Issaquah is a suburb of Seattle. Like Wisconsin, Washington has many Indian names for streets and towns. What a beautiful place this is, with winding roads, tall pines and the snow-topped Cascade Mountains looming on the horizon.
The weather has turned unseasonably warm here. It was 70 degrees and sunny! Woo Hoo! Green grass and flowers are fabulous. Today I sat at a table in an outdoor hot dog place and soaked up the sun on my back, glad I was not at home where I hear it is snowing hard.
My sister started crying and laughing alternately last night when she saw me and rushed over to hug me. But today I realized that she does not really know who I am. I think she probably occasionally knows I am her sister but not my name, but at least she does seem to know there is love between us. She peeked around the bedroom door this morning with a bright smile and said, "Good morning, sweetie." Then she kissed me on the cheek and promptly started going through my suitcase and trying to put my shoes on over the top of hers. There is still a sweetness in her face at times, and light in her eyes. She is never at peace though, constantly tying and untying her shoes, taking off her clothes and struggling to get them on again, searching, trying desperately to converse with absolutely no sense to the words, looking for something, looking, looking, looking, pacing, doing the same small thing (like folding a towel) over and over, knitting her brows in frantic concentration--which helps not at all. It is a distressing thing to watch this once bright and engaging woman struggle constantly.
Tomorrow we have a nurse and caregiver from an adult family home coming over in the a.m. and someone from the Alzheimers Association in the afternoon. It is her 67th birthday, and so we are going out to eat.
I feel exhausted. It is emotional as well as a bit of jet lag, I'm sure. It was a difficult day. We are not getting closer to any clear plan...I pray it can happen before I return home. I do think I am a comfort to my brother in law, and in some way, to my sister too. But it is so hard to face the reality that his life together with her is essentially gone.
Below is a picture of the two of them in happier days. Well, as he says, "She pretty much has forgotten me, and soon she will forget God, but God will not forget her." Praise God for the hope of eternity. If this was the end--how can people bear that?