Elaine Soloway's Caregiving Series: Do You Have a Visual?
On the day my daughter and I were combing the aisles of Ocean State Job Lots, we weren’t seeking the retailer’s “quality brand name merchandise at closeout prices,” but instead were searching for Tommy.
“I don’t have a visual,” I shouted to Faith.
“Me neither,” she said.
The tour of the 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Boston was Faith’s idea to keep my husband and I entertained during our visit to her hometown. She knows Tommy is frugal, and thought he’d enjoy browsing. It was there I was teaching her an exercise I call, “Find Tommy.”
I don’t think my husband deliberately tries to lose me. But now, during our trip, perhaps he had had enough of my hovering, my reminding, my suggesting, and decided to give me the slip.
Even if Tommy was just teasing me with his disappearing act, I worried because his condition has left him vulnerable if he should get lost. Hence my hunt.
At Job Lots, as Faith and I were mid-search, I shouted to her, “Check pet supplies.”
“Nope,” she called back.
“Weed and feed fertilizer?” my daughter yelled. She knows Tommy loves gardening, so that section seemed a good bet.
We threaded the aisles as if in a maze. Down through household cleaners, up through bed linens, past golf shirts, until I spotted his Red Sox baseball cap.
“Hi Honey,” I said, as I latched onto his elbow. “Having fun?”
I gave no hint as to the game Faith and I had just competed in. My husband is a proud, physically-fit, 75-year-old, who bravely copes with his handicap.
I, on the other hand, am often muddled.
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