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Giggling and Watching the River | Alzheimer’s in The First Person | Barbara Taylor Vaughan

Well, I want to tell you, it has been a strange strange day. There is nothing so strange as making all your funeral arrangements and talking about your own death. I hear all these commercials on TV about how you should make your arrangements to spare your family in the future. Wow, it is very very strange to really do it. I dont know what was worse, making my arrangements, or listening to Missy [my daughter] make hers. We have talked with attorneys and funeral home people.

Photo Credit: Bruce McKay

I told Missy when we were done, “I’m not a drinker, but I think I could use a stiff drink.” So we went through McDonalds drive thru and I got a large Coke…so large, I could not even hold it. We parked the car down by the river and put both our straws in the big cup of Coke and shared it as we giggled and watched the river.

Just like my husband, I am not have a funeral, or a viewing, and at my request, I will be buried next to my husband in a family plot in Illinois. No service, just whatever family wants to see me put into the ground. I have also requested that Missy not even put my death notice in the paper ’til after I am buried. I then want her to get out of town, leave, go to Florida, stay a couple of weeks…I dont want her to have to deal with all the calls, and have to talk about me dying until she has had some time to herself.

Since Missy has MS, and there is a possibility that she could go before me, Mike asked if he could adopt me in that case. That made me cry. I thought, “Oh how I love that boy…He is not my son, not a relative, not even Missy’s husband. But he wants me to feel safe…not even my own family has ever really asked what would happen to me. Mike has made sure I will go with him…No one can make me go to a nursing home, no one can make me do anything that me and Mike do not want. I have no money, I have no properties, I have nothing but a few treasures I keep in a box in my room, and all the video memories that I have been making for Missy.

I am alot to take care of, I am getting worse day by day…but Mike wants me, he loves me. Maybe if I were rich, there would be a big fight for me, maybe then all my family would want me. But since I am not, I know he wants me because he loves me and he really really does want me to feel safe at home with him, like I do now.

Sometimes your life takes a funny turn..I never thought I would be unable to care for myself, I have always be so independent, I never thought that someone other than my immediate family would want me so bad, not because it was their responsiblity but because, when asked, he said, “It’s you, me and Missy…we are a package deal.” So tonight I will sleep well, knowing that I dont have to worry anymore, in case something happens to Missy, I still have a home, I know at some time in my Alzheimer’s, I will have to go to a nursing facility. I know that in the end stages that it is just too much for family members to take care of. But at least I know how much I am loved by Missy and Mike.

Ha ha. He wanted to adopt me. I just love that boy.

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