My mum has a new plan, inspired by the film 50 First Dates, to explain to my Granddad what has happened in his past and what is going on now, due to his short term memory loss. He doesn’t remember spending seven weeks over summer in hospital, he doesn’t remember that he’s wearing a catheter and that carers visit his home four times a day and he doesn’t remember taking his antibiotics, so he took two extras overnight.
Interestingly, my Granddad still has a pretty good long term memory and was telling my mum and about his school and university and showed us a column that he wrote when he first moved to America. He was published in a local paper every week under the headline ‘An Englishman’s Impressions of US.’ He used to cut out these snippets and post them to his mother, who then wrote the date on the top of each one.
I didn’t meet my mum’s father until I was a teenager. He lived in New York with his second wife and we wrote letters to each other, until she passed away and he decided to move to Wales to be near the rest of his family. He’s not one for small talk, but that doesn’t mean that he has nothing to say anymore. He loves discussing science, religion, meditation and other things like that.