Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday visit and then a cookout

Folks, I have to tell you that my world feels upside down. I love the freedom but I miss my hubby. It is odd to sleep all night, go outside to putter in the flower bed, run to the post office. I have not had that freedom in a very long time. I actually feel embarrassed or ashamed to say that. I guess that is a normal reaction to giving up the caregiving and being on my own to come and go as I please. It would be much tougher if Elbert wasn't adjusting as well as he is.

And, Elbert.... ah, that Elbert. The eternal optimist, the forever happy, whistling guy, the roll with the punch sort of man that I married. I am so blessed that he has given me all these years of joy and love and now he is giving me peace and the ability to do what I need to do right now in my life. He's some sort of special person.

I went to see him yesterday after church. Daughter Marie and her grandson, Cane were with me. We had a good visit. I read him some jokes out of the Readers Digest and then I picked up a little book (can't remember the name of it right now) that has a quote on each page. He sat and read the entire thing aloud to us. Some quotes brought a chuckle out of him, some he said were so true. We took him back to the day room before we left so he wouldn't be alone.

Later in the afternoon Shirley (our birthday girl) called to invite us over for a cookout. They were making hobo packs and cooking them over hot coals in the yard. I sat there watching everyone enjoying the food and each other and was remembering the last time we had a hobo pack cookout at her house. Elbert had been with us and we had all had such a good time. Now we are in a new phase of our lives and making new memories. We won't forget the old ones but will add to them some special times in our lives now and in the future.


Jenn Jilks said...

You have such a positive attitude, Latane. Good for you.

The only thing we can depend upon is change. My late parents never accepted that. Mom refused to move into better accommodations and I should have been charged with neglect! :-) She refused both my and professional help, and to make changes.

Good to hear that all is unfolding for you as it should.

Other Mother said...

I'm so thankful that it is going well for him, and pray for peace for both of you in this change. I see similarities between this, and our daughter not living at home, so share many of the same emotions with you.

Susannah said...

Hello Lantane...I am so glad that Elbert is adjusting so well. That, alone, will bring you much peace. It is good to hear that you are enjoying family and that you can now do little things going to the post office. Take some time to think about you. We all have been worrying about you. BUT sound well.


Kim said...

Time. You need some time to relax your guard, time to realize that Elbert is not wandering off somewhere, that he is safe, comfy and well cared for. Take comfort in the fact that you can sleep through the night without worry, you can run out the door for an errand or to just enjoy the day, and still know that Elbert is being watched after, cared for, safe...

Now we need to get you settled in and relaxed again. It's been a long haul getting to this point. Life is not the same so take a deep breath and know that you have the relief that you so badly did right by Elbert and now it's time to do right by yourself. Time to ENJOY LIFE without the stress of being on guard all of the time. I know, it's not the same without Elbert ~ when he was happy and healthy and I am sorry for that, but I am glad for you that the crazy sleep deprivation and constant worry has been eased.

Peggy said...

Hi Latane, it is not just Elbert who rolls with the punches,you have been doing it also,maybe your lives are not on the same track anymore but parallel where you both enjoy quality time apart and together without stress or worry.Please don't feel guilty to have some fun and friends of your own .

Dolores said...

Latane, .....I can not begin to tell you what an inspiration you are to me! Your strength and positive attitude will help me and others as we travel this Alzheimer journey.

I can only imagine how you must feel, with such a mix of emotions. A new normal for you.

Elbert sounds so much like my David! We are blessed to have husbands with the 'sweet/kindness gene.'

Your post brought tears and smiles to me. Thank you so much for your honesty......

Hugs and prayers.

Jenn Jilks said...

You know, Latane, I wrote a post, at the behest of a person concerned about the myths of dementia, as well as your experiences and some lobby groups out there. It is very interesting that some young people, new to professional caregiving, are coming to the conclusion that the best/only place is to keep failing loved ones at home. You state the case for individual decision-making most eloquently!