Remember Me?

Last night I ran into a convenience store that is not necessarily on my side of town. As I waited for the clerk to ring up my junk food and bottled water, she looked at me and exclaimed; ” You were the coolest coach ever!”

“Excuse me?” I said, unsure if she was talking to me, around me or to the person behind me.

“You coached volleyball when I was in high school for parks and rec! You weren’t my coach but you coached the team that my team played and you were the coolest coach! Do you remember playing my team? Remember me? My name is Stephanie!”

Ummm…..hmmmm. My mind jumped through hoops trying to remember a volleyball player who wasn’t on my team from years, years ago.   Ahhhh, there the memory was! I found it, hidden deep and long forgotten, but still there. I remembered yelling at my “kids” on the volleyball court to “hustle”, “move your feet” with an occasional ” set, set, SET the ball!!!!”.  I could hear the squeak of their volleyball shoes as they jumped, slid and spiked the ball.  I could hear the excitement in their voices as we won the match, and see the disappointment in their faces as we lost the game…… 

                                  VOLLEY

Win or lose, after every game, I told each of them how awesome they were; how well they played and how super proud I was of them…..Hugs, high fives and knuckle hand-shakes…..my “kids” were always  winners in my eyes, regardless of score cards, team stats or rankings.     There was another coach in the league who demanded perfection from her “kids”. She drilled them an hour before each game; screaming at them to ” either play the game to win or don’t play at all.”   If they lost, you would see them running laps on the track, carefully stopping every other lap to practice footwork moves…..   I’m not saying their coach was not  good…… I am saying her coaching style was different their mine.  Win or lose, it was my goal to teach my players that sportsmanship, attitude and effort defined the person, not the scorecard.  

Every year, an award was presented to the team that displayed the best sportsmanship. every player from every team had to nominate the most deserving team…….. and…….every year my kids took the trophy!!!!!!!!!   Parents beamed with pride as each player walked across the gym stage to receive  their own lapel pin……oh, such a proud moment!

 “Eighty- seven cents is your change. So do you remember me?” Stephanie asked as she handed me the change. ” You were the coolest coach ever. When I went to play volleyball in college, I could hear you telling your players to play from the heart, with feet moving. You taught me stuff and I wasn’t even on your team! I tried to get on your team the following year, but you didn’t come back as a coach……”  Her voice trailed off, as if she was disappointed.    

“Of course I remember you! I hope college is treating you well….” I replied. We talked until another customer appeared in line to be checked out.

   As I walked away, she yelled after me ” Nice to see you Coach!”   

Coach. A title long forgotten.     You know, we all have worn many hats throughout our lives, hopefully touching and impacting the lives of others along the journey.   Today, as I walk through the facility, I look at the resident’s, each affected by dementia, YET, they too, impacted the lives of others along their way.   Somewhere out there in the world, there are people that came in contact with these very residents, sitting in wheelchairs, impacted by the disease process. Sitting in the facility dining room today, are military officers, who I am sure taught the men and women under their command, lessons that would never be forgotten. Sitting across the table are housewives who taught Sunday School every Sunday, warmly hugging the little ones as they entered the classroom. There is a gentleman sitting by the window, who donated his time every Saturday at a homeless shelter. On and on I could go…….

                                                        FEEL

The point I am trying to make is this. None of us know the impact we have on another person’s life. We may never know….but what a heart- warming feeling it is to have someone share with us of something we did or said that touched them.  Age nor disease processes can  never change the gifts we gave, time shared or other contributions we made to others.

Each day that we encounter another individual, we need to remember that even if we forget the person, they may never forget us……..

 

 

 

Posted in Dementia 101 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Not Needed

I was talking to Willie today about his artwork. The man has incredible talent. As he spoke, he began sharing about he was an “original” sketch artist back in the day, for the county police department.

“Back then, if an old woman got mugged, the police would call me. The lady would stand behind me and say “his eyes looked bigger, or smaller”, as I drew. This one time, a young fella’ was running around stealing women’s pocketbooks. This one lady came in, described the fella to me, and I drew him. When the police arrested him, I got to meet him. I showed him the picture I drew of him, and he asked me if I could draw another one of him so he could send it to his mother!”    Willie chuckled to himself and shook his head at the memory.

” But you know today, they have them computers. They can make eyes, cheekbones and all facial features using a computer.  Before them computers, I was always in demand and was glad to help. I was one a few that could draw like it needed to be done.  Back then, I had real purpose. Now, they don’t need me anymore…..”     His voice trailed off as he bowed his head.

