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.
Monday, August 3, 2015
God Bless The Bookmark
There are certain events that have such an impact on our lives that we may begin to build our identities around them. Though it may give us a sense of purpose or the feeling that we are somehow special, it also keeps us tied to that event energetically. This means that the energy available to us for facing life today is diminished and also filtered through the experience of our past. But when we can look at these experiences, learn from them, and release them, we can take the energy that was invested in their care and keeping and channel it into the present moment. If we look at life right now without thinking of it in terms of the past or the future, we can find much to be thankful for. By gaining insight into your interior life today, you have more energy to enjoy the present.
Yes, I have built my new identity around Gregory for the last 20 months as his secondary caregiver, health care advocate, grocery and treat supplier, and his almost daily visitor. I am happy to spend OUR money on blessing him with Manny to care for his needs and for having piece of mind knowing Gregory is in good hands without my having to be by his side 24/7/365.
I still think of the condo as ours, and the car as ours, and my money and investments as ours. I still bake a fruit pie now and then, or bring Gregory fresh fruit when in season, or get excited when I find a new form of dark chocolate for him. I still shop for his clothes and drug store needs. I continue to decorate and fine tune his room and make sure there are always fresh flowers on his desk.
I continue to be involved in the Lieberman Center as observer, supporter, and contributor to the milieu that provides for so many like Gregory. On a daily basis my interactions with the residents and staff bring me joy. On a larger basis, I continue to think creatively about how Lieberman can provide better services to everyone who walks through the revolving door at 9700 Gross Pointe Road.
Also, there is time for my writing, my collecting, my family and friends, living in beautiful downtown Evanston, a little travel, enjoying the condo, enjoying my girls (cats Emma and Gigi,) shopping, and working on my creative projects to which there is no end.
So my life right now is Ying and Yang, Black and White, Push and Pull, Opposites and Sames. I am tied to the past and in some ways feel my current life is diminished, on hold, at a standstill. I wonder "Who am I?" and "What do I want?" I am seventy years old and how will I spend the rest of my life?
On the other hand what price love? Gregory is still such an important part of my life even in his diminished state. I am committed to being here for him and to helping his life be as good as it possibly can be given the situation.
On the third hand, somehow I am still able to be myself and pursue my own interests, directions, ideas, projects.
So if I look at life right now without thinking of it in terms of the past or the future, I can find much to be thankful for. By gaining insight into my interior life today, I have more energy to enjoy the present. So my energies are not wasted, they are just going to be different for a while. Once Gregory has "gone home" I can begin the next chapter but meanwhile, God Bless the Book Mark!