Previously I wrote about dad’s desire to see his former Lady Friend in “Should Dad Visit Former Lady Friend with Memory Problems?” I spoke with the director about this question and we decided he should see her during another activity. They had an event scheduled at the memory care center to honor the Pearl Harbor veterans and remember the events of that day.
When the ALF bus took other residents to the memory center for the Pearl Harbor Memorial, dad went too. I asked him about it the following Sunday and he didn’t seem to remember it at all. I asked if he had gone to the memory care building and he said he didn’t think so.
Because of absences and other conflicts, I didn’t get the whole story for a few more days. I asked the aides in the wellness center on Tuesday if dad had gone over. None of the aides who were there had gone on Friday to the event but they had heard that dad went and then left before it was over.
After I sat in the lounge to wait for dad to finish his activity, an elderly resident sat down beside me. She had been in the wellness center when I asked about dad and his Lady Friend. She told me that she heard that dad had gone to the Memorial and had seen “Mary” sitting with another man, so he got up and asked to go home. She did say that she hadn’t been there, so this was third hand knowledge.
A few days later, I saw the director and asked her what had happened. She had not been there either, but I guess she heard from the driver who drove dad over and back. Dad was in the audience when the speakers talked about Pearl Harbor. He saw Mary, his former Lady Friend, sitting with her son and other members of her family. She did not seem to recognize dad or acknowledge him in any way.
Dad sat through half or more of the program and then got up and asked to leave. He didn’t say why, but just wanted to leave. The director didn’t think it had anything to do with the fact that his Lady Friend did not know him. I suspect it did, but he didn’t make a scene or say anything about it to anyone. And apparently by Sunday, 2 days later, he forgot he went there at all.
The director and I agreed that we would not make any efforts to help dad see Mary in the future because he could be hurt by seeing her fail to acknowledge him. And hopefully he will move on.
I will note that frequently other women now sit by dad although they didn’t before Mary left. The ALF is like a small town and everyone knows the relationships that form and shift within that small town. I am satisfied with the way things worked out and hope dad finds other friendships that make him feel as good as that one did.