I’ve had a lovely weekend – with friends and solo too. There were both sun and rain, and I got some weeding and mowing done. Our son has been visiting and he and his father went camping in Killarney Park (4 hours away.) They rented sleeping bags, backpacks and a canoe. They took food and a heavy pack with them, rope, a cooking pot and other gear too. They’ve camped there before. Over the years our family has spent a great deal of time canoeing and hiking and camping.
So imagine my surprise when Dear Son phoned tonight from “up north” around 8pm to tell me that on Friday he lost his Dad for 3 HOURS! At first it was no big deal, but after retracing their steps many times without finding a soul he was concerned as never before. The path he retraced was a clear one. 7-8 times he returned and searched – and saw no sign of him at all. He was trying to locate some people, to contact police and get a search party going. He left written messages in obvious places. He said thoughts of a bear, a stroke…all sorts of things went through his mind. And then he found him!
I haven’t heard my husband’s version of the story yet. He was basically concerned about the drive home when I spoke to him, about returning here at 3-4am. He has his first class of the term to teach tomorrow.
I’ll hear more tomorrow I’m sure! But our son said it was a very long 3 hours! I consider myself lucky to only hear about this adventure after the fact, after some pretty wonderful experiences took place later. Both have returned now and are sleeping. Home again.
I am reminded of a phone call from my mother, telling me that my father (a Frenchman with a beret and briefcase) was biking to church one Sunday morning in snow and…well no one is sure exactly what happened. He became disoriented, but managed to get to church – late. He was confused and could not remember the combination to his bicycle lock. After hospital testing, nothing was found… A few moments of his life were lost forever.
Perhaps what transpired this weekend was a bad case of miscommunication. But possibly it was more than that. My husband is in his seventies. Aging can be very tricky business. It can be disturbing to observe, both for a spouse and for someone younger, someone who is not “there” yet. For now, I think all is well. Of course I will be attentive. And try not to be too attentive. More to ponder as I work on repetitive tasks in my garden.
Update: I’ve seen the maps and had the talks. I am confident that dementia plays no role in the escapade described above. The responses each of them made were wise and the trip a great success. Still, I feel entitled to worry after all is said and done. My husband has always said “OK, you are in charge of worrying.”