                                                                      robot-tease-4x3_grid-4x2

I explained to him how much joy his drawings and artistic skills brought so many people joy, hoping to lift his spirit and remind him that he still has purpose……but the conversation went south.

“Jessi, listen. I know you are trying to cheer me up. But listen, I am old, used up and tired. My beloved Maggie died. She completed me. Nothing will ever chee

We live in a world where technology has progressed to the point that almost any of us could be replaced with a robot, machine or computer software.  You know, I rarely sweep my hardwood floors in my house anymore. I turn a little robotic floor sweeper on, which travels throughout my house all by itself!              ( Could  you see me trying to explain that little robot to one of the 95 year old lady’s that live in my facility?)       robot        

Recently when I was in Seattle,  WA, I rode on a train that had no driver. Every single aspect from boarding to arriving was human-less.( Is human-less even a word??)   From what I am told, these               ” automatic” trains also have bus counter-parts, that are driverless too! I just don’t see how I could ever explain to the WWII generation about such technology without having them think I have lost my mind!

Some days I wonder, if we increase the confusion in our elderly folks, just because they don’t understand due to the progression of not the disease process, but rather the progression of modern technology.  Just last week, I had a former registered nurse become very aggressive when one of my nurses attempted to take her blood pressure.   Now, let’s think about this.  Blood pressures, back in the day, were taken manually.   Stethoscopes, a blood pressure cuff and a nurse dressed in solid white, (maybe even wearing a nurse’s cap), would be accounted for  as the patient had their blood pressure taken.        Today, nurses wearing bright neon tops, colorful pants and clogs appear before a patient, carrying this little square box that they use to take blood pressures. It’s an automatic blood pressure cuff……..

The patient does not understand what is happening. Why is this thing wrapped around her arm? Why is it getting so tight? What is it????? What is that noise?       So hence, the patient becomes aggressive, agitated and even fearful……..        Rather than seeing what the patient sees, we as health care professionals quickly summarize the patient as ” confused and combative.”     Hmmmmm.

 

You know, technology is amazing. I love new gadgets; high tech toys and the latest software programs that do everything…..BUT,  I prefer to stand in line at the grocery store and talk to the checker, as opposed to the “self serve” lane.  I prefer for the nurse at my doctor’s office to take my  BP manually. I prefer to ride trains with drivers… hand-drawn art……..planes with pilots………..  Maybe tonight, I may just sweep my own floors…………..

 

 

Art Drawn By Willie.willie pic1

                                                                                       willie pic2

.

 

Posted in Dementia 101 | 1 Comment

Forgotten Hurt

When I admitted Mr. Harris into the facility, I didn’t know a great deal of his personal life or history. I could tell something wasn’t quite right, based on how his son behaved. At first, I assumed that maybe the son was just not close to him, or maybe they just had never gotten along. The son signed all of the documents, and seemed hurried to leave.
I moved through the admission process as quickly as I could. The continual tapping of the pen on the desk caught my attention.
” I am sorry, but cannot help but take notice of your nervousness. Are you sure you are comfortable with your decision to place your father here? Are there any questions I can answer to make this more comfortable for you? ” I asked. I explained how difficult these types of decisions are……but before I could finish….his son cut me off.
” Difficult? You think this is difficult? Listen lady, I am do what needs to be done. Nothing difficult about it. You think this man gave a cuss about my mother or my brothers or I? Hell NO. Listen, I am doing right by him even though he never once did right by us, not as kids, and certainly not as adults. Is it in his paperwork anywhere that describes him as a monster? That’s what he was, and still is. You can sit there all day long and tell me about how he doesn’t remember the past, well, whatever. Guess what lady? I do remember. I remember it all and don’t think for one minute that I will just have to understand that he doesn’t know what he is doing. He sure as hell knew what he was doing when he would beat us. He was an abusive father and just because he is old and demented doesn’t make it excusable. So, no, I am not nervous as you think. I just want to get away from him. So can we speed this up?”
Wow. Just wow. The anger in his voice; the look on his face and the way he pointed his finger at me, all indicated to me that certainly wasn’t anything I could say other than, ” Okay.”
We completed the documents, shook hands, and off he went.
forgivness
His father, Mr. Harris has severe dementia. He is not aware that his family does not visit. He spends his time talking about fixing cars, deer hunting and going to work. He is quick to hug anyone, willing to accept his act of kindness.
” Well good morning good looking lady! How are you doing today? Have you seen my car? I know I need to put brake shoes on it, but I don’t feel up to it right now. Look here darling, can you get me something to snack on? I don’t think I have had a bite to eat all day. I was deer huntin’ most of the day, and I am worn slap out”…… his voice trails off as his thoughts change. I give him and hug and carry on.
His son is right, whatever his past behaviors, mistakes, poor judgments or just plain old mean streaks were, they are not excused by the diagnosis of dementia. But at the same time, until his son can find it in his heart to forgive his father, he himself will forever be held captive by the past.
I have a friend who is almost 50 years old. Recently he sat down with his dad, and told him all the things that bothered him throughout his childhood. His father was a workaholic, and never home. This young boy grew up on his own, with an absent father. 50 years later, he wants an apology from his father……which I assume took place….I don’t really know. The point is, for 50 years, this guy has harbored whatever animosity towards his father because he worked too much . Hmmmm. If Mr. Harris’s son is waiting on a similar apology, how will it happen when Mr. Harris doesn’t remember?
 

