Monday, November 11, 2013

Our Gang

It was time for our annual employee outing.  The staff, including those who work in my business and those who care give Bob, along with their spouses and children, all have a day out where ever they choose. It’s always fun, although last year Bob was exhausted at the end of the day and took it out on a stranger’s family temple. (   )

We debated this year whether or not to take Bob, now wheelchair bound but also less able to get into trouble. There would be forty-five of us on a bus and we just weren’t sure he would enjoy himself.  After careful consideration the caregivers decided to bring him in his car so they could take him home if he wasn’t doing well. 

We started at the Bali Bird Park - a place Bob and I hadn’t been to for thirteen years.  It had changed a lot with beautiful mature gardens and professional free flight shows. The best part for Bob was wheel chair access. 

Suarni in the Blue on Bob's left
The caregivers took turns pushing my husband through the exhibits. He seemed to be having a good time and when I kissed him he said with sparkling eyes, “Thank you!”. 

Later Suarni, who has worked for us for over twenty years, went over and said, “Hi Bob”. He took her hand and said, “I haven’t seen you for a long time.”  He connected with her in a way that touched us all, really looking into her eyes.

Our last stop in the park was a buffet lunch made just for our group. Even though Bob has to be fed, he ate a big portion without embarrassment, an emotion he’s fortunately lost from his diminishing collection of feelings. 

Beach bound, we all piled back into our vehicles for a half hour ride to the coast. It was coffee time for me and ice cream time for Bob. We stopped at a beach side cafe where the boats and jet skis groaning by, mesmerized him. A friend joined us and to Bob’s delight split a beer with him.  He hasn’t had beer in a long time but he relished this icy glass even though he needed help to lift the heavy stein to his lips. 

Bob with Ketut Krok's Family
We thought Bob would be tired by now since he usually naps after breakfast and lunch. But perhaps all the excitement of being out and about kept him going.  We wheeled him to where the rest of the group was splashing and frolicking in the small waves.  I’m sure this brought back his childhood. He used to say, “I was raised at the beach. I think I learned to swim before I learned to walk.”

It was a good day for everyone including my sweet husband. His world has shrunk in the last few months since Alzheimer’s has taken his ablilty to walk, feed himself, and take care of his personal needs. I think he needed this day with all of us and the fresh salty sea air.  

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