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!”
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”
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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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.
- 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.
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.
Dancing around the Chaos is now available for pre-sale on Amazon!
This book is simply the true story of what happened on the Alz journey with Mom and Dad.
Why did I write the book?
My reasons for writing the book, telling the true story…what really happened are basically:
- To help others beginning the journey – to share information that may be helpful to them, even if it is hard to tell…and hard to hear.
- To make it clear to those who don’t understand what Alz is…it is a cruel disease of the brain affecting 5.7 million Americans. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, that number could rise to 14 million by 2050. It is much more than just forgetting someone’s name; it is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- To share a sweet story of two people who loved each other to the end. Their journey made it possible for others to witness a true, one-of-a kind love story and raised the bar for many.