forgive2
I know the two stories are very different circumstances. I am in no way meaning to compare an abusive parent to a workaholic parent. But I think at some point , we ourselves , must let go of the past for our own benefit. Mr. Harris will never be able to remember what he did or didn’t do, or be able to verbalize his feelings…..so where does that leave his son?
What will happen to Mr. Harris as his health declines? Who will make the right medical decisions for him? Will ever decision be made quickly, in haste to hurry to get away from his father?
There is an old expression, “As a man soweth, so shall he reap….”. Does that apply to Mr. Harris? He has long forgotten the hurt, yet his son has not.
I don’t know how this story will end. I just wish there could be a fairy tale ending……………..

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mason Jar Memories

The other day I was in Walmart shopping when I ran across a “new product”. I smiled as I picked it up, noting that this new product was the same as it was over 40 years ago. There was nothing really ” new” about it, other than maybe a new use…..The product? A mason jar.
mason jar
Growing up as one of six children, many times our parents would improvise to make ends meet. One of the ways that my mother stretched the dollar, was to can every possible vegetable and fruit that people in the church gave us. I can still hear the whistle of the pressure cooker as she hurried about the kitchen, counting rings and tops.
” Jessi, I’m going to take these out now. Get a towel, set it on the floor, so I can set these down until they pop,” she directed. My mother would always include anyone that passed through her kitchen to perform a task…..always. My sister was much better in the kitchen…..I preferred to be outside with my dad, tagging along with him, but somehow, on canning days, I was in the kitchen.PressureCookersOnStove-300
“Pop? Why do you want them to pop?” I asked. For another 30-45 minutes, my mother educated me about the canning process. She explained how important a “good seal was”, and the” pop” indicated perfection of that seal.
She would carefully lift each 1/2 gallon Mason jar out, placing it alongside the wall on the towel. She kept cooking, canning and lining each jar up until she reached her goal of 24 jars of green beans. She seemed pleased as she counted them.
” 24. Ok Jessi, tomorrow we will can tomatoes. I am hoping for at least 30 quarts. Tonight we will peel them.”
I can barely express to you my excitement of the thought of peeling tomatoes. But I knew our house was not a ” lay on the sofa and watch TV’ kind of place. Our parents believed in working, accomplishing, achieving and helping. The helping part was highly over rated, but not optional, especially when it came to peeling tomatoes.
Mason jar, after mason jar was filled with tomatoes, sent to the pressure cooker, then released to awaiting towel on the floor for cooling and ” popping.”
All those days of summer canning, was so appreciated in the winter . Mom would pop open one of those huge Mason jars, filled with string beans….and oh was it a feast to behold! It wasn’t one of those nights at the dinner table where we only had enough food to go around once……..Mason jar nights meant a night of abundance !
The used mason jars also served a purpose in our household. The pint size jars became our drinking glasses! We even had enough for all of us to have one! We knew we were poor, but boy let me tell you, we had a whole set of drinking glasses, THAT MATCHED! We counted ourselves blessed.
As I stood in Walmart, holding the new product, I thought to myself, “certainly not new to me.”
Mason jar drinking glasses, some with handles, some without. They even had the cute little top that resembled a mason jar ring…..complete with a little hole in the top for a straw. How cute.
As we all grow older, I think we will see more and more things from our generation re-invented . We will one day be old and gray, listening to young people discussing their discovery of wood burning stoves, typewriters, rotary phones and even photo albums that are not stored in a cloud.
I carefully selected 6 mason jar glasses, (without the handle)s and placed them in my cart. For a lingering moment, standing there in Housewares, I could hear the whistle of the pressure cooker….I could smell the green beans …..I could see my family seated around the kitchen table ………I felt as if I were home again.
Each time I open the kitchen cabinet, I see the little mason jars sitting there….an old memory reinvented.

