Mark's daughter was with for half of her school vacation this week. To Mark and I, it is ordinary. To Pat, it changes her whole world.
When Summer first gets to our house after school, Mark and I usually go somewhere alone for an hour or so. She's almost 16 and all Pat really needs is a companion. Plus, we NEED a break and Summer gets that. The whole time we are gone she questions Summer about where we are and why did we take her car without asking her. I told Summer, from now on, she needs to set up a puzzle for Pat to help distract her.
Her being here sends Pat in to another world. She starts her questions about where she lives and why can't she drive, and on and on. She adjusts quickly to Summer being with us though, and is back to her self by breakfast the next morning.
And then when Summer leaves, it creates confusion for her. I knew it would be worse this time because we had her longer. The night she left, Pat kept telling me something wasn't right. I just isn't right. She felt fine she said, but something was different. It must have been the lack of Summer, her teenage stuff scattered on the floor, and her bubbly personality that Pat missed. We did too!
To us, change in our lives is minor and we handle the simples things easily. For someone with Alzheimer's, sometimes even simple things aren't always so simple.