Today, as is becoming increasingly the case, we arrived home late afternoon from errands and I said, "We're home now. You can get out of the car." I undo Papa's seat belt and begin to exit the car. Papa does not move. I tell him once again that we are at his house and that he should get out of the car and come inside.
I take stuff into the house, leaving the front door wide open for him, but realize after a short time that he is not coming in. I go to look what could be the hold up and find Papa standing in front of the car, apparently waiting for me. Again I reiterate that we are at home and he should come inside.
He follows me but is unconvinced this is home. We attempt to dialogue, me trying to convince him this is his home and he trying to convince me it is not.
We have learned that taking Papa on a tour of the house and pointing out familiar things to him usually works. Today it did not. He recognized his wedding picture and a very old family picture as well as a little candy basket on his dresser....'just like the ones at his house'.
We have some tea and then he wants to 'go home', becoming mildly agitated that I'm resisting.
He goes to the front closet, puts on his coat and shoes and prepares to leave. I've lost this battle of persuasion.
At times like this we oblige him with a short car ride and then again communicate that "We are home now" upon our return. I decide to take a short grocery shopping trip and purchase a quick fix for supper since I dislike cooking and it was already into the supper hour. Bless the person who created the ready-to-eat BBQ chickens at the super markets!
Upon our return home this time, Papa did not argue the point of being home, perhaps because I had distracted his attention to the concept of supper and he, like many people I know, has a real weakness when it comes to food.
Thankfully we got through this situation without any further challenges. And, to let you all know I'm no angel (contrary to some people's opinion), the frustration level ran pretty high during the failed attempts to convince Papa that he was indeed home. On the way out for our little diverted shopping trip I actually slammed the door. I could justify this action by telling you the door had been broken a few years ago and in order to get a good solid closure it is necessary to slam the door, which in fact is so, but reality is that slamming the door helped me release some of the steam that was building. Even my mild mannered husband has been heard slamming the door to release frustrations with Papa. We'll not be replacing the door as long as it still has a very useful purpose beyond the usual.
I am reminded that scripture says, "in your anger, do not sin" (Ps 4:4, Eph 4:26). The error we often fall into is thinking it wrong to express negative emotion. The sin occurs depending on how we express that emotion not in allowing the emotion.
It was somewhat amusing to hear Papa comment all the way to the grocery store about how the streets and various buildings looked just like the ones where he lived.