All posts by cm writes

About cm writes

A lifelong desire of mine has been to write. As a child I wrote, even though it needed some pizzazz; but as a child, my abilities were very limited as you can imagine. Every person has much to learn, and I did that along the road to adulthood. I sure wish I kept them so I could us them for other posts. Fool that I am, I destroyed them. There were diaries through childhood abuse, tossed out. I guess that they served their purpose. Diaries I also kept through 2 abusive marriages and where are they now? They have all been destroyed, but yet I love to write. I guess that I didn't see any reason to keep them at the time, but as I write now, I can see the true value of them, precious. When I write now, I keep everything no matter how bad it seems to be. When I was in therapy I wrote everyday. Even if there are parts I don't want exposed, I don't expose it, but that is nothing new to writers. They have been doing this for years, and it works well. Happy Writing

suicide

I wrote a daily prompt a while ago that was on the word apology. I began by saying that an apology that may consist of a short statement such as “Oh, sorry ’bout that.” This an unacceptable apology. When an offense is committed against a person it becomes a personal offense. A personal offense deserves a personal apology. Sometimes an offender doesn’t realize that they have offended or hurt someone.

After 20 years my personal offense against my family has become a painful realization of just how deeply I hurt my family. I never dreamed that my actions would hurt anyone but myself. Now I know, and I owe so many apologies to my family. After I wrote and posted my apologies online, I thought about it, but it was a very sensitive subject to me and my family. I did post it, and then I thought about it. The more I thought, the more I realized that it might bring back some horrible memories for my family. I believe that my children, my stepson(s), my granddaughter does too, but she was so young when this happened she may not remember the incident. My stepson and his wife may read my posts too. He is old enough to remember those dark days. I removed the post. Unfortunately, I destroyed it and wish I hadn’t.

I would have let it go at that, but someone wrote a disturbing comment that concerned me and sounded like a serious cry for help. I want them to see what happens to the family when someone commits suicide. I have to do this for my family because it has taken me more than 20 years to realize the unimaginable agony I caused the ones closest to me. So here goes, I will try to include everything in this letter that I did in the other one that was destroyed.

Dear Family,

I hope that this letter will help you to understand that I now know that I was not the only one who was injured in this horrible act. In the year 1994 I tried to take my life by swallowing 30 hydrocodone and a 20 pack of diphenhydramine. I’m not sure who called the ambulance; I was told that I called 911. First of all I don’t remember doing that, but I do remember calling my therapist who actually was doing more to hurt than help. I remember calling him to tell him that I had taken all these pills before our session and he never even noticed.

In any case, I ended up in the ambulance with a blood pressure of 230/190.  I don’t remember much after that. I was in and out of consciousness for a quite a while. When I was beginning to be more conscious than not, the doctor told me that my husband wanted to talk to me on the phone, but I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him. I said no, but the doctor said that I had to and he was going to bring me the phone so I could talk to him. He had already called several times and was quite worried about me. I did, but I told him that I didn’t want to see him and that I definitely didn’t want to see the kids at all. I said that I didn’t want to have him see me this way. When he asked me “Why?” All I could say is that I couldn’t talk to him about that now and not to come to the hospital. I could talk no more to him so I hung up. I don’t remember what the pills were, but they checked my purse, and missed these. When no one was looking, I’d take one after another until they were gone too. The next day I told them and they started running tests all over again.

This was the action I took against myself. I truly believed that it would affect no one but me. Anyone who thinks that way needs help right now. I knew I was in trouble and headed for more, but I didn’t know how to stop it. I could take no more pain, and I really did not want to die, I just wanted to stop the pain of the flashbacks of childhood abuse. I didn’t want to believe that people who told me they loved me could have treated me so badly. I remember wanting to die when I was a child, but I didn’t know why or how to do it.

My husband is a wonderful husband and did everything he could during the 5 1/2 years it took me to just figure out why that happened and how to fix my own feelings about it. He held me when I cried, and we went walking when I wanted to walk. We went to the mountains when I needed to go for a ride, and he held me close to him at all times. He said that he didn’t know what he could do to help me, but I kept telling him that he was helping me more than anyone else could. That was by listening to me and letting me cry on his shoulder until I could cry no more.

