My grandfather, in his simple way, informed me that he has dementia. Twice, today, he informed me that he has dementia and he is lucky. He forgot. And he forgets that he forgot. He'll start off telling a story, and it will have three separate parts. The three separate parts all lead to each other and suddenly, the story becomes a circle. The story becomes a cycle that begins to be hard to break. When I tried to break the story today, I had heard about his first job four times in a row.
He has, like my whole family will, Alzheimer's. And he forgets. He forgets that he is shy, and doesn't talk much. He talks often. He laughs much more than I remember as a little girl, and my sister, a little girl, laughs with him. We poke his belly. It's a game I've had with him for years, but each time I poke his belly he laughs and says, "a new game, huh?" and tries to poke me back. He laugh is one of my favorites, and I am the only member of the family who hears more than one story.
We play lots of games. Most are stupid, if they're just me and him, and we're giggling like Kindergarteners as we slide coasters back and forth or engage in a poke war or slide soda cans back and forth or engage in a pinch war. He only remembers how to play Sequence, dominos, Solitaire, or a family favorite, Nines. He forgets the rules. He forgets the point values. He forgets who people are, every once and a while, if he hasn't seen them in ages. He spends most of his days playing solitaire and reading books. None of use are sure he knows what he's reading anymore.
My grandfather, in his simple way, told me what I have watched in agony for the past five years. And he blamed it all on a blood clot.