Every day I realize another ‘slip’ in my memory. Of course this is disturbing, but I do my best to brush away those thoughts as quickly as possible and replace them with positive thoughts, such as what a beautiful day it is today; the sun is out, the River is blue, the birds are feasting on sunflower seeds. My cat is sleeping on my lap.
I remind myself many times during a day of my blessings, knowing there will soon come a time when I won’t be able to do so. There is so much in my life that is beautiful. Of course, my family, Keith, and my children Beth and Steven and their spouses Carew and Haley, and especially my ‘grands’ and soon-to-be a great grandson who will be born in Estonia. These gifts keep me grounded and sane, and help me to reframe my thinking and focus on the positives in my life.
Nevertheless, more and more often, these thoughts seem to ‘hang around’ and pester me, which makes me angry and sad. Why can’t I control my thoughts better? I scold myself. Why do I let these villains in? I should be stronger.
When these ‘nasties’ finally let go, I go to my laptop and write…as I’m doing now. Somehow typing and framing words seems to release the power I let them have—after all, they are just words, and I do have control over them. I can replace them easily, sometimes with a walk (not today, too cold), or a treat of chocolate or ice cream. Focusing on a puzzle, reading a book, petting my cat (when she allows it), or walking up to Keith and opening my arms for a comforting and assuring hug and kiss are always curative—at least to some degree.
Yes, I still have some control and am not totally helpless—at least not yet. Being in control (what little I have left) seems to be of great importance lately. I want to have options and make choices—even as small as they have become.
Yes, I fear the future. I fear becoming a burden. I fear not knowing who has come to visit me, and forgetting our shared history. I fear ‘living too long.’
I know I have written this before, but these thoughts hold tight and don’t let go. My future is short lived. Which I try to remind myself, so that I don’t squander it. So today I’m going to do my best to hold beautiful thoughts, to look at the gifts that surround me: my family—first of course, and my faithful friends, who are right next to family. My homestead of beauty and serenity, of change and critters, and chickens and ducks. And of course my dog and cat. Blessing galore!
In closing I, of course, want to include those who read my writings and let me know my posts have helped them understand dementia better, or given them some courage in coping with it, or helped them have more patience with the disease that chips away one’s dignity. You are who I write to. You are who I pray that my words help for better understanding of this vicious disease (and perhaps more patience). But even more so if you know of a professional who treats these conditions, please give them a post or two to scan, which may perhaps help them somehow to treat their patients with better understanding.
(Let me know if you have or will ‘pass it on.’)
As always, thank you for reading my words. That’s the greatest gift you can give a writer.