FOR GREGORY

Periodically I will add posts here if the sources provide additioanl informaiton on how to think about and deal with Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease.

PLEASE NOTE:


SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT and BIBLIOGRAPHY from DAI WEBINAR 2/22-23/2017. You can also find this information on my website: www.horvich.com


Even though this blog is now dormant (see info below) there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. My guess is that you could spend a lot of time here and maybe learn or experience a thing or two about living with and loving someone with Dementia/Alzheimer's or maybe come away with the feeling that "you are not alone" in YOUR work with the same!


• • • • •


THIS WAS THE FINAL POST TO THIS SITE BEFORE IT WENT DORMANT.


Happy New Year 2016. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. If I am personally progressing and if I am doing a good job in my grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring this Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing has been dealing less with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and more with life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's.


Of course, I will always continue to work for and support fair treatment on behalf of people with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and may post here from time to time. Also, there are many wonderful posts here through which you may browse.


With this change, I will continue and reinvigorate my "michael a. horvich writes" blog which deals with grieving Gregory's death, life lessons, personal experiences, observations, memoirs, dreams, and humor in essay and poetry, as well as an attempt now and then at sharing a piece of fiction.


Please follow me there by clicking http://mhorvich.blogspot.com or click the link located on the right side of this page.


Finally, COMMENTS are always important to me and you can still comment on the posts on this blog! CLICK "Comments" and sign in or use "Anonymous." Leave your name or initials if you wish so I'll know it's you? Check the "Notify Me" box to see my reply to you.



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Maybe Not A Saint

This was written by a dear friend and I wanted to share it with you. With the documentary crew asking probing questions during our interviews, I have had to revisit many emotions of the past. Many of which I have come to grips, others reopening new sorrows and joys. 

This note meant and still means very much to me. I do not do what I do for Gregory so I will be acknowledged or rewarded, but it does get lonely and kudos now and then do help. It was written right after Gregory went to live at the Lieberman Memory Care Facility.

Thanks PA. You know who you are!

Michael

Dear Michael,

It’s about time I tell you what I think of you. I’ve been talking about you with others, and it’s past time to say it to your face.

This is not about your sense of humor, your collections, or your creativity. It’s about your brave conduct as your partner of 35 years declined, from your soul mate to a manageable concern to a 24-hour caretaking job. This is about how your expectation of retirement companionship deteriorated to silent meals and bathroom supervision.

What I want to speak of is your unwavering love and devotion. Your resilience. Your composure, most of the time. Your acceptance, without hope. Your management of your own frustration and disappointment.

When Gregory became confused about dressing, you labeled, and later, laid out his clothes. When he couldn’t figure out how to plug in his shaver, you put arrows on the cord and the outlet. You engaged all your intelligence and creativity to help him. In private, you mourned each lost ability, a raw comparison to parents celebrating a child’s milestones.

When those accommodations failed one-by-one, (or sometimes faster,) you supervised. When supervision didn’t work, you did it. You demonstrated tremendous resilience as you devised ways to preserve whatever dignity and independence Gregory still had. You were, and are, his touchstone. You are the one he looks to for comfort, stability, and anchor.

You’ve always been open about your feelings, and never critical of my questions. Once I asked you, how long could you do this? Your response struck me and stuck with me. You said, I have the time. I don’t need to go anywhere and I can take Gregory with me if I need to run an errand. You were saying, why not care for Gregory at home indefinitely; I have the capability. I don’t think I could ever be that generous.

But one day, that wasn’t enough. One day, Gregory was not calm and compliant anymore, but agitated, unspeakably sad, and lashing out. Thanks to your preparedness, you did not panic. You found him a place to be where he is comfortable. He is calm and happy again. Nothing about you changed. Gregory changed.

         Through all of this, you also cared for your extended family and friends, by keeping us apprised, at least in broad strokes, of what to expect. You communicated your strong sense of what you need—support, acknowledgement, privacy, no need for suggestions. You never acted the martyr; just laid out the facts. You cried in your pillow at night.

I am honored that you include me in your circle, and I don’t know what I do to deserve it. I do know I need to reflect on how I can be more like you. I’ve told my children, a good friend should be someone who makes you want to be a better person.

I can only aspire to be in a relationship like the one you had with Gregory all those years. What I can do is to try to be more patient, more thoughtful, more devoted, as you have with Gregory. Because of your example, I am making an effort to make more time, take more time to think about how I can help them. Your influence improves the world.

You may not be a saint—but you may be a minor angel.

Love,
PA






2 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more and I couldn't have said any better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lauren. Nice seeing you on my comments!

      Delete

Comments are always welcome. You are appreciated! If you do not have a sign-in on any of the accounts below ... use ANONYMOUS. All comments are moderated and will appear as appropriate. Thanks. Please, keep commenting!