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 Continue reading Remember
This is another story of about the feelings of the one taking care of a person weighed down with dementia. 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 really morose, or a negative person, but this is a sad condition of the mind.
I’ve been with Alzheimer’s people and Dementia so much these past 20 years or so that I forget what really is happening to the person. When you are with a person with such a condition, perhaps every day, you don’t see the gradual change. Others do see the gradual decline.
To those who take care of these ones, it is that all the suddenness of this decline that comes in one swoop. Again, you look at your loved one and realize this seems like he has suddenly gone downhill again. To me it feels as if it has been sudden that his thoughts and speech won’t come 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 oblivion and as the thought itself enter the doors of extinction, we look at each other helplessly.
I can only hug him and tell him that I love him. Then nothingness fills the void of silence.
In the meantime, his son called us I’m not sure what the objection was, but he 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 he has a right to be angry and it was OK to be mad. His dad found his voice, grabbed the phone and let him know a few things that his son is not aware of. One was that he was not happy with him that he got 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. 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.
As for me? I’m just plugging along like everyone else is and taking it one day at a time.
Here I thought that this was going to be another story of my feelings of taking care of my husband, but it turned into something else and that is okay too.
Bill and I went for breakfast at the hut as we do on most Fridays. The pain of separation is almost unbearable for Bill at this time. I’ve only taken him out twice this week and visited him once. I understand the way he feels because I would feel the same way if the situation was the other way around. I too would question someone’s love if that person put me in a place full of unknown old people and I couldn’t understand why.
As he sees it; and truly feels himself to be the same person he always was. Constantly he wonders why we can’t be together all the time. He can’t understand why he is not able to be with me at home again. Our tears fall easily when we first see each other, but this morning I was able to wait for my tears to begin. Off we went to breakfast with our friends. Continue reading Friends are Still Friends
An island is a piece of land that is totally surrounded by water and as the saying goes, “No man is an island.” While no man can be an island in the manner of surviving by himself, since all mankind is connected in one way or another to the human family. So, no man is an island. Although, two people can become Continue reading Island of Tears
Lives Are a Saga
Birth is a constant and death is a constant. These two constants happen in every one’s life. As soon as birth takes place that constant has ended. Now it becomes intermittent and irregular. When that part ends, then the other constant is in place, death.
Intermittent and irregular things happen to all of us between the constants of birth and death and that is called life. There have been many things that have happened to all of us. Many of them were good, and those are the memories that should be the only things in the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, there were also the many tragedies that happen in all of our lives and people think they should just forget them; as it were, out of sight out of mind.
Wouldn’t that be nice if they were wrapped in neat little packages of good and bad? If that were the case then life would be good. The intermittent cycles Continue reading Lives Are a Saga
I never put much stock in the comments that people make. Oh wait, I need to say that if people don’t make sincere, or personal comments on something you have written, then there is not a grain of truth, and their comments are insincere.
What’s wrong with stopping and really looking at the photo, article, the way someone is dressed, or whatever you are ready to make a comment? If you do that, than you won’t give comments like, “Good job” or a canned comment such as ones found on WordPress Blogs which this one is and say; “John and Susie think your story was awesome. Now check out their sites and see if you like them just as much.” Sorry folks, I trash most of them. If you are going to compliment someone on something you like, write something. You are supposed to be a writer …. write something.
How about something such as. “Wow, that article stunk. I didn’t like the part about you telling someone to write what they liked and didn’t like.” Or something like “I love the post on “Fork.” I found that funny and sad at the same time. My step dad was a good one too.” Now, those are comments that mean something to a writer, a photographer, or any other artist. What is even better would be something like, “Loved the Face of Dementia, my mom had Alzheimer’s and it is sad to watch them go downhill. I give a like and a thumbs up to that difficult subject. More people need to know the stages so they know what they are in for if a loved one has dementia.”
Now, the second paragraph there is not a grain of truth in that comment. I find it offensive and I would rather they not comment at all.
If you are going to give a comment whether it be a sincere positive one, or a sincere not so good comment, at least make it sincere. Then the one that reads that comment can either feel good and know what their audience thinks, or if not enjoyed and told why, then the one the comment is meant for; knows what they need to put a more positive spin on. At least then, the comment will have a grain of truth if not a square foot of grains.
Oh, the heck with it. Only write sincere good ones. Who wants to hear sincere bad comments anyway? Seriously, give your sincere comments on something positive or something that touched your heart, or you agree with. That is encouraging to all writers no matter how long or how famous they are. I only hope one thing. I hope I have never written one insincere comment to anyone for anything.
This is my husband in 1988. He is capable; able to fix anything. He could take a car, disassemble and put it back together again. If you needed a transmission fixed, he was your man. He knew how to build things, fix anything that needed fixing and able to care very deeply.
The year was 1988 when we married. Bill was an architectural draftsman at the time. until 1993 when he got laid off due to what they said was a lack of work. We found out later, it was because we used the insurance too much. There were two others in the same boat. He had gotten another draftsman job, but got laid off from that a year or two later and was told that everything was going to auto cad and he had no interest in learning the computer.
We owned a home in Lochuie, CO and in 1996 he built a beautiful 14×25 addition by himself with a storm basement. This was one that he did just for me. He built an 8’ bay window from floor to ceiling. We used to sit in the rocking chairs in the bay area and talk the afternoon away. It was beautiful to me and something I will never forget.
