FOR GREGORY. He was not a VICTIM of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, he was a HERO!
PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Happy Valentine's Day
This will be the first Valentine's Day in 39 years that I have not planned something special for Gregory. No, I am lying. Yesterday I discovered a new bakery near Lieberman called "Nothing Bundt Cakes." They sell bundt shaped cup cakes called buntinys, individual cakes called bundtettes, and small-medium-and large bundt cakes. Every day they offer approximately one dozen different flavors.
So I bought a chocolate, chocolate chip bundt cake to take to Gregory when I visit today. I will also pick up one red rose for him. He will be with Manny from 11:30 - 4:30 (his new helper) but I will drop by around 3:00 to spend an hour with him.
Last night I had an awareness, maybe because I had been thinking about Valentine's Day. The awareness is that I LOVE GREGORY. I had an image of him bearly able to smile at seeing me, sitting in his oversized wheel chair, tipped back for comfort, neck pinched to the left (PT is working on this,) having just been cleaned up from a pee and poop in his pants, food stain on his shirt, too large blue jeans, hands trembling, dozing on and off while I offered him a piece of broken in half animal cookie and some milk in a box through a straw.
I love this man as he is. I no longer love him as he was because that is no longer what he is. In fact, to help keep my emotions in tow, I have not been allowing myself to think too much about the past, about the wonderful times, about our wonderful relationship. I have been working very hard to remain here and now, in the present, in the moment in fact.
And I realized that I love this shell of a man, this remnant of a man, this handicapped man, this mentally deficient man. I love my Gregory with all my heart. No matter how much of him is gone, I love him even more. Maybe MORE THAN EVER!
What is it that I love about him, I do not know for sure. But the essence of the man I have loved for over 39 years still exists in him and in me. The love and dedication and support and loyalty and responsibility we had for each other continues as long as I am able to hold up my half of the bargain. Happy Valentine's Day Gregory. I Love You!