Posted in Dementia 101 | Tagged | 4 Comments

Refrigerated Memories

Last night, I was cleaning out my refrigerator. The potato salad that I discovered hidden in the far back….well, let’s just say I could have sent it to a laboratory for further testing, and possibly have found the cure for an unknown disease! I was mortified to find the milk was date June 3……on and on I could go with the discoveries, but I think we both know cleaning it was long overdue.
As I closed the door, I noticed all the clutter on the outside. Old photos from days long ago, ( gosh I looked so young!) , magnets from different places of travel, reminder cards for hair appointments and doctors visits and expired pizza coupons, valid for take -out only.
fridge
I began removing some of the clutter, hoping to make it look a little cleaner on the outside. Standing there, I found myself traveling back to the places and times of each photo. I could almost hear the waterfall gushing down the mountain. I smiled to myself as I heard my friends and fellow hiker’s laughter echo through the valley.
Sadness filled my heart as my eyes locked onto the little heart photo magnet, containing the picture of my beloved Jack Russell, Annabelle. She passed away in 2012; having lived to age 16. She had always been “under foot”, tagging along everywhere I went. I was suddenly reminded of how much I missed her.
As I moved around the magnets, drawings, photos and stickers, each memory associated with the people and places came flooding back to me. People I have not seen in years, places I have not been to since the late 90’s and friends that I have lost contact with over the years, all hold a place on my fridge and in my heart. How many times in a day, do I open the door to the freezer and not notice them? They are always there, constant reminders, yet overlooked, until now.
I wonder if that is how it is for dementia patients? Those memories that are long forgotten are suddenly jogged into the present by something that reminded them that memories were still there?
The other day, one of the Therapy Dogs came to visit the facility. Several of the residents began sharing about their own beloved pets. One lady who rarely speaks, began pointing at the dog, smiling as she leaned down to pet him. She looked at his handler and said, ” I had a dog. His name was Joker.” Could it be that she too, has “refrigerated memories”? Just something that jogs the memory, enabling her to remember? Do we assume that all dementia patients have forgotten past events, places and people, when in fact all they need is reminder of them?

12_we-remember-the-moments-memories-picture-quote

This morning as I opened the refrigerator door, the little light came on, enabling me to clearly spot my coffee creamer, hiding behind the big bottle of Coke. As I closed the door, there they were. The people, the places…..I noticed them. I smiled as I sipped on my coffee, feeling as though I had found a long-lost friend.
The next time you go to your refrigerator, look at what’s on yours. Travel back to the places you’ve been, smile at long lost friends and enjoy the journey

Posted in Dementia 101 | 2 Comments

Arriving Departures

This morning, while making my way through the airport, I yielded to a group of very happy people. The plane had just arrive, delivering the passengers to family, friends, loved ones and limo drivers. It appeared that each person who had deplaned had at least a small army waiting to hug, kiss, and hug a little more……happiest group of people I have ever seen.
As I exited to the curb, I saw a very different scene. People were clinging tightly to those they loved, tears were flowing, emotions were running high. These were the people that were leaving…departing…..saddest group of people…….
But you know, just as those arriving were lavished with such love and excitement, they too had stood at the departure curb; leaving behind those who would miss them, evidenced by the flowing tears and tight hugs. It’s just a normal process of the journey….depart, arrive, change course, depart, arrive…….Those sending the travelers on their way are sad to see their loved ones go……those waiting for them to arrive, are thrilled and anxious, eagerly awaiting….
Each day at work, I notice the decline of the dementia patients. I listen to them, as they look for their mother or father. They seem excited, knowing that their father is coming for them after work. One lady sits at the door, every day at 4 pm. She is waiting for her husband, Russ, to pick her up after he picks up their children from school. They each are anticipating and excited.
Then there is Willie, and others like him. He tells me each day of his wife’s passing. He is overcome with sadness; tears flowing uncontrollably.
” She’s gone. I will never see her again. I miss her”. It is heartbreaking.
Another fellow asks every day if I have seen his wife. he answers the question himself, stating that “maybe she is at our daughter’s house. I will sit here and wait for her.
Departures. There is something final about the word itself. But you know, nothing compares to the pain and anguish of losing someone, forever………..
We explain death to young children by saying “grandma is in heaven now, with pop-pop. They are happy now that they are together again.” The explanation creates the in the mind’s eye, the exact scene at the airport when jets arrive…..people are reunited.
As a Christian myself, I too ,believe in the beauty of Heaven; a place filled with eternal love, joy and reunions. I believe all of the people that I have loved so deeply are waiting for me there, anticipating my arrival. I, too, will be thrilled to see my family, and friends again and have eternity to celebrate those people.
Yet, when that day does happen, it will be sad for my friends and family left behind…….

