Golden Week is finished - this glorious time when various public holidays jostle together in the calender and it all gets merged into a rare time when everyone in Japan thinks: "ahh, bugger it...I'll take a day or two off work (really or in their mind)" and the whole country is uncharacteristically relaaaxed.
Apart from two days with one class each in my close-to-home classroom, I had NINE whole days of holiday.
My GW "To Do" list got lots crossed off it: important things like "Make Terrace", and minor things like "Nearly Stack the Towels on the Shelf", along with essentials like "Clean Okaasan's Kotatsu Blanket/Room" and "Brush Winter Hair Off Cats".
Along the way I enjoyed cherry blossoms and a film, ate sushi, read newspapers, booked hotels in London for the summer and...and...and...
Okaasan was all ok - I was home most days, so I did the lunch and dinner. Got the laundry out of her room (including lots of soiled pants hidden/forgotten in supermarket bags in her room).
She went out walking, sometimes late. Got lost at the usual place near the park 100m from home - I went out by bike and guided her home ok. Another day she said "Hello" I'm back" to me twice in the space of 5 minutes in the kitchen, and sat pretty passively while Yujiro and I talked at dinner. Conversation ability is patchy.
Dementia Life ongoing, but not dramatic. Thankfully.
Little things I sometimes think "ahh, that's changed from a year ago" - like the passivity in conversations. More now than before. Sometimes.
Yesterday "Korean food is the best in the world" came up as a topic, but the "I went to New York and the JTB tour guide told me it was the best in the world" part of the story didn't emerge.
Stacking towels on the shelf in the bathroom I remembered that I used to hide Okaasan's cleaned pants up on the top shelf, waiting for a time when she was out so I could easily grab the cleaned laundry and scatter them in her room secretly.
That time has gone. Now I go in when she is out and take the dirty laundry, wash and dry it and openly hand it back to her cheerfully. She takes it with polite thanks.
Really now her laundry washing activity has declined, a few pants or pajamas a week. Not enough to keep up with the amount she generates - I am doing 80% of the laundry now. And she seems to accept that.
I heard a dementia horror story from a student today - her friend has BOTH parents with dementia. The mother tries to get out of the house at dawn and go walking alone, has major toilet control problems and accuses everyone of stealing money...and doesn't recognise her own husband....
I hear these stories of other families and I mull over the details: ahh yes...us too...oh, not yet.....one day one day....