Abba sheli has headed back to New Orleans and I am feeling both relief and sadness. I have never seen anyone de-age before: he looked 80 when he arrived, and on Saturday he also looked really bad (and we unfortunately tired him out by taking him a museum here which was too much for him). On Sunday though we kept things very relaxed and mostly just sat and talked at a nice little bakery/coffee shop for lunch and then at home. Sunday night I was looking at him and thought to myself, good lord the man looks a good 3 years younger than he did when he first got here. But I was convinced that it was just because I was getting used to seeing him and so not noticing any longer how old he looked. But yesterday he looked significantly younger even yet -- so much so that my Mother commented that "he almost looks like himself again--like your father and not your grandfather." So it wasn't just me and wishful thinking. He was also much steadier with his balance and much quicker with his speech --normal speed and not the very slow cognitive functioning we saw the first 2 days.
I don't know if it was the fact that we were carefully making sure he was eating the regular small meals he should be or whether it was because he had something interesting to do in his life other than vegetating or what. The change was really dramatic whatever the cause. I have a strong suspicion my stepmother (can we say machshefa from hell?) is helping him along in not taking care of himself. He's an adult and should be doing the right thing in taking care of himself but, obviously, doesn't. And I almost can't blame the machshefa because living with him must be difficult at best. Living with her is enough definitely to drive someone crazy. Ugh. I couldn't help myself though, after seeing how much he had improved in such a short period of time and told him that I'm bringing him to stay with me for a month next year. My brother has determined to bring him back to Austin again too. Oy oh boy. Someone shoot me now!