Uncle Bill had Alzheimer's for years. He celebrated his 75th birthday about five or six years ago, and he was already so far gone that he didn't know who anyone was. I went with Grandmother to see him a few years ago in the nursing home--I think it was senior year of high school since, surprisingly, I had a lot more time on my hands than usual that year. She brought him some toys--the type you'd bring a little kid staying in a hospital. He and I played with the Hot Wheels car she had brought him, zooming it around. He still had no idea who I was, but he found the idea of zooming the car across the floor with a stranger quite entertaining.
And then it got worse. If I have my timeline correct, I left for Agnes soon after this. He only got worse--recognition-wise and healthwise. Grandmother went to see him on Saturday and found out that he probably wouldn't make it through today. They were right. He didn't.
I can't think of a time where he actually recognized me, to be honest. Maybe there was a time before I can remember. I do know from Grandmother that his first wife also had Alzheimer's, and he went to the nursing home and spoon-fed her when she got really bad until she died. Now the same thing took him.
Visitation's tomorrow, and the funeral's Friday. I'm going to have to bring something to entertain myself--not to look aloof to the distant relatives I haven't seen since I was in diapers, but to occupy myself. To avoid thinking, I think. Ironically, the kinds of things I'd bring would require a lot of thinking.
It'll be okay.