Long after I attempted suicide. My nephew, who was never exposed to violence, not even allowed to watch the news while he was growing up. When he turned 18, he went into the army despite all of our begging and trying to explain what happens in war. He turned a deaf ear since the recruiter had gotten him hooked with the lies of getting an education before having to go to war and by then the war will be over. The bonus for signing up was a ridiculously large amount. He never saw any of the promises they made. He was in Afghanistan but a couple of months and they sent him home. He was in Bethesda Hospital for a while and as soon as he got out, he waited for a train on the deck and threw himself onto the tracks in front of the train.

That was in 2008, and to this day his mother deeply mourns his death. She will never again be the sister I knew and loved. Her own life has disappeared. She mows his grave and the 3 around it so the mowers don’t’ have to come near the grave. She decorates his grave at least once a week. She will take a book and just sit near his grave to be near him 4 maybe 5 hours just about every day. She feels that by mowing the grass herself she is still taking care of him. She compares the mowing as putting clean sheets on the bed. She still lives for him and believes she is still caring for him. Her friends worry, and I worry that she is not letting him die even though she buried him more than 10  years ago. She cannot bear the pain of the suicide so she tells herself that he is still there. It’s so very sad. She intends to do this until she dies. This is what a suicide did to one mother.

Another sad story is that two different friends, actually were the ones that discovered their mother dead when they got home from school. They were children when this happened. One was able to move on with his life and the other still suffers terribly from night mares and is sometimes afraid to go to sleep. He still mourns her death and believes that he could have and should have stopped her even though he didn’t know she was going to do that.  Now these people had family members, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers. Think of how they must have felt then and how they feel now. They may appear to have moved on with their lives, but have they really?

As I slowly recovered from these memories that came from nowhere, I did learn a lot about myself and my husband. Years later, I don’t know exactly what triggered my final recognition of  how many people I had hurt, and became surprised at the ones that weren’t too worried about it. The biggest apology I owed was to my husband. I finally realized how badly I had hurt him and how long he worried that I might try that again. He has stood by my side now for 29 years. We did have a nice long talk about how badly I felt that so many people were hurt over this. I said that it took me this long to realize that the pain people felt were cold, hard, facts.

Our granddaughter said something to me that I believe started me down the path of the truth of the cost that my loved ones paid because of my one selfish act by my own hand.  She was only about 3 or maybe 4 at the time I tried to take my life. Now she was 20+ when she suddenly remembered grandpa playing musical chairs. It was down to our granddaughter, my husband and me. Bill was carrying her because she was so small. When the music stopped, grandpa and our granddaughter got the one chair left. She remembered that, but she asked me where we were when we played that. I had to tell her that I was sick and was in the hospital at that time and she just said “Oh.” No more was asked by her.

I looked at her innocent and trusting face and cried because she would have had me no more in her life. I would have missed out on all of her growing up I would have missed the vacations we took her on, the days and weeks that she stayed with us. I would have missed a lifetime of memories and she would have had no memories of me. I cherish those memories and am thankful that who ever called the ambulance did so in time.

That is what got me thinking about how many people I had to apologize to. I imagined seeing my daughter having to sit down and explain to our granddaughter why I was dead.

I thought about my 2 stepsons that were at home. Bill had me tell the boys why I was in the hospital and why I would be there a while. So I had to tell them over the phone. Neither of  them had much to say about it except ask why I did that. I just told them that I didn’t really know. I had many friends where we lived, and I imagined Bill having to tell them why I died. When I thought of these things, I cried myself to sleep that night.

My mother and my father would have been upset the rest of their lives wondering what was so bad that I had to kill myself over. They would have wondered why and if there was anything that they could have done to stop me from that. I was the one who took care of my mom for 16 years while she had Alzheimer’s and until she died. Who would have been here to do that for her? They both died before I could apologize to them.

