Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ageless Spirit

Bob is doing much better after his fall. He can stand up on his own now and doesn't need the back brace.  He was quite feisty and lively today when I went to see him.

As always I made notes of things needed for him or his cottage. Ketut Krok said we could use another cable remote because Bob thinks it's a phone and puts it to his ear, pushing the buttons and then sometimes drops it. We've had to replace the remote once before.

We also have to fix the new clothes cupboard (see - because he's been banging on it, trying to open it and has already, after only a few weeks, damaged it. He doesn't like things locked that he can't get into.

We had tea and I'd brought a plastic container with separators and put little objects like clothes pins, tiny plastic dishes, and a ball inside. I just placed it on the table knowing his curiosity would get the better of him and he'd investigate it. What I hadn't anticipated is that he would try to put his peeled banana in it!

As I was about to leave I asked Ketut, "Now what was it that Bob needs?"

In a very intent and strong voice, Bob said, "SEX!"

Whew! Where did his hesitant can-hardly-hear-you voice go? We all got a good laugh out of it.

As I was driving home it occurred to me that as we age, as our bodies start to fail us, as we get wrinkles and spots and arthritis, our basic spirit stays the same. It doesn't age. This was a big A-HA! for me. 

When I see someone with old saggy skin who speaks with a shaky voice I will now look for the spirit inside, that same spirit that was there when they were twenty or thirty or forty.  It's why I feel forty-four and not sixty-six, why most people are shocked that their bodies look as they do when they basically feel as they always have.

"Bob's Spirit Shines in His Eyes"
Bob has always been a little risque, often bringing things down to sex or making jokes about it - in a cute way- garnering laughs from those around.  His timing and the way he answered with an emphatic, "SEX!" was typical Bob style.

During the time together today Bob said almost nothing intelligible and often spoke so softly I could barely make out the words that did make sense. He seems to be worried a lot about our 'stuff' and strangers who might come in and take things from us.  

And then out the blue, "SEX!"  brought the old Bob spirit into the open as a reminder that he is still in there. His brain is abandoning  him, his body is failing him, his life has pared down to a small cottage with a dog, four care givers and a wife. But inside, there behind the thick curtain of Alzheimer's, Bob's essence still lives.

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