We moved to Missouri in the year 2000 and about 2007 sets of keys began to disappear, and they were nowhere to be found. They seemed to totally disappear. He lost many things and as time went on, things were going on that puzzled me. He would swear that I didn’t tell him something that I know I told him several times. I still dismissed those happenings as us getting old.
The first time I definitely knew that something was wrong was when a part for the Ford N 8 tractor came in and Bill went out to the garage to fix it after work. He had been gone for a long time. I strolled out to the garage to see how it was coming along.
When I got out there, he told me that this wasn’t the right part. I looked at the part, and the diagram that shows the way it was supposed to be put on. It was obviously the correct part, but he couldn’t understand how it fit.
This did concern me but when I showed him the diagram he insisted he was putting it on the right way. When I tried to show him how the part was supposed to go on in relationship to the diagram. He only got annoyed at me and insisted that he was doing it right, it just didn’t fit. I then called a friend of ours to come and see if it was the right part. He came over and it just went right on the way it was supposed to fit.
As time went on, things got worse. He lost so many objects and swore he put it in this one spot. He started accusing a friend of stealing from him. I knew that we had no friends that would ever steal from us and how could he think that way.
He never used to lose things. His memory used to be good too. He knew how to build things, and if something didn’t fit, he would be able to find something to make it work. He used to tear cars down and rebuild them. He was able to take transmissions apart and put them back together again. He had some of his home designs built in North Platte, NE, and he helped build himself.
He began telling people he raised his kids all by himself. Bill told everyone that he had full custody of his two boys from the beginning and that their mother would only take them for the summer. I wondered how he could forget things that were so major. He didn’t have custody, their mother did, and she gave the kids to us as soon as we got married. I no longer tried to correct him about things. What would be the harm?
Suddenly, he began doing other strange things as though he now had no conscience. I’m not saying that he became a liar. What I am saying is that something was wrong. I saw it, but I didn’t know what it was so I swept it away.
This man used to that used to be an architectural draftsman. He loved his family and he still does. This is the man that built houses, did some of the drafting for the Mall of America. He could build, take apart and put together, and he could fix anything.
After these things, he forgot how to do simple things. He forgot how to hammer a nail, he couldn’t screw in anything. There wasn’t anything he could do. I took us 4 and 5 hours to put together what used to take 1 to do. He lost his senses of up and down. This is the man with Dementia.
He no longer can do any drafting. He forgot how to build. He can no longer read many words. It’s too dangerous for him to drive a car. His reflexes are slow and he can’t make decisions. He can’t get the keys into the mailbox, and he is unable to stay by himself for long unless I am at a neighbors where he knows how to find me.
He feels as if he is stupid, and thinks his friends find him that way too. He used to build additions on homes, repaired all the things that went wrong in a house; but that was yesterday.
Yesterday he could plant a garden with large luscious tomatoes, and extra large cantaloupe that dripped when they were cut open and very sweet to the taste.
Now this is the man with Dementia.
Today he is the shell of the man from yesterday. His eyes no longer sparkle, he no longer laughs. He rarely speaks. His hands remain idle because he no longer remembers how to do things with them.
This is the Ugly and Destructive Face of dementia. The lines in the forehead tell me he worries, but he doesn’t remember why. The hollow cheeks remind me his appetite is waning and he is losing weight. His mouth is drooping down in a permanent frown. He can’t remember the words to speak. This is the face of dementia. It’s ugly because this is an ugly, silent monster. Alzheimer’s robs your loved ones of their memory and only toward the end do they begin to lose their cognition.
Dementia robs your loved one of life itself. He doesn’t know what a hammer is for. He doesn’t know where or what the microwave is. He walks into walls, and large objects. He can’t think of what he wants to say. It’s difficult to sit there and look at that face of dementia wanting and trying so hard to say something and can’t think of the words, and when they do, they can’t get them out. Don’t try to finish their sentence for them because then they lose their very thought. There is not anything else to say. This is the ugly face of dementia.
This will be a short post. I offer basic computer lessons for older people who are afraid to try to use the computer for fear of breaking it. My lessons are short, to the point, pictures, and a new vocabulary for computer users only. These terms are badly needed if someone is able to learn to follow directions themselves. That is one of the problems I had when I first began learning the computer myself. I didn’t know what the instructions were. I didn’t know what the “thing-a-ma-jigs” were and I didn’t have a clue what the “Doo-Hickeys” were. Well, I will teach them those things. They are basic lessons. So if you know someone who is afraid of the computer, send them here for a look at the easy to follow instructions.
On this website is free lessons on photo editing. It isn’t hard because most of it is trying different things yourself, but introduce some programs to them.
Then there are some posts on gift giving and how to be a unique gift giver that people won’t want to return. Come check it out just for curiosity sake. Come on, you know you want to.
There are mountains and hills in just about every one of the 50 states of this country. Some mountains are much higher than others and some are hills. Whatever is observed as the scenery which passes by at 70 mph if you’re on the Interstate, or 50 – 65 mph if you’re on the US or State highways, is something to truly enjoy.
Every place on this earth has its’ own splendor, its’ own beauty, and there is nothing I would like better than to be able to travel some of those roads again and this time “Don’t Run So Fast”
I drove a truck for 16 years, and I saw the mountain, the plains, US highways, and state highways. There is no place that does not speak of the majesty of the mountains. The roads I loved were the two lane roads that made a truck drive slower. The sights were unbelievable. Each direction was more beautiful than Continue reading Unspoken Majesty of the Mountains