Then it came down to my husband Bill. He was the very gentle man that I chose to marry because of the way he treated his mother and his kids. He treated me so well too. He truly loved me and in the nine years that we had been married at that time; we had never had an argument where angry words were exchanged that hurt and could not be taken back. One of us always walked away before we got too angry. Then we would go back and discuss it.

This was the most difficult thing I have ever had to apology for. When I realized how deeply my husband loved me, how much he depended on me to care for the family and all that had to be carried out. If he had me no longer and had to take care of all the affairs, and how much this would have devastated Bill. I could see it then. He would not have been able to bear this happening to him. He had already lost so much in his life; this would have deadened his emotions to the point of physical and emotional paralysis. Then I thought of our granddaughter who loved her grandma and grandpa so much, how would she have fared? She loved us and counted on us to be there for her when her mom and she needed a break from each other, or she  just wanted to visit us.

I recently sat down with my husband a few months ago and we talked for a long time. I told him that I was sorry for that one selfish act of attempted suicide I only figured out now how much he would have suffered and it took me this long to figure out that I would have hurt him the most, and why. He listened to me when I talked, held me when I cried, and I listened while he talked and we both cried some more. I apologized for the hurt that I caused him and told him that was one thing I never thought of was the devastation that people would feel over my senseless plans of killing myself. I need to apologize to others that this affected deeply. I have to apologize to my daughters, but that will have to wait for a couple of paragraphs.  This is for JR, you were the youngest, and even though you were my stepson, I have always thought of you as my own. Even though you never saw me as your mother, it’s OK. I never claimed to be your mother. Since I know that this did hurt you in ways I don’t know how, still to this day. You saw what was happening to me and I sincerely apologize for the unhappiness and uncertainty I caused in your life at that time. It was more difficult for you than any of the kids. You were at the age that you needed a female figure in your life. Those and the younger years you were my buddy who went just about everywhere I went. I tried as hard as I could after I came home from the hospital. I never imagined it might have affected you at all, but it did and as I began to look at the damage I had done in everyone’s lives, I now understand why suicide is called the most selfish thing that anyone could possibly do. I still love you as my own no matter how you think of me. I was still a mother to you for a number of years, but I know that you think of me as your stepmom. I never expected you to see me any other way.

Jason is not here for me to apologize to. It’s too bad that he was hurting so badly that he needed to make the pain go away the only way he knew how. I know that this hurt him at that time in ways I don’t know either. My attempt affected him somehow but I won’t know until the resurrection. He was a difficult child to get to know what he was thinking. It may not seem like it, but at times I felt as if he were my own too. He tried to reach out for help, but I was not able to cope with him at that time. Many times I know you saw me help him when he needed it no matter what. I know that your father didn’t know what to do to help either of you. He’s a good man and loves both of you. I do look forward to seeing him again. We both did the best we could at that time.

Now I turn to my own 2 daughters. TL, I know you were and still are very disappointed in me as your mother and as a person in general. All I can do is what I am able to do. You were living so far away. I don’t know how my actions affected you, if it did at all. We have never really talked about it. We have never talked about much at all. You want me to be something I’m not. I’m not a person who needs to call and talk to someone, 3 or 4 times a week. I’m happy to talk to people once every month or two. I could not do what you wanted, it wasn’t me and you expected me to be what I was not.

I know you don’t understand why I am the way I am. You were not around when this thing happened. So I have no idea about your feelings on it. I also know that you don’t care to talk to me, and if that is the way you want it, I respect that because that is how you feel.

LL. You were around when this happened and I’m so sorry that it hurt you probably in ways that I don’t know either. Our relationship was always rocky at best. I know we laughed about that before, but it isn’t really funny. I am sorry that I don’t recognize how this affected you since we are not very close. I would like to talk to you about it after Bill gets into the nursing home. Then we will be able to talk without being interrupted. My apologies for not being there. Thank you for the amount of time that you let J visit us and spend so much time with us while she was growing up. I feel bad that we didn’t have time to have lunch, I’m sure J told you I got pretty sick in Laramie. I won’t be back to CO again. The altitude I can no longer tolerate.

