There is no short time and no long time. It could last a week it could be a change of a lifetime.
The first weekend of my life found me at church in this town. It has been my town most of that time and this church has been my church.
I devoted massive amounts of work doing an extensive remodel, Miriam did the sign out front as well the stain glass window. I am the third generation of my family to be members, but . . .
So many sermons are like bad TV commercials. Lots of glitz, lots of light and fireworks and that jingle sticks in your mind always, but when it is over you can't remember what it was all about.
For nearly all of my adult life I have been a facilitator of a bible discussion group. It is time to take a break. My hunch is that some will actually welcome my break, others won't. I will probably never know. This group has gone on for almost 20 years.
All of this adds up.
So, this week we are going to visit a neighboring church. I know the guest speaker. Next week we will go to another area church that has a new pastor that I have never heard.
Mostly I need encouragement, not to be reminded of my sins, or to pile more guilt on my poor overworked brain.
There are people who are having a better time than I am, and there are people who are having a LOT worse.
None of that matters much. Each of us are different as is the way the damned disease affects our loved one.
Daughters commented that their mother had gone down this year, more than any year so far, and I am afraid they are right. And, being human, that scares me big.
Right now I am both bored and terrified. What lies ahead? Can I handle it? Can I do what needs to be done. The answers are not automatic and my love for her is not on the line here, nor is it a guarantee that I will do well.
With government cutbacks for Medicaid, which pays for a lot of the help we get, we caregivers may be more and more on our own.
When horrifying incidents happen I am deeply affected.
I had followed the Jonestown story closely and was impressed with the good that Jones was doing and then Boom it is all over and so many good people died. I am still not over that one.
This week's event was no less startling. These people were doing what should have been enlightening, but it was not.
Naturally we look for who or what to blame, and it is easy to make our conclusions very narrow.
Truth is that we live in an extremely violent society. There are many things that contribute to that reality. So many die in America so senselessly. The Jonestown people trusted too much, yet we do not want to take away trust. The people in Arizona trusted the safety of Safeway, and we don't want to loose that sense of trust either.
Still, there are questions of how can a clearly unbalanced person be allowed to purchase such a deadly weapon, and why do we allow weapons like this that have no possible use but for mass trouble?
I will continue to grieve, and I don't want that to stop either. Even though horrors happen regularly, we can't stop living and hoping and loving.
But, still I am saddened by the needless loss. We traded the freedom of one sad person for the massive contributions (past and future) of others.
We did not get our money's worth, and our freedom was not enhanced.
My step father was sure we were all going to be anemic and that we needed more iron in our diet. He might have been right on all of that.
There were two diseases that dad considered to be moral failings. One was anemia and the other was diabetes. He was sure that if you ate too much sugar you would catch it like a bad cold.
His beliefs were not far from the accepted norm at the time, but he was a bit stronger about it.
Not that many people like Molasses. But a while back when my brother was here for a visit, I made pancakes (whole wheat -- ground the flour myself) and offered him some syrup that was mostly molasses. “I like Molasses,” he said.
We were not to eat any brand of molasses. “Grandma’s” was forbidden. It was too much like syrup dad said (Hmm) besides it had sulphe r. Both not good to Dad.
But toay as I was looking at the label it said: “Contains no gluten.” I would have thought that was as obvious as it not containing cholesterol, but what do I know?
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.