a little water never hurt anybody…

4 09 2008

I remember being scared during thunderstorms when I was little. He was never scared.  He was my dad afterall.  Thunder was just the angels bowling and a lightening bolt was when they’d get a strike.  He should know – he was a bowler afterall. And for some reason where the house is situated by the southern shore of Lake Michigan, they get some pretty hefty storms.  Huge billowing black clouds and the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard.  Whenever it would rain and we’d have to go out to the car, Billy would never use an umbrella.  “A little water never hurt anybody…”, he’d exclaim.   

But with the onset of dementia those storms became one of the most disturbing fears that he had.  It unnerved me to think that his mind was so gone that he’d become afraid of something.  And afraid he was.  There was a night in the last year or so that my mom woke to a strange noise in the middle of the night and in the middle of a storm.  Some of that ambient noise is lost on her with her hearing aids out for the night, but it’s one night we were glad she heard something.  She got up to investigate only to find him standing in the bathtub like Marcel Marso desperately trying to get out of his imaginary box.  He had apparently gone into the bathroom, but the power had gone out and the small lights that usually helped orient him were gone.  She calmly helped him out, finding one of the many flashlights that were strategically placed all over the house – they had some tea and eventually went back to bed.

But the last storm that he had to endure was in the middle of the day and I was there.  Not that it was any consolation to him but it was to me.

A week before we started hospice – there was a whopper of a blowy storm.  We were watching it come in from the relative shelter of the breezeway…and breezeway it was.  All 135 lbs of him was leaning into the wind and it was just about knocking him off his little feet.  He’d been hot/cold all day thus the triple shirts and shorts combo.  But he was clowning and it was fun.



After some comment from Mom about his shorts, he decided to show her what they would look like if he wore them like “low riders.”






And once she made a comment about that – he had to go and hike them up as high as he could just to get to agitate her…and of course, it worked.

Well, I’m not worried about the rain today or a storm tonight.  I don’t think she is either. Finally, a real relaxing rainy day.  I’ve been waiting for a long time.  It suits me just fine.  I’d rather be curled up on the couch with the remote in my total control but I’m gonna try to be productive instead.  Maybe I’ll run out of gas just in time for a nice afternoon nap.  The piles of junk around my own house are screaming at me and I can’t help but try to get my own messy life in order.  It can be mindless busywork and that ain’t all bad today either ‘coz even though I know he’s in a better place up there bowling with the best of them…I miss him and his low riders.