“If you want the people to understand you, invite them to your life and let them see the world from your window.”
— Mehmet Murat ildan
A window into our story…
Begin with words from the book, Is There Any Ice Cream?
INTRODUCTION – IMMERSED IN DESPAIR
If only we could turn back time. . . .
“Now that I am retired, all these diseases show up!” My Love complained. “Why?”
Initially, he was upset to learn of the physical changes going on inside his body. My Love never understood that his habits of excess through the years might have seeded his diseases. He had never paid much attention to his father’s aging process and his memory loss. Maybe My Love’s dementia would not allow him to hear any of it. Regardless of the causes for his memory loss, it was too late.
But the truth was, he never really accepted his changes and kept repeating his life mantra, “I’m keeping a positive attitude; my brain will protect me.” Such irony!
Losing My Love little by little was not how I anticipated coasting toward the finish line. In my situation, grieving went on even though My Love was still with us. I felt sadness each time parts of our relationship withered. Sweet invitations to go out stopped appearing on the mirror. Morning wake-up calls announcing our weekend excursions ceased. Conversations dwindled to his immediate needs. As aspects of his personality altered, I mourned. I remained his friend. Those other losses would never return.
Occasionally, I’d sense a tear in his eye, as if he felt what he could not remember. It was not always an outright recognition of a loss, but I wondered if he could sense the feeling of that lost memory, if only in a moment of clarity.
I did not always have time for grieving. For me, one sorrow, one loss, just amassed, one upon the other. I imagined one day I would grieve for all my sorrows. But not yet. Changes were happening too quickly. I could hardly keep up, even one moment at a time. I was still living, breathing, acting in the most important role of my life, caregiver for My Love.
My Love seldom knew when his memories were gone. But I knew. I was the sad one.
Our lives changed, but we could not turn back time!”
And so, our journey began………..
You may wish to read the backstory, just to have a little more understanding. Nothing fills in all the gaps, even if you read the entire blog and both books. But it all helps.
I am sincerely grateful for your interest in the Accepting the Gift of Caregiving series of caregiver books. My wish is that you will become inspired caregivers, family members and friends.
Thank you . . . Judith Allen Shone
Before you go . . .
Listen to audio clips of snippets of the story in Is There Any Ice Cream?
I invite you visit Accepting the Gift of Caregiving blogsite where I share stories and other caregivers are guest authors sharing their wisdom and experiences for those who wish to understand!!
The Reading Room © 2020 Judith Allen Shone