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.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reminders

Healing and tears are a constant that help to remind us that we are alive.

Joy, even though carried on the shoulders of Sorrow, also reminds us of this.

Grief

Read Kate's articulate, eloquent, profound writing on the grief she is experiencing as she walks her path with Dementia/Alzheimer's. Sad but beautifully written:

Click here to read Kate's post on grief.
Opens in a new window.

My reply:

Kate,
May the outpouring of love in the comments of your blog and mine added patch part of the hole of your grief. You put into words so articulately, so eloquently, so beautifully what I have been trying to write about for the last eleven years with Gregory and my journey through Dementia/Alzheimer's. (http://mhorvichcares.blogspot.com) But your words are from your side of Dementia, not someone looking in and that makes them even more powerful and more profound! I too find that writing helps heal. But your hole of grief is also a sacred one that you are entitled to, no one can or should try to take that away or pretend that it doesn't matter or exist. You and it should be respected, be supported, be loved as you walk through it to the side of acceptance and peace. Acceptance and peace will arrive. You are fast becoming a large part of my life and I send you supportive energies.
Fondly,
Michael

A Quote

We measure lives not in time
But in grace-
In the joy with which they lived
And in the love-
Which they leave behind.
~ Anonymous

Monday, June 29, 2015

Grieving The Loss of Music

Kate, my blogger friend from Australia just posted a piece about her gradual loss of her musical knowledge. Click here to read her post. Opens in a new window. It is a sad piece in which she grieves the loss. I wrote the following in reply:

Oh Kate. My heart aches with you and for me as I remember Gregory's losses with music. He was close to a concert pianist with pieces like Ballad #43 from Chopin. This is an athletic piece, with the likes of Horowitz playing as an encore. It took G only five years to master this piece and I enjoyed every note (and clunker) lying on the sofa nearby. When we sold the grand piano that adorned and filled our living room, I cried, Gregory remarked "At least I can still listen to my CDs and have more music than I know what to do with."

And music continues to be such an important part of his (our) life. It brings him peace and at times tears of beauty. He can no longer play and no longer knows his Bach from his Beethoven but he is happy and enjoys his music so much. We hold hands and listen to Chopin (among others) and do not need words. Other times he loves being "under his headphones" and disappearing into the music.

As for your husband, be grateful but do not be sorry for him. It is your path but he has, from his heart, chosen to walk it with you. If that is not what love is all about than I do not know love. I am sure he would have it no other way! It is what he must do. In a joyful way "carried on the shoulders of sorrow," you are allowing him to do what he must!

I am sure none of us would have ordered it this way but we do have the choice: lie down and die or hunker down and keep going the best we can! Not really knowing you as a dear friend, I none the less can honestly say, "Kate, I love you and send you positive, healing emerges every day!"

Fondly,
Michael

OCD Is A Good Thing, When You Can Control It, or Is That OCD?

My "rounds" with OCD tidiness will probably continue until I can no longer lift the debris. When things begin to get out of hand it is actually a gift of peaceful interlude to ordering my life. For example, I just go to bed instead of making sure everything is put away!

I have always been "tidy" but with Gregory's needs, I found that by keeping things super organized his life was a bit easier and a bit more predictable for him. "A place for everything and everything in its place."

For me it allowed me to "control those things I can control since there are so many things in our life I cannot!"

Not one to diminish Dementia/Alzheimers, but one to try keeping an ongoing positive attitude, there are many gifts that the disease brings with it. Since one cannot stem the tide at least one can try to see the sun shinning.

Timelines and Love

In a post by friend Kate from Australia, "It’s still a long road to full inclusion for people with dementia." It would be interesting to see a timeline of when the AWARENESS that Dementia/Alzheimer's existed first began in the medical field as well as in public opinion, when people began publicly ADMITTING to and talking about it with and for their loved ones, when ADVOCACY for those diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer's began, when those diagnosed started speaking up for themselves demanding INCLUSION, etc etc.

Also, not to diminish the journey ... it is still a long road to full inclusion for people with dementia, of color, the gay community, immigrants, those marginalized by society, etc. Why oh why is so much time and energy and money and sadness spent on something that could if solved in a moment with ignorance and intolerance lifted if people could just realize we are all one, all the same, all need love?

Click here to see Kate's post. Opens in a new window.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Tapestry

The Life Enrichment and Art Therapy Departments at Lieberman, for today's Sunday Entertainment, had a "Kickoff Party" for the Lieberman Tapestry Project. Residents and family and friends were invited to drop off items to be included in a huge tapestry which will be hung in the community room. Request was for clothing scarves, craft supplies, photos, mismatched jewelry, small knick-knacks, stuffed animals, etc.

From 2-4:00 many residents and family members, including Gregory and me, cut clothing into long strips, began weaving materials into frames, visited, and ate Girl Scott cookies and punch. The project will continue until the end of the summer when there will be an unveiling of the finished project. 

These are some of the old shirts, jewelry, and bears
that Gregory and I donated to the project. 

This is a sample of what the weaving might look like.

This is another sample.

This frame was built and ready to go when we arrived.
I cut the Gregory's shirt into strips.
Another resident, Marsha, wove what you see here.
Gregory enjoyed being part of the action and ate Girl Scout cookies.

A close up of our shirt and the weaving.


Gay Pride Day 2015

I know this is a lot of photos but how can I not celebrate every minute of my love for this man over the last 40 years on this most amazing of amazing days in the history of the Gay Movement? On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court made same sex marriage, Gay Marriage, the law of the land. Now "Marriage is Marriage" no need to add adjectives! Many of my friends and acquaintances and hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans and millions of people across the United States will be marching in the Gay Pride Parade, I am with them in spirit, but I am at Lieberman today, holding hands with my love, my best friend, my soul mate, my husband, my Gregory.


March on Washington D.C. 1993

June 26, 2015




Our 25th anniversary

Racine Wisconsin on our annual Fallfeast with friends Chuck & John


Surf Street apartment, Chicago

Dressed alike and off to the disco!



Civil Union ceremony, Stowe, Vermont 2000

Marriage Ceremony in front of the Treasury Department
March on Washington D.C. 1003


Rocky Mountain National Park visiting Marilyn & Bill

Denver CO visiting Marilyn & Bill


New England Fall Leaves Tour 2000

Tuscany, Italy with Gay Family

Puerto Villarta

Rocky Mountain National Park

Goshen, IN visiting Gregory's mom and dad

Probably the earliest of photographs

Gregory's 50th birthday

Cold Water, MI at Gregory's brother and sister-in-law, Mark Sr. & Diane

Camping out with Monday Night Men's Gathering Group

At friends Stuart & John's house in California

At a Cirque de Soleil performance

Celebrating our Civil Union in Stowe, Vermont

Fall Leaves Tour in New England

Marriage ceremony at Treasury Building 
March on Washington D.C. 1993
Flowers from our Gay Family

Italy


807 Davis Evanston condo

807 Davis Evanston condo

Renee and Michael's wedding in South Carolina

At a Pivin Theater Galla Event


 Lieberman Center special luncheon invitation


 Lieberman Center out in the park with Peaceful the Bear

 Love that chocolate of any kind!

 Chanukah or Hanukkah 2014

 One of our favorite portraits

 I love you!

 Happy 66 birthday Gregory - July 4, 2014

 Apropos of our fading life together. (Tears)





With Peaceful the Bear