The journey of life is constantly changing as we all age. But if we could learn one thing…..our lives would be so much more fulfilled. We need to value the time we have with each other on this earth….because we will depart one day. We need to spend more time with those we love. We need to spend more days in the park, than we do behind the desk. We need to hug our kids, kiss our parents and show those we love, just how much we love them by our actions. So our houses may be a little dusty, laundry may get backed up, a few bills may be late, but when we do arrive at our departure gate, at least we won’t leave this earth filled with regrets.

As I stepped on the elevator to the parking garage, I squeezed in with a husband and his wife. She was leaning into his chest, tears staining his shirt. I could not help but look away as he tried to console his wife.
” Honey, she is going to be fine. We have to be happy for her. I miss her too. She is going to be okay, I know she will.”
I think he noticed me, standing there, staring a hole into the floor. He leaned over to me, offering a kind smile as he whispered:
” Our daughter just left for a 4 week mission trip to Africa. We are just worried”.
Before I could reply, the ding of the elevator announced my floor. I smiled back at them, explaining that I would remember their daughter in my prayers…hoping they could find a some comfort .
As I walked away, I thought about this young lady, embarking on a trip of a lifetime. She will have stories to tell for the rest of her life about her journey, the people she met, the mission she shared and the beauty she saw. What a happy to time for her, yet a sad, worrisome day for her parents.

Life is a continual process………arriving……departing……..each day that passes, we are closer to arriving at our own departure gate, but until then…….. buckle up, sit back and enjoy the ride!!!!!!!!

Posted in Dementia 101 | 2 Comments

Truth

20140718-233224-84744205.jpg

Image | Posted on by | 1 Comment

Masking the Loss

I was sitting on the front porch talking to Willie yesterday. The conversation was about his life; accomplishments, places of travel, marriages, his beloved wife Maggie and his military career. He talked in great detail about each life event, carefully giving credit for his success in every area to his late wife, Maggie.
“She was my life. She saw me through the bad places, the rough spots and dark nights. No matter where I was, she was with me, in my thoughts and in my heart. I don’t know how to live without her. “
I have said this before, and I will say it again. I do not know how to help Willie. How do you take someone’s grief and replace it with anything else? How do I stop his dementia from making her death new to him every day? How can he mourn his wife and cope with her loss, when he continually loses her over and over again? How do we break the cycle?
Willie continued, “Maggie was my life and without her, I have no life, no reason to live and really no desire to live without her.” He began to sob uncontrollably. I am at a loss for his loss.
Dementia does this to people. It takes them to a place where they seek to find people that they loved in their lives…..their parents, their grandparents, their childhood homes…..all things and people have long passed on….. We as health care professionals often turn to medication to “calm the resident”, or better yet “manage their agitation”. It’s a catch 22 situation really. Using medication to mask to their feelings of loss is simply that, a mask. We are not fixing anything, but I guess we are decreasing their feelings of loss by decreasing their memories of loss. Maybe that is the right thing to do.
I just don’t know……………

Posted in Dementia 101 | 4 Comments

If You Need Anything, Anything At All

We all say it. Often times, we really don’t mean it, but we still say it. The value of the words are only as powerful as the hearts intent. We use the words to persuade children to do the things we want them to do and say them in our wedding vows…..the words, “I promise”.

There are times when promises can become painful, emotionally charged, overwhelming; even unjustifiable. Yet the words remain in effect.

Many years ago when I left home for college, my father made me “promise” to call him if I “needed anything, anything at all.” Years later, he stood at the altar, watching as I walked down the aisle of the church, on the arm of my twin brother, to promise to love, honor and obey the young Air Force Airman that I had fallen in love with. Years passed yet again, my marriage failed, promises were broken, and things fell apart. Yet, my father was standing at my doorway, asking me to promise to call him if I” needed anything, anything at all.”

Promise

I moved away, landed a new job and found myself promising to marry a young handsome Marine. There my father stood again, watching as I repeated the words, ” I promise to…”. As my new husband and I settled into military deployments, my father would call and ask me to promise to…. “call if you need anything, anything at all, anything at all.”

