The secret to success, happiness, peace of mind, etc ... I believe ... in dealing with the disease, is being able to be in the present, seeing the person with the disease as a person NOT only as the disease.
It is not easy to do, but I find that if I tuck away the sad feelings until a later date, I can enjoy the joy of the moment and express as well as feel the love that still exists so strongly between Gregory and me.
If I spend too much time thinking about the before's or after's, I loose the precious now's.
Emotions are not bad. Emotions do not have to be "out of control!" My emotions surface as a barometer of where I am currently in my life and of how I am dealing with being alive.
So I feel that emotions are not bad, they can be helpful friends if you allow them to be. I welcome them when they surface, I thank them for the messages they bring, and I sit with them awhile even though they may make me sad and cause me to cry. Better said: As I allow them to make me sad and allow them to make me cry, and that is OK.
But then I thank them again and send them on their way so I can get back to living the joys and blessings of my life, of which there are many.
Another thing I do, if I do not have time to "sit with them awhile" is thank them, send them my love, and tell them "Not now! Please leave! Come back later when I have time to sit with you!"
It usually works for me.
This post of before and after was prompted by two photographs my friend Jan Yourist texted to me as she was helping Gregory with lunch today. Manny, Gregory's helper is on a religious retreat so I asked Jan to cover for today's lunch and I will be with him later in the afternoon, for dinner. and after to watch TV.
The before and after pictured below demonstrate how joy can be found in the present.
Jan's caption for the first photograph was: "I am hungry." Gregory looks good, is finally over his cough and cold, is able to keep his neck strongly straight, is focused, and posed for Jan's iPhone. He may not look happy but Jan interpreted it as, "I am hungry." And that is a fair interpretation.