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Countdown to the Cruise

OK, so I have no idea if I’m going to be able to pull this one off, but I’m going to give it a go! In less than three weeks time a mini adventure awaits, in the shape of a Mediterranean cruise with Mum & Dad.

Now anyone that knows me knows that for starters a cruise is about the last thing I would choose for a holiday. The idea of being shipped (literally) from one port to the next, regimental fashion, everything timetabled to the nth degree is sure to bring me out in a rash. The idea of sharing that experience with 3000 other people, who actually appear to relish the idea of all that time tabling, makes me feel positively queasy… and I haven’t even boarded the ship yet.

But this year it’s time to play my part as dutiful daughter as Dad starts his steady decline into dementia it is probably, realistically the last opportunity he and Mum will have to go on a cruise. Of all the people I would choose to go on a cruise with, Dad, the old seadog, is at the top of the list. I use the word old and it seems wrong, but indeed over the last twelve months, he just got old.. from someone who, for 76 years has been more or less invincible, indestructible, the decline has been dramatic. So whilst I have consciously been creating opportunities to share quality father/daughter moments over the last couple of years, they have been fleeting, squeezed into rushed trips home, which have heavily featured me watching both parents sleep soundly with the telly full blast, awaking only to venture to the kitchen for more scooby snacks. (them not me.. I hasten to add)… I only ventured out to top up the wine.. (never a good idea when Dad has bought the bottle….)

Somewhere in all of this blog I’ve gotta work out a way of featuring both parents, otherwise the title would lose it’s meaning really wouldn’t it?? but I haven’t even figured out which way it’s going to go just yet.. it could all be a stream of consciousness, verbal vomit type thing, or I could even try a bit if editing for once in my life… hmm … the jury may be out on that one……

And part of the story telling process is a self imposed photography project, an attempt to document the demise into dementia, with humour (I like to set the bar high after all) capturing the fundamental parts of the two human beings who are as much themselves as I am them.. it’s a project I started unconsciously two years ago well before Dad’s dementia was diagnosed, well before the first symptoms even appeared, at that time I was probably more interested in capturing Mum’s little puddle of mental pickle… given that she has been there for a much longer time. The excursions with Dad were more just like trips down memory lane, but somewhere along the line other dots started to join up… and a different story started to emerge…

1 Comment so far

  1. Cousin in SA

    hey sweetpea you havent even got onto the boat yet….. stereo dementia x 3 with you all on board honey – you just have chateau de cardboard and you will be floating – love to Mom & Dad and no straying sweetie around the small deck of the boat – have lots of fun and assign a security guard to Mom & Dad and enjoy your trip 🙂 take care love me

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