I was standing in my kitchen on a rainy, cold day in February,2000. The phone rang, startling me. It was my father.
“Jessi, I need you to come home. I am calling all of you kids, I need you all to come home for a family meeting”. My dad loved his family meetings, a time when all of his kids would gather in his living room , waiting for his “words of wisdom”, lectures, or simply just to gather us all in one spot, so he could “look at us” and tell us how proud he was….
I could tell by the tone in his voice that this family meeting would be different. I questioned his intention of the meeting, but he simply said,
“Promise me you will be here on the 20th.We will talk about it then”.

We all gathered, and sat in his living room, staying true to our promise to not miss his “meeting”. I can still see him today, walking into the living room, dresses in dress pants, a white dress shirt and a black tie. My mother sat quietly on the sofa, wedged in between ” mama’s boys”.

” I am so glad I have you all here. You each make my heart proud. I love each of you so much. God has blessed your mother and I abundantly.”

Without hesitation, he continued. ” I have some news. Now before I tell you, I need you to promise me that you will respect the decision your mother and I have prayerfully made.” Normally, when he would start a conversation like that, it meant that we were moving, again. We moved around a great deal growing up, each time to a new church, a new town with new friends. But this was different.
” I recently went to the doctor. I have prostate cancer. It has spread. Your mother and I know there are treatments like chemo that can slow it down, but we have decided to not pursue any treatment. The doctor says I have about six months. God has blessed us beyond measure and allowed your mother and I raise six beautiful, God fearing children and it is up to Him, and Him alone to determine when any of us go to our eternal home…..”
I no longer could hear what he was saying. My brain was frozen on the words, “I have cancer. Six months.” I felt sick to my stomach. I felt my eyes burning as tears flowed down my face. I could see my brothers consoling my mother. I could see my sister as she buried her face in her hands.

” I need you kids to promise me to stay close to one another. Love each other. Take care of each other. Be strong for each other. Promise me that you boys will take care of your mother. You girls too. Promise me that you will reach out to one another, help each other and be there for one another. You boys take care of your sisters, be there for them if they need anything, anything at all.”

For the next few months, we all went home weekly, changing plans, vacation and business trips, just to be home. There were no “family meetings”, just gatherings. We would sit in the living room as if we were all young kids again, playing games and strolling down memory lane. My oldest brother, a hard core Marine, would pick me up, spinning me in the ” airplane”, just as before he done when I was 8.
” Wayne, put your sister down this moment before you hurt her!” My mother would yell from the kitchen after hearing my screams. My dad would chuckle as he watched us play together as we had for so many years. You could hear the other siblings getting into trouble as well with our mother for cheating at Uno or for sticking their finger in the cake frosting bowl. Dad would sit in his recliner, chuckling as his children found mischief while our mother’s stern voice demanding her grown children to “behave” could be heard throughout the house.

August 28th, 2000 was the saddest day of my life. My father died. It was the hardest, most emotionally charged day I have ever survived. No day will ever be more difficult for me, no matter what happens. Suddenly, I was lost without the man I loved so dearly….the man who stood true to ever promise he made. The man I idolized.

Many years later, I cringe when I hear the word “promise.” I don’t know why, but it’s just a normal reaction. Maybe it is because the word is used without the same emphasis of past years…..people promise things without actually meaning to fulfill the empty words. Politicians promise things, TV preachers stand in the pulpit promising a return on the money you mail them, supermarkets promise savings if you shop exclusively there, mechanics promise to fix your car by Friday……….on and on.

Yesterday, I sat outside at work and talked to Willie. Willie loved his wife Maggie so much, and having lost her to cancer, has devastated him. He wept as he spoke about her, telling me how much he loved and missed her. Without hesitation, he said, ” Maggie and I promised to love one another until death do us part. You know what hurts ? The promise never stops, not even at death.” I listened to him for over an hour as he talked about Maggie……as I got up to leave to go back to my office, Willed yelled after me….

“Young lady, come get me if I can help you do anything. Promise to holler for me if you need anything, anything at all……….”

promise2

Posted in Dementia 101 | 3 Comments

Endless Possibilities

Originally posted on Brian's Blog:

Just a reminder this morning that the possibilities for your life are endless. There is no such thing as a dead end. God’s timing is perfect and wherever you are today, it’s for a reason. If you don’t like what you see now, don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Your moment is coming and it’s going to be amazing!

Have a great day.

Endless Possibilities

View original

Posted in Dementia 101 | 1 Comment