There is no getting around the fact Alzheimer's is a wretched disease. It takes up residence in the brain and seeks to deteriorate and destroy it, affecting literally everything in a person's being. I can think of few things more grievous than that. However, the grey haired man I am looking forward to visiting this afternoon is anything but sorrowful. He is sweet and comical - downright captivating. He lights up my world!
Today, I choose joy!
It truly is a decision - what we choose to focus on. Yes, we must take care of business. Last week I was consumed with decisions regarding my father's medications, concerns over communication issues with aides, and the ever-present financial considerations to be made in order to keep my father's world in motion. I dealt with these issues, then brushed the soot off my clothes and wiped the sweat from my brow. I had to - there was an even more important matter to be tended to.
I have the distinct and wonderful honor of being charged with the responsibility of transporting sunshine into my father's days. When I walk through the doors of his home, he is counting on me to bring him a little joy. It doesn't take much - the smallest gesture or tiniest compliment usually generates a twinkle in his eye. Last week I made reference to something the slightest bit funny and my dad grinned ear to ear until I pondered if he might actually fracture a cheekbone.
They need us to continue the process of living a beautiful life with them.
Despite this disease, their life is still in motion. We can cry over spilt milk only so long until we must learn to wipe up the mess and enjoy what's left in the glass. Our loved ones are no longer able to deal with the issues that will inevitably have to be faced. I say this often and fervently. Take care of the messy issues of life without burdening them- they have enough to deal with just making it through another day with a diseased and dying brain. Far too often I witness heavy discussions taking place in the presence of these folks.
I cannot tell you when I last witnessed my father sad and upset. Although they struggle mightily, the folks at Memory Care are quite pleasant. They laugh, they share, and I challenge you to find anyone more forgiving. They don't remember infractions long enough to hold a grudge - there is a great lesson offered in the way they live their lives. We could all learn a thing or two from their beautiful example!
Enjoy the beauty in this day - Happy Monday!
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