining, and I even think it had my name on it, lol, so I pulled right in. I got Al’s scooter all put back together, double checked to make sure I had not locked my keys in the trunk this time, and off we went.
I walked and he kept up. We did this real good for about ten minutes, then he went limp on me. No more sitting up straight. I kept reminding him to sit up straight, as he came close a few times to running small kids over. The farther we went, the worse it got. I stopped him a couple of times and foolishly explained why he had to sit as straight as he could, knowing inside, it was not his fault, it was the Parkinson’s. Ohhhh, I just want to scream my lungs out at this nasty old Parkinson’s. I think I hate it more than my worst enemy, wait this has become my worst enemy!
I knew he understood why he had to sit up, but let’s face it, if he could, he would. I asked him if he wanted to go home, and he said no. I asked him if he wanted to stop and eat, so he could rest off of the scooter and he nodded yes. We went to one of the small community food booths that had chairs and benches. Al was able to pull right up to a bench and take three steps from the scooter to a sitting down position.
We were there for about an hour, because being the first day of business, these small places had not organized a pattern yet, so service was very slow. I ran into some old class mates and we mingled for a while, and then finally the food was served.
Do you remember what it was like when your children were small and they started feeding themselves? Remember their messy little faces and fingers? Well, this was Al. He had ordered cheese fries and a cheeseburger, and all the cheese was all over his mouth, chin and fingers. I had no wash cloth with me, but will now put this on my mental list of things I must carry when we are out in public. I got several napkins and cleaned him up after he ate. I think he did enjoy his meal, because not even a mouse, could find a left-over crumb!
So after our tummies were full, we started again around the circle that creates the fair. Since it was free day, we could observe the rides being put together, and I tried playing a game with Al, on what ride might be being put together, but he couldn’t tell, as his face was almost on the handle bars of the scooter. We once again replayed the sit up please game all the way around. By then, he was weak, too weak.
It is hard to judge what Al can handle. At home he sits all the time except meal time, or else he is lying on the living room couch or his bed, so when I see no tears, or hear no bad words, I figure he is having a good day. When I take him out, he has to use his power to make the scooter go, and his mind to direct the scooter. It takes no time at all for Al to be completely drained of energy. I hate not being able to take him anywhere, but I hate it when anything we do wears him out.
I asked him when we had made the second round, if he was ready to go. By then he was all tears as he had run out of strength. He shook his head no. I thought to myself, we can not make it around another time and he doesn’t want to go, so let’s go sit with the seniors who come to the fair to people watch.
On our way to the seating arena, I spot a dairy barn that serves ice-cream. It is Al’s favorite food anymore and so I ask him if he wants a shake. I know he just ate, and he is a diabetic, but with tears and weakness, I say the hell with the diabetes, for one night, and we get him a shake and me a cone.
We go to the sitting area and sit down. Al is trying to get the strength to get the ice-cream in his spoon, and I am debating internally whether to ask him if he wants my help, when up behind Al walks his old boss from his work.
Al had worked for a wonderful christian company for nine years and had the same boss, Scott. When Al saw Scott, he lost control of everything. I had never ever seen tears like this from Al before. Tremors were quadrupled and he could not sit still. I even observed one small spot on his shorts where I believe urine slipped out.
Scott was in awe. I had taken Al there to visit his old work place the first week we came back from Florida. Scott had noticed how big of changes were occurring in Al’s life. Al could no longer even attempt to feed himself, so Scott took the shake from him and fed it to him, while Al cried. Scott kept trying different methods to get Al to calm down, and be able to talk, but nothing worked. After the shake was over, Scott said a prayer there with me for Al. He bade us good night and went on his way, only to come back a minute later and get my phone number, which he entered it in to his cell, so he said he would not lose it.
It was time to go, and getting Al back to the car was a chore in itself, but with God‘s help, we made it. I tore it all apart and got it in the trunk, Al in the car, and we left.
I found out on the way home, that this was another of Al’s goals to do before he passes away, was to see his boss.
I explained to Al that he is dreaming a lot, and I think in his dreams he is having conversations with God and mom, and that although he is ready to die, God may not want him to come home just yet.
Al tells me, he if God loves him, he will take him home.