Anything else that I need to say to you, it’s far more private then what I wrote here. I have received a lot of comments on this one article that I would like the 3 of you to read. I have at least two more entries to make in that series, and it will be after JR comes to see and take care of his dad in August. The last post is already done, but I want to know JR is okay with his dad in the nursing home.

It was the most painful apology I’ve ever had to make. After I posted it, I pulled it back off the post and deleted it the next day. I wish I hadn’t done that because it was much better than this one. (I thought)

Just one wish

written by Colette Merrill

If you were given just one wish, and that is the only wish that you would ever get in your life, what would be your one wish? Would it be for glamour, happiness, money, power   ?

I know what I would ask for; I would ask to be given the same opportunity that Adam and Eve had. If you stop to think about this, what would that exactly entail? Well, according to the story of creation, Adam was created first, and Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and she was presented to him. They were told they were husband and wife. He was so happy that he said “At last, this is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones.” He was grateful to have a mate to keep him company and be a complement of him.

In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve were perfect. Just think, that was a perfect body and a perfect brain. What could be contained in a perfect brain? In my mind’s eye, I would never forget anything, not names, or conversations, or anything I have ever learned in my life. Math would be a snap for problem solving would not be a problem. We could easily learn any type of work that we wished to learn and only have to be told how to do things once. An infinite amount of information would be stored in our brains. Can you imagine that? All these things and more would be attained in just one wish.

The things that I have learned in my lifetime are so small compared to what I would love to explore and learn about. I would love to learn to play the piano, the guitar, the flute, and other instruments. I want to know all the species of animals, plants, fish, and trees. Then there is food so many foods I’ve never known and let alone tasted. I would have always liked to have my hands in the dirt to grow things, but the heat and the sun have been my adversaries. We get sick, old and die. Right now that is a fact of life. Will it ever be different from it is today? What would be the benefit of that? What would you like to do? Swim with the whales? Explore the jungle? Pet a tiger or a lion, ride a hippopotamus? Nothing would be unattainable with just one wish.

How would the earth be? Would there be global warming today? How about air, water and soil pollution? Would they be here today, or would the earth be perfect too? It would have to be since mankind would not be ruining the earth. Think how green the grass would be, the deserts would be filled with life and beauty, the oceans would be oh so blue. That is to say that man is ruining the earth; all because of greed, selfishness and wickedness in the world. Think of what the earth would have been had Adam not sinned. There would be no imperfection. Think what men do now. Trash is everywhere, people are greedy and so food for their people sit on the docks rotting, cruelty is at a peak, the list goes on and on. One wish would clean the earth of selfishness.

There would be no death. It’s interesting that the sentence God passed on Adam was sin and death. Sin is missing the mark of perfection. Since Adam missed the mark of perfection when he disobeyed God, he could not pass on anything else but imperfection, sin, and death to his children. Imperfection leads to death. God said that Adam would die and so he did. God said as he pronounced sentence on Adam that when he died he would return to the ground; for dust he was, and to dust he would return. So, this is the sentence for all men; death and they must return to the dust, for that is what Adam did. Just think what would happen if we had just one wish.

If all people were perfect just think; there would be no one picking up a gun to kill another, no hatred, no wars, no starvation, no physical, mental, or sexual abuse. That one wish would sure cover every wish anyone could want. No sickness of any kind. No doctors, nurses, or any kind of medical personal needed. No lawyers would be needed ever because everyone on the earth would perfect and could settle any differences if there were any. Husbands abusing their wives would be unheard of and instead of abuse, all husbands would be handling headship in the correct way. I could live with all those things that Adam robbed from us. If no one hated, no wars. If people shared, no starvation. There would be no illnesses. This would be possible with just one wish.

Adam disobeyed God and made us all sin and die. What would you have done? Disobey God, or have been faithful to God?

What would you want if you had just one wish?

