The Cat’s in the Cradle

The words to the song, “The Cat’s in the Cradle”, twist and squeeze my heart. The children are grown and gone…and now there’s only a cat in the cradle. Where did our babies go? Weren’t they in the cradle just yesterday?

Memories

Soaking Up Family Time

Remember when family just showed up at the house, sometimes with a casserole, sometimes with a suitcase for spending the night? They didn’t call first…they just knocked on the door, and we answered without knowing first who was on the porch. Tea was made, leftover fried chicken was warmed up, and extra chairs were pulled in from other rooms. Stories were shared while chatter and laughter filled the room, and a dusty box of old pictures, dried corsages, military medals and more treasures was pulled out of the closet. Children sat cross-legged on the floor, their minds and hearts soaking up stories they would tell their own children and grandchildren one day.

The Dusty Old Box

One of the most important lessons cancer has taught me is…

pay close attention…life is brief…spend time wisely.

I recently read a book about how we’ve exchanged “the important for the urgent”. Somehow we’ve allowed what seems urgent to consume our time, and there’s no time left for what’s important. In fact, we have started believing that what is most important is that which is urgent.

We don’t notice it’s happening until one day we watch as the children blow the dust off the old box in the closet and carefully lift off the lid. When we see only disappointment on their little faces, we look inside the box and find that there are no stories, no old pictures, no treasures…but rather copies of calendars, planners, post-it notes, and lists of things to do. It’s too late to change what’s stored in the box by that time. We can’t get those days back, and the people who lived the history are gone, along with the stories they loved to tell. Is this old box all there is to pass on to future generations?

Alzheimer’s & Unanswered Questions

When we knew Alzheimer’s was bearing down on Mom and Dad, I wish I had handled things differently. Why didn’t I ask more questions? Listen more closely? Write more down? I knew I had little time between the day of the diagnosis and the day their lives would be ravaged by the disease. I wanted to ask more questions, but I allowed fear to win…I was so afraid of them thinking I was preparing for what we all dreaded. Now, the questions remain unanswered, and the only ones who could answer them are gone. What would Mom and Dad have wanted to tell me, if only I had asked and listened closely?

If only time travel were real… I checked the cradle just to be sure, but only the cat was there.

Thank you for spending some of your precious time here,

Tracie

Even if you’ve heard “The Cat’s in the Cradle”, it’s worth listening to again: https://youtu.be/KUwjNBjqR-c

“Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4

** I did reach over 100 subscribers!!! Thank you!!! I haven’t received a response from the person who won the drawing…so check your email to be sure it isn’t you. If I don’t hear something this week, I’ll draw a new name. Thank you again!!! **

I wrote Dancing Around the Chaos for those who are on the ALZ journey with loved ones…struggling to figure it out and dreading what the next day will bring…but too exhausted and afraid to think beyond the present. It happens to also be a sweet and tender love story that really happened, whose characters are real people. Find it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2v2paXK

Subscribe below to receive updates from me. When you subscribe, I’ll send Chapter 2 from Dancing Around the Chaos to you. Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family!


#Alzheimers #Dementia #EndAlz #ALZAuthors #dancingchaosbook

Boxing Up Alzheimer’s for the Attic

Our road trip to see Mom and Dad took about 8 hours, and we usually made the trip over a weekend, between work weeks. Sometimes, we stayed longer…Christmas, for instance. A longer visit, we learned, can shed a harsh and truthful light, exposing hidden things.

We realized that Mom and Dad could pull it together, put on a good front, cover for one another, and make things seem fairly normal for a day or two. If the visit was any longer, it was too hard to keep up the charade, and things started unraveling around the edges. This was hard work, and they must have been worn to a frazzle by the time we left. We were for sure.

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The Gift That Changed Everything

It was just two days before Christmas when Dad and I sat on the porch rockers, listening to Christmas music. His words had deserted him by that time, but we didn’t need them. We enjoyed the cool, crisp air of a Texas December, held hands and listened to the good news of a baby born in a manger. We didn’t know he would be gone just a few days later. It was a sweet and precious time, and I’ll never forget it.

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I Want to go Home

Folks quietly talking about crops, a broom sweeping the floor, a rolling pin rolling out pie crust and a screen door squeaking to a close, chickens pecking the dry ground beneath the windmill, a rooster crowing, sheets blowing with the wind on the clothesline, the smell of rain and newly plowed dirt, chicken frying in the iron skillet and biscuits baking in the oven, fresh tobacco in a pipe….these are long ago memories of home.

I want to go home…

“I want to go home! This is not my home!” Dad wanted to go home, but I was confused because he was at home. He had lived in this house for 25 years…going to work and coming home, mowing the grass, eating meals with Mom at the kitchen table, holding grandbabies, tinkering with his hot rod in the garage, sitting with Mom on the front porch…waving to passers-by. This was home.

How was it that he didn’t recognize this place after so many years? We reminded him of special memories that had been made in this house…people who had been here, trees that had been planted, long-time neighbors who lived close-by, Christmas trees that had been decorated, and apples gathered from underneath the apple tree. No matter what we said, he was determined to make us understand…this was not home!

I finally realized he was longing for his childhood home…even though it had been well over 60 years since he had been there. That home was a solid, long-ago memory, safely hidden from Alzheimer’s in a protected corner of his brain. Memories of the current house had simply disappeared, never to be retrieved again, no matter how hard we tried to bring them back to the surface.

So, I just joined him in these conversations about home…talking about riding on the tractor, planting cotton, gathering eggs for “Mama”, riding the horse, and chasing the dog. It was amazing how easy this was…and it made life so much easier for him and for me. We told him we would head home tomorrow, more than once, and he visibly relaxed…a real burden lifted. Finally, he had gotten through to us.

I never lived on a farm, but I treasure memories of my grandparents’ place. I would love to step back in time to watch my grandmother, in her flour-dusted apron, making a peach cobbler or to ride in the squeaky wheelbarrow as my grandfather pushes me through the garden, bouncing over clods of dirt. These are sweet, comforting, and safe memories….and I hope they stay with me forever.

I finally understood…I would love to go home too.

Grateful & blessed, Tracie

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2

I wrote Dancing Around the Chaos for those who are on the ALZ journey with loved ones…struggling to figure it out and dreading what the next day will bring…but too exhausted and afraid to think beyond the present. It happens to also be a sweet and tender love story that really happened, whose characters are real people. Find it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2v2paXK

Subscribe below to receive updates from me. When you subscribe, I’ll send Chapter 2 from Dancing Around the Chaos to you. Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family!


#Alzheimers #Dementia #EndAlz #ALZAuthors #dancingchaosbook

Apple Memories

The appearance of the apples was misleading. Their looks, in fact, could have caused them to be ignored as they fell to the hard, West Texas ground with a thud. Beneath the mottled skin though, they were still apples, sweet and delicious, like other apples who look just fine on the outside. If only apples could talk, they would be sure we knew there was still a treasure to be found inside.

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Bear Hugs

It’s been well over 2 years since Dad moved on to his heavenly home, but some days the grief is still fresh…as if it just happened.  Even after all this time, on occasion, I think of something I need to call him about…but oh yeah…I can’t pick up the phone and call him anymore.  On days like that, I spend a little time with a bear, remembering those bear hugs.

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Hold My Hand & Walk With Me

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.

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