Thursday, October 30, 2014


My laptop is telling me it doesn't support me anymore, and wants me to update its browser, but the new browsers won't load. It works fine otherwise, and it bugs me that five years old is considered old for this technology. 

I'm grumbling because I wanted to show you pictures of the hot pads the people on 2nd floor and I made yesterday, and my computer won't load pictures. (Truth is, it hasn't been right since I spilled coffee on it three years ago.)
 You can imagine the hot pads--maybe they're what you yourself might make if you didn't follow a pattern, which I didn't. 

I didn't take the time to measure the cloth carefully for the people to cut, not because they can't cut straight: 
if they can still manage scissors, most of them are quite handy at such things. It's the "what comes next" hurdle where they freeze. I can't mark one piece and then instruct them "do the same thing with the next piece". Most people need direction for every single step, every time.

It makes me realize that what we consider simple common sense is anything but simple---I guess about a zillion connections have to be in linked up in our brains for us to take the next step in a process.

The hot pads are also crooked because I sewed them on the machine, the one a daughter donated, and I don't know what I'm doing, and also I can't concentrate at the machine uninterrupted, I have to get up or speak up regularly to help people sitting at the activities table.

I don't care if the hot pads are crooked, and the residents don't either, most of them. (One woman is actually focused on things that don't line up right---I'll have to make a perfectly square one to show her.) 

I hope that their family members don't care either, but I worry they might see them not as a triumph, which believe me, they are, but as another sign of loss. 

Some of the family members don't seem to have calibrated their expectations to the new reality. (When I speak of this, I'm not criticizing--I can't imagine how hard it is to accept and adapt to your partner or parent changing this way.) 

Yesterday I was trying to praise a woman's cloth-handling abilities to her husband, and he kept telling me about the complex crafts used to do.
I get that, his need to talk about the loss of his reality.* 
But at some point, if he can't adjust, that seems to stand in the way of his ability to support and even to enjoy her as she is. She doesn't have the abilities she used to have, not at all, and that's a killer. 
But she is the only one at the table who can mark her own cloth and cut it perfectly.

[* UPDATE: I realized later that this husband was more likely trying to emphasize his wife's former skills to me, so I would appreciate her as someone with a history. 
But other family members do act as if their person has just disappeared, which isn't wholly true.]


Zhoen said...

Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly. A motto of mine.

Quite right, family who keep reorienting them to the present, reminding them of what they were, can cause distress and confusion. I hope her husband finds his way through.

Fresca said...

I LOVE that motto and hold onto it firmly.

Yes, I think the husband is working his way through this enormous loss, and I sure can't judge that... but the family members who've adjusted to the new reality are more calming and helpful.