 

Poems

This poem was written by an unknown author. It came from a web page link I found on another website. I think this is the most romantic poem I have read in a long time.

I Dreamt of you late last night
Dancing in the soft moonlight
Gently you moved twirled and swayed
Making love to the sweet serenade
Letting your hair trickle down
Caressing your lavender evening gown
Diamonds and pearls in your eyes
Heaven below the starry sky.
Tiffany Crystal upon your feet
Like the fairytale so unique
You glide as though you’re in the ballet
With form as beautiful as a bouquet
The evening sparkled with romance
My heart surrendered while you danced
I stood humbled as you gleamed
Last night with you upon a dream

 

 

My Sweet, Charming, Man

I haven’t written in a while and, I thought it is about time for something else to be added to my poor neglected blog. My attention and my heart now belong to a charming, energetic man who I adore. It feels strange to me. After all, being married for 30 years, and never had any interest in another man. After Bill died, I never thought that I could ever be interested in someone else again nor was I looking. Wow, was I in for a big, wonderful surprise. I feel as if I am about to embark on an exciting life adventure.
Yes, I did love my husband very much, but it is time to move on. My man is very attentive, loving, kind, forgiving and genuinely the same man he presents to the world. Everyone loves him. I was surprisingly drawn to him quickly, and like a magnet with a strong pull, his power drew me directly to him. Of course, I am not trying to get away and have no interest in leaving.
He lives in the moment and enjoys every moment of life. Relax and smile with that big beautiful smile my charming man for I have no interest in getting away and intend to learn from you how once again to live every moment of life as if it were my last. I will learn to once again live in appreciation of the beauty that God has given to humanity. Never again losing that desire to observe life is what you will remind me of and both of us will live that way too.
There came a day that I thought it was time to take my wedding band off to prove to myself and to my charming man that I am ready to move on in life. I removed my wedding band. Surprisingly, I felt as if I finally buried Bill. Prince Charming smiled in approval of my decision. We had never talked about it. Never asked me to remove the ring. Now I feel like a 30-year-old just becoming interested in a particular man for the first time. A large weight is lifting off of my shoulders.
I find myself walking around smiling all the time. Walking is hardly the right word; it is more like floating around smiling and feeling on top of the world. Of course, my charming man is the one who has lifted me out of a feeling of depression and brought me into a world of euphoria, real hope and the world of the living once again.
My friends know there is a big change in me for they witness it. They look at me, smile, and tell me I sure look good. What is going on they all wonder, but they don’t need to know, and they don’t dare ask. Besides, I fear the single ladies will try to steal him away from me. His qualities display as a man very desirable for a woman to want to wed  .
I do feel like shouting it from the rooftop, but I can’t stand heights. I get dizzy before I get more than three steps from the bottom and I fear the fall to the ground might hurt. As it was, we both fell recently when I accidentally bumped into him. We both hit the ground hard and got hurt, but we both are healing as expected.
I see how beautiful, thoughtful and precious his words are to me and his love will remain precious to me, and I will protect that love so that it never gets hurt. He makes me smile and laugh both through his words, and his actions are just showering me with all the love he has to give, and I am the fortunate one he has chosen to give that love. Smile my love, for I do appreciate your attention and true affections. I will show that same love to you as you do to me.
The conversations we have are always up-building and honest. My charming man and I are not afraid to talk about our feelings. I cannot stand not talking to him every day of the week, I miss him every moment we are apart and love him every second we are not together. I do have to get used to us not being together as much as we both want to. His job takes him away from the area, and the demand for him is getting larger. Since I am not part of that industry, I will stay here and wait for his return. I want him to enjoy the work he has put so much effort into, and I would never want to deny him the feeling of accomplishment that he will gain from these experiences. They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” I would love to know who “they” are, wouldn’t you? I don’t think “They” have ever experienced separation from anyone.
I will find other things to take up my time. I have this blog,  and I think my needed help will not be needed as often since my fractures have healed and we are treating the rotator cuff conservatively with cortisone shots. We’ll see what the future holds for us both. I also have my photography and editing passion and have made some lovely pieces I will sell as one of a kind since they will be just that.
No longer, my friends, do you have to worry about me because as low as I was, I am now that high and smiling all day long. I feel alive, and that is a wonderful feeling I never want to lose again.

