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.
I love these words…”We may not know what lies ahead of us, but we can be absolutely certain of Who is with us.” God sees every detail of our lives…the moments of happiness as well as the hard days. I hope you find many blessings in 2019, no matter the journey you are on.
The following post is from a daily devotional called (in)courage (https://www.incourage.me). I receive it via email and requested permission to share it here with you because the words are so appropriate and true as we enter 2019.
Family members who remember very little from the past, sometimes find that memories are stirred at Christmastime as they celebrate family traditions. They are often the very ones who started the traditions we celebrate today. Even though they appear to have no memories or connections to the past, we don’t know what may be stirring in their minds as they listen to Christmas music, hear the sounds of laughter as children open gifts, and get a taste of those holiday recipes.
Dad seemed confused, so I found some pictures to show him. We looked at a picture of him and Mom dancing at our son’s wedding; he liked the picture but didn’t know the people. We looked at pictures of him as a young boy and a picture of his father. When I pulled out the picture of the yellow house, nothing about it registered with him either. He seemed more settled, but I realized, once again, that none of those memories, even of this very special house, were still tucked away in his mind.
- It’s been six months today since the cancer diagnosis…hard to believe that much time has passed. Cancer brought more chaos for us to dance around.
On the very day “Dancing Around the Chaos” was officially released, May 21, 2018, I was diagnosed with cancer. A book launch celebration had been planned, readings had been organized, interviews were scheduled, but all were canceled as we grappled with this new reality. The timing was so incredible to me. God had allowed me the time to complete the book He had laid on my heart…without being distracted by the cancer already growing in my body.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!
Dad was born on August 3rd. It’s hard to believe that he would be turning 85 if he were still here. He loved birthday cake and ice cream…especially after a Dairy Queen hamburger! Other than that, he was in favor of simple celebrations, spending time with those he loved. It seems like I should be planning to bake a chocolate cake for this weekend…maybe I will anyway.
The news stunned us. We didn’t plan for this; we had other things to do. Instead of having a party, we cried. When we thought we would be paging through the book, we were instead hearing results of tests and making new plans for the future.
release day finally arrived for Dancing around the Chaos!
After thinking about this book for years, it’s finally a reality! It’s hard to believe there is an actual book I can hold. I hope Mom and Dad would be proud of me. Even after all these years, I want to please them. I do know they would like hearing about the people who read their story and what a difference it made in their Alz Journey or even what a difference it made in their commitment to those they love.
In the early days of the disease, when I heard stories of others in later stages, I actually thought…”Well, I know that will never happen.” Little did I know what the future held; I was very naïve. Many times along the way, I would remember something a friend had shared with me two or three years prior, and reality would settle in. We were there; those things were happening. It was hard, no doubt, but at least I knew others had been down this road. That gave me comfort.
Looking for Laughter
Our visits, I was learning, had more of an impact on Mom than was obvious to us. She didn’t usually know who we were; we had no meaningful conversation; and we were all exhausted from trying to keep up with the mayhem. Mom had not had much of an appetite for 7-10 days. Dad said it had been hard to get her to eat anything, but on this day…something was stirred. She was happy – and she was hungry!
Mother’s Day is Almost Here
It will be a day full of memories of Mom. I still feel like I should be looking for a special gift, ordering a corsage (which she loved!), planning time together. It seems strange that this process, practiced and perfected over many years, has simply disappeared. Truthfully, because of Alzheimer’s, Mother’s Day vanished years ago, long before Mom passed away.