A little less than two weeks ago, my dad had a bad turn. My sister said that he woke up asking where I was, and when my sister told him that I was in London, he said that he had picked me up at the airport the day before. She explained that I hadn’t been in the States for six months. Later, Dad and I talked, and he seemed fine, and all he said was he must have had a weird dream. A week ago, it happened again, but this time he asked where everyone was, what time the (mom’s) funeral was, and where was his outfit.
Dad has never lost grip on reality before. He is a bit of an older father than people my age normally have (I was from his “second” family and my younger half-sisters his “third”). It’s possible that he has the beginnings of senility, but it is likely this is a symptom of the syndrome he has (a syndrome that keeps on giving). He has an appointment with his GP this week, and we should know more.
But this has brought up a lot of things for me: fear of losing my father (one of my few blood relatives, although that list has grown a bit in recent years); upset at hearing my father has lost control of his faculties, even if for a brief period; wanting to be with him and to help my sister; my own gradual acceptance of this disorder and understanding of my place on the “spectrum”, which is not something I have even begun to accept or understand before this really; and, like almost everything upsetting the past six months, mom’s death.
We can’t really afford to travel back to the States right now. As a matter of fact, while I am waiting for my citizenship (and if approved until I get my British passport), I shouldn’t leave the country. I feel guilty for the years I spent away from them. I get upset when I call, and my dad can’t hear me. I don’t want him to die. I don’t want him to become senile in any way. I don’t want my sister’s life to get harder.
On the good side, I had a very good, nearly hour long conversation with Dad today. Because of the lifelong complications he’s had from being a carrier of the permutation for Fragile-X, his sociability is usually not very high. Some days the mood strikes him and he gets talkative. Back in the States, he was able to call me, but now it’s just chance. This is the first time in a few months that he’s been very reciprocal in the conversation. When he’s not talking, it’s hard for me because I am not the world’s most social person (again, the syndrome that keeps on giving. Thanks, genes!). Today, things turned out well.