In closing this series

Not that I fear death nor do I forget that this is a sensitive subject. This is particularly something that is on my mind since my husband passed away on December 7,  2017. There is only so much that one person can do by themselves and everyone expects them to hold it together. My stepson and a brother-in-law have been helping me with the details.

Well, we are burying him in his hometown of Fairbury, NE two days after the memorial, those were his last wishes. Therefore since I don’t have a car anymore, and I was in an extreme state of emotional turmoil these were the reasons that kept me from making another simple decision. Whether I could drive myself up there and/or stand this emotionally, I needed someone to tell me what to do. I could not make another decision on my own. My wonderful step son added his opinion and tried to help me make a decision.

I finally did make the decision not to go. I knew Continue reading In closing this series

Bill and I

 

 

Below is the last picture I took of Bill before he got real sick. In this picture he looked contented and peaceful. He was just glad that I was there so he could hold me again. From here his final nose dive. From this time on, he was not my husband. I didn’t know the man this mental illness turned him into.

He weighed about 140 lbs so  far and used to weigh 188. He turned into a very different man, pushing every one away and hitting some people including me. These are the days I went home and cried.

I don’t feel as if I have mourned Bill yet. Maybe I mourned him until the day he died. The strange thing about this is something that Alzheimer’s disease does not do. Bill still recognized me and I could tell by the way he looked at me and listened intently to what I was saying to him. Long before the time Alzheimer’s patients are dying, they don’t know who anyone is.

Yes, I believe that Dementia is very different from Alzheimer’s and this is from my own personal experience. This is the photo where we cuddled for the last time

filter on relax
Before Bill got real sick,

 

 

 

 

Bill Tells All He Can

 

Bill talks as well as can be expected

 

In September, 2017

I’ve asked Bill what his world is like, because it could help other people who have loved ones with dementia. It may also help others who already have it what they could expect for themselves, and their loved ones.

Now, some may not go through the same steps in the same order, some may have none of the view of their unfortunate condition, but this may help everyone with dementia. His first answer was that it is none of their business; let them find out for themselves.

 

October, 2017

Bill had been declining on a regular basis. The time had come that he wanted to tell what was going on in his own mind. By then, he could mostly talk so that it was understandable but his sentences were still broken. He was always soft spoken and kind. Never would he get angry and push people away, never would he get angry or annoyed with me.

Since he has always had trouble finding the right words to describe how he is feeling, I thought that if I helped him find some words it might help him, he would be able to express himself.  Therefore, I asked him if the world looked normal to him

He said that it didn’t but he just didn’t know what he is supposed to do anymore. Bill also replied that he didn’t feel as if the world was normal, but I don’t know how to…. no words were able to get out after those words.  I then asked him if the world seemed upside down to him. He thought for a few minutes, looked at the floor, then at me and with tears in his eyes, his answer was yes, it kind of did seem upside down.  Once again, I asked him with tears in my eyes if the world made any sense to him at all. It took him a few minutes to answer that question too. …  His answer was that nothing made any sense to him any more.

Those were his answers. These remarks were made sporadically…. I don’t know what I am supposed to do. I asked if he wanted to go for a walk. He would always want to know where we going to walk to. I told him that it was just to the office and back. He would be okay. Today I asked Bill what his world feels like to him. At first, he said that it was none of their business. Then I asked him if his world seemed to be upside down and if it makes him feel lost. He finally answered that it was upside down and he didn’t know what he is supposed to do. I told him that I only could guess how that felt, but I thought that he was brave being in that kind of world and functioning anyway.

Continue reading Bill Tells All He Can

A little behind

chasing behindI know that I have not written in a while as Bill has slowly declined to the point that he is at now.

