Thursday, October 28, 2010

I wasn't prepared

There's a lot about life that I wasn't prepared for. The early stuff just seemed to happen and we were a happy family and didn't give a hoot about anything.

Then age slips up on you and you find you aren't prepared for anything. Ah, those good ole days when we didn't think about getting old, being sick, having to worry about so much.

I was thinking about my grandmother the other day... I remember her sitting in her rocking chair watching the traffic go by. My aunt cooked, cleaned (she was never married so the task of caregiving fell in her lap) and 'Ma' just sat, content with her life as it went on down that road. She was a cute little ole woman and lived to be 100.

And, my own mother... She was my age now (76) when my step-dad passed away and we moved her into a mobile home across our little driveway. In the beginning Mom did a little cooking for herself, she still drove to the grocery store occassionally and to church on Sunday but I can't remember her being bogged down with all the cares of the world. One of my memories is of her watching Elbert mow her grass and she'd run out with a drink of water for him, or he'd take her over a piece of pie or some food when she couldn't get out... or her sitting on her front porch watching butterflies in her yard.

I haven't sat and watched a butterfly in ages. No time. I am really feeling all the pressure of this Alzheimers disease. Now, that's something no one is ever prepared for, Alzheimer's I mean.

 Remember when everyone was talking about the Big C (meaning cancer). It was during John Wayne's cancer that we started hearing the term Big C. a lot and we all began to wonder and worry and perhaps we did a few things to help prevent the disease, at least for a little while.

No one to my knowledge has called Alzheimers the Big A. and no one prepared us for what lay ahead if a loved one got it. We wouldn't have believed them if they had told us. Nope, I wasn't prepared Big Time.

Over the last few years I have met many challenges that I wasn't prepared for... the sleepless nights, the chasing after Elbert in the middle of the night after he escaped the house, the cleaning up constant Poop (sorry, that may be offensive but it's the truth), the trying to get him up off the floor after his daily falls, the answering the same question a kazillion times a day. And finally after it all became overwhelming he did move into a nursing home.... and here comes the financial part of it. Worry, worry, worry.  The last few months have been tremendously trying (and thank God, for Shirley without whom I could not wade my way through all this financial mess) She's my ray of sunshine!!

Today I would like to thank my Shirley.... it hasn't been easy.... but you have been amazing. I thank God for you, for you are a true blessing. And, geez, you can be so funny right when I am at my lowest.


Dolores said...

OH HOW TRUE!!!! All that you've said is so true, and really hits home to all of us battling this dreadful/horrible/miserable disease.

I love the pictures! Such a beautiful family...... little did we know in those younger years, what lay's sure a good thing we didn't know.......

What a blessing to have a such a wonderful daughter...... and she's so beautiful too!!!

The expenses involved with this disease are so overwhelming, and then to be dealing with everything else is more than overwhelming.

I'm so sorry you're having to travel this awful journey, but please know that you're in my prayers...and you're always a source of inspiration to me.

This is such a heartfelt post...thank you for sharing.

Nancy said...

Big hugs to you today. Thinking of you and your family.

Susannah said...

No, you had no idea about this awful disease. But you have done what God expected of you. And what an example you have set for your children and grandchildren. No it has not been has been horrendously horrible!! You never even thought about this years ago. But, Latane, you have done have done it with God's help. Your family must be so very proud of you. You should be proud of you.

Shirley sounds wonderful...just to have someone full time to lean on...and to help us with paperwork and such. I recently needed my daughter and what a blessing to have that breath of fresh air there when I needed her.

This was an amazing post and I look forward to the continuation.

Susannah said...

PS - I love the pictures!

Peggy said...

Hi Latane,I know if we knew what was in front of us all those years ago we would never have taken those first steps but we learned along the way and to have such a relationship as yours and Elberts was a Blessing that you can look back on now for comfort in these anxious days.Your posts are always an inspiration as you always see some good in each day no matter what it brings.Stay true to yourself friend.