Dad is quite insistent that he needs to decamp and go north for better lodgings. He has gone so far as to pack a bag. Out of respect, I don’t look at what is inside. Who am I kidding? For my sanity, I don’t need to see more evidence of Dad’s profound deterioration.
It could be that he wants to go to the Bronx of his youth. Or our country house of my youth. The house in the Berkshires always made Dad happy (we hated schlepping there on the weekends).
Others with deteriorating parents have also remarked on this restless need to be somewhere else.
But, I don’t think it is wistful remembrances of important landmarks. He fabricates tales of his travel exploits. Some involve having luggage stolen, getting lost, being at the mercy of people of questionable integrity, etc. All quite harrowing.
And all profoundly disturbing and distressing for his kids and caretakers. Dad is not flummoxed in the telling of these tales — like a detached (and unreliable) narrator.
Maybe a metaphor for his descent into dementia. Maybe he is trying to tell us that he is being robbed of his mind. That it is being wrestled from him.
And that he is powerless to stop it.
And, Dad, we are powerless, too.