Thursday, June 10, 2021
Writing after a hiatus is more difficult with each post. This morning (almost noon) my mind is once again in a muddle. It feels like disconnected pieces are floating around in my head—not landing, but swirling as though they are trying to find where they belong. Obviously, my dementia is increasing—or should I say, decreasing? I’m having more difficulty with retrieval of words and thoughts, and if I don’t write it down I lose it. One might think a daily calendar would help, and it does sometimes, but not always; my cryptic notes often even confuse me, even when I know I’m the one that wrote them.
But there are rare gifts in my life, as well, like this morning’s visit from a long and dear friend. She played her ukulele and sang songs I knew well. I can’t remember the last time I sang aloud. Such a gift of love, kindness, and friendship is more precious than wealth. Giving of one’s time is priceless and so welcomed by me.
The same is true of my steadfast ‘college girls’—friends for more than fifty years, and my grandchildren. I am so grateful for this technology as I can recall times when we lived great distances from loved ones and the only communication was through letters or expensive phone calls. I also recall times when one of my close friends was blind and could ‘hear’ me through her braille reader.
Communication is such a gift, and the ability to express oneself is so rewarding. These days I’m better at writing than speaking. Writing allows me time to ‘think’ before I keyboard. Writing also helps me write my truth and save it just for me. A release indeed!
I’m aware and recognize my decline in the cognitive skills I need to communicate—clearly and definitely. Even before Covid isolation I had avoided crowds and large gatherings, because it was just too much commotion. As I’ve written before, isolation has been a pandemic necessity as well as a safe place, where my mind doesn’t have to work so hard to keep up and I can focus on just one voice.
Even so, I enjoy my alone time. I can relax without the pressure to put words together, or keep thoughts straight, or recall with accuracy, or feel pity or fear creep in. But when fear does interfere I do my best to see the positives in my world and envision the future however I want to envision it. Then I often take a walk down our country road, with my dogs in tow, or walk the treadmill, or embroider, or read an engaging book, or watch a good show on TV. If one activity doesn’t seem to be working, I try another. My last resort is always a big bowl of chocolate fudge ice cream, without any guilt, because at this stage in life looks aren’t a high priority to me, and enjoying myself has replaced idle fancies.