It was October…a little chilly with clear skies and lots of Texas sunshine. Microphones were being checked; someone was singing on the stage. We took turns pulling the children through the park in the wagon, searching for the perfect place for a family picture. Chatter and quite laughter filled the air as we watched other families taking their pictures too. We were there to take a long walk together, and memories of other walks scrolled across my mind.Continue reading “Hold My Hand & Walk With Me”
May 21, 2018 is a date I’ll remember forever. I can’t believe a whole year has passed. It’s been much different than we had imagined.Continue reading “The Good News / Bad News Day”
National Fruit Cocktail Day is on May 13…so HAPPY NATIONAL FRUIT COCKTAIL DAY! I actually don’t remember the last time I ate fruit cocktail, but when I was growing up, it was a real treat when it was on our supper menu. Sometimes Mom added it to jello for a really special dessert.Continue reading “Happy National Fruit Cocktail Day!”
“I know he’s my baby and all, but I just really think he’s beautiful,” I remember telling Mom. She smiled, looking at my newborn baby, “Well, you know…every old crow thinks hers is the blackest.”Continue reading “Every Old Crow”
Mom quickly let go of my hand as we walked through the door, delivering a warm hug and a sweet hello to each resident in the living room. I didn’t want to be there, but this was what my mother did. She loved visiting the elderly.Continue reading “Showing Up”
My Naomi was young at heart, and that youthfulness must have spilled over to her good looks. She loved to laugh….I wonder now…could this have been her secret remedy against wrinkles and frown lines? It’s possible, of course, since laughter is the best medicine after all! She was active, always busy, and took very good care of herself.Continue reading “My Naomi”
After baths, the folks shuffled into the living room in their pajamas. Those who didn’t claim a recliner scooted close together on the couch…one sat cross-legged on the floor. Vanna was putting up the first puzzle, and the wheel started clicking, spinning around and searching for a place to land. It was time for Wheel of Fortune!Continue reading “Blessings in the Battles”
We were all amazed as we watched Dad take sweet and tender care of his bride…patiently answering the same questions over and over again, looking for her lost purse many times each day, and watching over her carefully, protecting her from harm. People who knew them said they were soulmates, and I guess they were. They had been married many years when Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s had changed their lives and ours too. Mom was lost, and Dad was exhausted. We had sleepless nights full of worry, and many tears were shed. My heart ached for both of them, and I longed for life the way it was before the invasion of Alzheimer’s. We lived across the state of Texas, many miles from them, but we traveled there often to check on them, finding the situation a little worse with each trip.
It wasn’t until later, after Mom and Dad were gone, when I started writing my book, Dancing Around the Chaos, that I realized what a rare love story we had witnessed. I was reminded of the Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13:7, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” I had read the verse many times before, but now, I understood it. It was real to me…Dad had lived the verse, demonstrating the meaning of the words. Alzheimer’s is the long road to goodbye, no doubt, but had it not been for this journey, we would have missed witnessing this rare love story. It was a gift.
Other gifts come to mind today…Valentine’s Day….along with other Valentine memories, like the year I won the 3rd grade valentine box contest. Mom helped me wrap a Kleenex box in red felt, glue pink and white felt hearts on it, and then attach a decorated coconut to the box with pipecleaners. It was, of course, a mouse pulling a carriage…which doubled as a collection box for valentines from my classmates! I love this memory, and I’m thankful for so many gifts in years past. The Valentine gift I treasure most, however, is the gift of this amazing love story…an example set for generations to come. What an honor!
Happy Valentine’s Day, Tracie
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
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About a month after Mom passed away, I was visiting Dad when I heard another resident, Emily, say to a volunteer. “I want to watch THAT TV!” She was pointing to the wall covered in crosses – all shapes, sizes and colors. It’s beautiful. I guess when she glanced up at the wall, Emily thought, at least for a few seconds, that she was looking at a TV, and she wanted to see more of that show! The volunteer leaned down, whispered something in her ear and kept pushing her wheelchair toward the dining room.
It’s the middle of January, and I’m waiting for an x-ray. I notice my reflection in the glass above me. It’s strange to see myself in a hospital gown, on an x-ray table…waiting for the technician to tell me which way to turn next. I think I look older now, or maybe I’m just tired. Some days, my hands shake too much to put on mascara, and I have circles under my eyes. Most days, I don’t think I look like I have cancer, but….looking at my reflection now, maybe I’m wrong about that. I do see Mom in my eyes…I definitely favor her, and I like that. Memories of Januarys past scroll across my mind.