It started when he fell and hurt his back and ribs on the left side. He would scream every time someone would try to help him up or move him. I had to call the paramedics just to get him off the cold bathroom floor to bed. He didn’t want to go to the hospital so I told the paramedics that he didn’t want to go. After I tried to take care of him and get him up, he would scream that his back hurt. When I sat him back down on the bed I told him that he was hurt and needed to go to the hospital.

When the staff took a CT scan of his head, neck, ribs and back, they could find any medical reason to keep him there at the hospital. The social worker for the hospital said that he needed to go to a nursing home and the only bed that was available was 35 miles away and I said no as to putting him that far away. The staff in the ER asked me what I was going to do with him. I told them I would take him back home with me. They asked how I was going to take care of him. I answered the only thing I could. I would take care of him the best I could, just the way I have been doing.

For the next few days, I had to call the paramedics every day to help get him up off the floor because he would scream every time I tried to help him. He then got weaker and at first, I could help him get to the bathroom because he was able to help me. As the days passed by, he was getting quite weak, and I was unable to help him any longer. The paramedics took him once again to the hospital.

It so happened that the social worker for this particular chain of hospitals was there in the hospital. She looked at both of us and informed me that I was not taking him home anymore. He would be placed in one of the nursing homes in town so at least I am able to get there to see him. I asked her where we could talk quietly. We were escorted to a quiet room with some comfortable furniture and we all sat down. The social director talked to me and told me I was unable to care for him myself anymore, I needed help. To make sure that I understood, she asked me to look at myself. I couldn’t even stand up straight anymore, I’m falling down more, and I am in pain from my own illnesses.

At this time, she pointed out that I was getting so that I can’t take care of myself let alone Bill. I finally agreed that he should go to a nursing home. I didn’t wait for him to get settled, but I left soon after I signed the papers. I couldn’t take any more of this right now.

This is not my husband that I go to visit. My husband has disappeared into the grips of that ugly monster that has been trying to swallow him whole. In just four days, he went from my sweet, soft spoken, gentle loving man to a man who is a stranger to me. He’s been there a month, and there have been glimpses of recognition of me. One day he remembered me for a couple of hours. It was wonderful; he opened his arms to acknowledge me. His eyes had that boyish twinkle, then he kissed me so tenderly. He was talking to me, and his speech was clear so we lay in his bed talking and I read him some of the bible. Lunch then came and I tried to feed him. He ate some bites of a couple of food items I know he likes, but he didn’t even want to eat more than one or two bites.

Bill becomes aggressive and has hit aides that were trying to get him to do things he does not want to do. He’s hit me too, but I remind myself that he can’t help it. This is the monster within. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feelings

This is another entry about the feelings my husband hides within his heart and memory. He is weighed down with dementia and at times, he believes he is carrying this burden by himself.

He’s not alone, for this is a two-person journey from beginning to end. What I’ve seen in Bill is the sadness of losing each skill, each thought, each piece of him to oblivion. I’m not morose, or a negative person, but this is a sad condition of the mind. Dementia is a condition of the mind that two people have to deal with. Each must adjust and help one another cope with the stages that must take place.

My mother had Alzheimer’s and I watched her go downhill for 16 years. I took care of her every need for those years. She did not have to be alone going through the process of memory loss alone either. When she was sick and dying, Bill was diagnosed with Dementia. Sometimes I forget what really is happening to the person within. When you are with a person with such a condition, perhaps every day, you don’t see the gradual change. Others do see the larger picture and see the downhill slide.

To those who take care of these ones, it seems as if all of a sudden that ugly monster has shown its’ face and this decline appears so suddenly that it takes your breath away. To me it feels as if it has been sudden that his thoughts and speech have trouble coming together, if at all. I remember the thoughts of his heart wanting to come out, but they were stuck. The thoughts were there, the memories are there, but the words are not.  

He struggles to get the thoughts out and it hurts me to the point of my heart breaking in two. As he tries to form the words or remember his thought, the look of desire in his eyes I know that he has something important to say to me. The unwillingness of his mouth to form the words that have already gone into obscurity and as the thought itself entered the doors of extinction, we look at each other helplessly. I can only hug him, tell Bill that I love him, and it’s not his fault it’s the monster called dementia. Then nothingness fills the void of silence.

