She almost didn’t answer the call. Jean knew the number by now, even though she had never saved it into her phone. She looked down at the number and for a moment, just a moment, thought that she just didn’t want to know. She didn’t want that added stress in this moment. She could wait, and find out what was wrong later.
But just as fast as the thought came into her mind, it vanished. She swiped the green button and pulled it up to her ear. “What’s the news now?”
“Not good, Miss Strune,” Her Dad’s nurse replied, calling from the phone in his hospital room. Jean was always impressed how she managed to sounds just cheery enough to be reassuring, but professional enough to not give bad news in an annoyingly perky way like some of their previous nurses had been. Jean liked this nurse an awful lot. Maybe that was the reason that she really had answered the phone. “We’re having some pretty serious memory problems today. I’m sure that Mr. Strune would absolutely love a visit from you today to help him fill in some of the blanks if you have any time.”
“Right,” Jean said slowly, “Well, tell him that I love him and that I’ll try to be by this afternoon. Remind him that he really hated the place that Mom was staying before—that might help placate him for a little while until I can show up and be a bit more helpful.”
“Thanks a lot, Miss Strune. Sorry that I could have better news for you this morning.”
“That’s alright, Jasmine. I know it’s not your fault. I’ll see you this afternoon.” Jean waited for the click that meant she’d hung up. She never hung up first just in case there was something else that the nurse needed to tell her before the conversation ended. Luckily, there was no more today.
Jean chuckled to herself darkly. Luckily all she had to deal with today was the continuing degrading of her father’s mental state, to the point where he was slowly forgetting the years of his life further and further back.
Jean looked at the work laid about before her. She had such lofty plans for what she could get done with her free time today. She should have known better than to try to have an all work day. It was like her dad could sense when she had a lot to do and saved his most spectacular breakdowns for those days.
Jean took a deep breath and tried to bring her temper back down. She could be mad that all this shit was happening to her dad, no one would blame her for that. But getting mad at him, especially for things that weren’t actually his fault—that wasn’t going to help anyone at all.
She was going to take a deep breath, spend some time properly enjoying her breakfast and keeping her mind in check, and then she would head over to the nursing home and try to figure out which ways she could help her dad today.