Alzheimers—A Comfort To An Old China Hand

Wikimedia Commons Courtesy Frizabela

Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy Frizabela

My father-in-law spent his career in China before World War II. After he retired, a fall on the golf course shortly after his wife died kept him in the hospital for two months. As a result, he soon progressed from mild forgetfulness to full-blown Alzheimers.

I emptied out the spare room bureau, but no, he kept his open suitcase on the chair

“Pop, let’s put your stuff away,” I suggested.

“No, I’m only here on home leave. I’ll be going back to Shanghai.”

I placed a suitcase rack next to the bureau so he would know where to keep his things.

When we’d hear sounds  in the middle of the night, Mike would go downstairs and find Pop standing in the hall holding his suitcase.

“Take me to the railroad station,” he’d say.

There was no talking him out of it. So Mike would get into the car with Pop and drive him around the block a couple of times by the light of the moon.

I’d sit on the steps and wait for them, then greet Pop before I showed him to his room. “You must be tired after your long trip,” I’d say.  Let’s all go to bed and we’ll talk in the morning.”

This always worked.

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