 Sometime in Jan or Feb of this year, his son called us. I do not remember what the objection was, but JR was mad at me and he told me that he was very angry with me. He thinks that his dad should be down there with him where he could care for him properly and he could see his grandchildren. I started to cry, and I told him that he has a right to be angry and it was OK to be angry with me. His dad found his voice, grabbed the phone and let him know a few things that his son was not aware of. Bill reminded him that I was his wife and JR had no business getting me upset.

That was only one small thing that we have to work with. Bill has to remember that his son has not had to deal with older people and never with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It is a shock for him to see his dad like this, and he doesn’t see it as bad as it really is at this time. 

Thankfully, there is no one else on bill’s side of the family that we have to hold their hand and deal with this too. When you look at this, it comes down to the importance of the relationship that Bill and I have built over the years that is getting us through this. My sister said it all when she said that when you get old, all you have is your family to take care of you.

That’s the truth isn’t it? As for us, we’re just plugging along like every on taking it one day at a time, and as time passes you too will feel the pangs of tomorrow. Then it will be your turn to  just plug along as the others do. 

There was also a sparkle, but that’s another entry for another day.

Remember

The word “Remember” can invoke many thoughts to each of us. You may even wonder where to begin. I’m sure that each of us could write a book on our own memories. I’m only thinking of the first thing that this precious word makes me want to write.

I remember the reason I fell in love with my husband. We lived in Colorado at the time and I remember the first conversation I heard him have with his mother. (His end of course.) The gentle tone in which he spoke to his mother reminded me how children are supposed to obey their parents. It made me remember that the reason we obey is because we love and respect them. He’d laugh each time she spoke of what “Muffin” (her dog and only companion) did that amused her that week. She talked about any visitors she had during the week. Bill listenened with interest and gentleness that I had not seen in a very long time.

He spoke with deep concern about how she was doing and what needed to be done to her house. It was older and was in need of much attention. Bill’s two brothers helped as much as they could. They talked for about an hour and sometimes longer. This impressed me as them having a close relationship. This might spark a flavor of “mama’s boy” to some, but he was no “mama’s boy.”

One brother lived in Germany at this time. He was in the army. He and his wife lived on the base for a while, and then moved off base. They flew home at least couple of times each year. At those times, they visited each of their parents and took care of the needs that were a little more expensive.

The other brother lived about an hour and a half away from her and visited as much as he could. He also did what he could to visit and if she needed shopping done, he would do it for her. He visited her on a regular basis. He was a policeman in that town he lived. From Fairbury to Grand Island was the shortest distance of the three brothers to their mother’s.

We lived in Denver, about a six hour drive, but Bill made that drive when he could, and did physical work on the house and the yard. When I began to go with him I would make meals for her. I’d put them in containers, and then in the freezer so she could just take out one for her, and heat it in the microwave. I also did housework for her that she was unable to do for herself. Their mom had arthritis, and was pretty well crippled with the disease.

For a year I listened to him call her every week without fail. He spoke to her in that same mild and caring tone each and every week. How could you not fall in love with a man such as this? He treated me with the same caring tone and respectful manner. The sincerity in his voice and mannerisms spoke volumes as to what kind of man Bill was.

As the year went along, I heard conversations with his two boys in California also. This was the same manner as he spoke with his mom. Those conversations didn’t last quite as long, but the attitude, love, and respect was shown to them as well.

What can I say? After a year, he asked me to marry him. We got married and here it is 28 years later. He still takes care of me in the way only a husband can take care of a wife; loving, caring, and sometimes even crying together. I still care for him as only a wife can; listening, laughing together, sharing a sunset, or even a simple meal are still pleasurable to us. We tolerate his dementia, and we tolerate my physical and emotional problems. We try to keep them in their place and go on enjoying the love and respect we have always had for each other.