Sunday, 29 July 2012
We had dinner with my cousin and his family tonight. On the way to the restaurant, my dad asked "How is C (my cousin) related to us?" I told my dad that C is his nephew, the son of his youngest brother B. "How is B doing now? Is he still in Edmonton?" I had to tell him again that his brother had passed away last year. He paused as he grappled to understand. He knew he forgotten. He asked "What illness did he have?" After I told him that it was cancer, he stopped asking questions and remained quiet for the rest of the trip. My sister and I eventually made some small talk in the car. It's not the first time he has forgotten family members (including me) and events. He remembers some things but will forget others. It used to be he would remember the old days. But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
As we were having dinner, he smiled and waved at my cousin's baby girl. He was genuinely delighted to see my cousin's 2 young daughters. He greeted the kids as if he was the proud grandparent. He would occasionally wave at them, make faces and make them smile. I wonder if he did that to me when I was a baby. I watched as my cousin carefully pluck the lobster meat out for his daughter. She giggled and smiled as she ate it. I filled my dad's bowl with food as he couldn't reach the lazy susan. My cousin and I were almost mirroring each others moves. Except I watched him with a mixture of happiness and envy.
I have to remind myself there is happiness and joy at all phases in the cycle of life. It's easy and apparent at the beginning when you have a baby. It's a lot deeper and perhaps meaningful near the end with an elderly parent.