…I read a miserable story online once about “an elderly gent whose poor eyesight and shaking hands made it difficult to eat. After several plates had been broken and glasses spilled, the impatient son and his wife made the old chap sit away from them and eat from a wooden bowl. Their young son was observed by the father trying to fashion a wooden bowl from scraps in the workshop, and when questioned, the child smiled sweetly at his parent and explained that he was making a bowl for his own father so “he would have one when he got old too.”
Devastating to say the least when the impatient man realized the unfairness of treating his father shabbily –I vowed when I read it that I never would follow the grim example.
Instead, as Tony’s dexterity was unpredictable and his visual perspective erred, I kept clear spaces around his place at the table. If the occasional guest ever noticed, there was no comment made. I served wine on the porch in brightly colored acrylic glasses –for summer dining al fresco. Plain mats replaced patterns and florals. I’d heard too that plates should be plain – not only to offer eye contrast, but also to make it easier to discern what was there. I replaced decorative salt and pepper shakers with bulky and squared, or at least beveled styles, which were easier to hold onto.
… Five years after Tony’s original diagnosis, I observed that he was having difficulty using a knife. Instead of a sawing motion, he began to try and stretch meat apart or scrape it away from a bone. I recognized the difficulty and instead offered meat, fowl or fish in bite sized pieces…