Yesterday held a lot of memories. The two year anniversary of Mom’s passing. Grateful for the peace we felt that day as we all gathered together sharing memories, love and gratitude for her and each other. I really miss her a lot.
On another note: His beard is gone. He looks so different and I’m not sure if he doesn’t look a few years younger without the extra hair! He enjoyed the shock in our faces when he walked through the door after visiting the barbershop. He thought it was pretty cool to see how one of his sons reacted during their nightly Facetime chat. I think he likes his new “look.” We’ll see if he wants to try to shave daily or go back to the shop for a weekly shave. He hasn’t made up his mind yet.
Some days it does come down on how you look at things. Again, even after a tough day because memory issues are all the more frequent, we stopped and did a reflection on what had gone well up to that point. We shared the accomplishments of the day and his ability to handle certain events very well and how his frustration in a specific moment didn’t end up with his getting angry or even more frustrated. It was interesting that he recalled something that had happened the night before and how that had been upsetting, but he had shifted the energy of the moment and was able to move on and not stew about things. Whether he’ll be able to do that the next time, is anyone’s guess, but the success of that moment and others is definitely something to be proud of and acknowledge and reflect. Mission accomplished for the day.
“…help someone out, perform an act of kindness, offer a compliment. The person who will feel most uplifted by you having done so is…. YOU.”
Yesterday we hit a milestone…. 5,000 posts. It’s been quite a journey and lots of ups and downs and ins and outs along the way. The last several years, we dedicated Greatitudes to serving others — particularly family members with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. The road has been bumpy at times, downright depressing and some days harder, much harder than others However, we wouldn’t trade the experiences or being able to help and support our parents so they aren’t taking this pathway alone. Each day provides different opportunities, options and ways to bring a little joy, a smile and laughter into all of our lives. Mom passed nearly 2 years ago and I didn’t think we would be doing elder care again so soon, but the opportunity opened and we welcomed Dad into our home nearly a year ago.
His care differs 180 degrees from that of Mom. He prefers to watch CNN or Westerns. Mom loved to listen to music. He wants to be active and contribute to his personal care — but his eyesight is failing and there’s no “fix” for that. He can’t do much of what he would like to do or thinks he can do and gets frustrated easily. He’s recognizing that his memory isn’t what it should be and vivid dreams, night terrors often disturb his nights. Mom was content to watch the happenings in the household and listen to her music once she lost her mobilityand had several small strokes.
Today is another day. We’ll find what’s going right, build upon it like we do every other day. Share insights and happy moments together. Listen to stories, ask questions and laugh and cry together, because we are family and we care deeply about each other.
Count your blessings today… and experience joy in your heart as you ponder the path you’re on.
Beautiful weather — more time outside – nearly time to plant a garden. He’s so excited about this. Seedlings have been started and he loves to check their growth nearly every day. Sure hoping this project goes well and he enjoys working in the garden this year.
CAREGIVER NOTE: Sometimes there is no amount of reframing that you can do to redirect the way things are going. We can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t so funny at the time. A shopping trip was quickly arranged. The stores he insisted on going to did not have the item he desperately wanted on the floor – prebuilt. He wants the machine assembled and ready to fire up and get things going (even with 10 inches of snow on the ground). Plans were made to try again next weekend when things weren’t so busy here at the house. He agreed and added that he was bringing home a few extras as well.