I ran across this quote from Corrie Ten Boom and knew that I wanted to share it with all of you. It says,
'When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.'
Wow, that's pretty powerful. Regardless of what we face in life, regardless of what age we are, regardless, regardless we don't jump off the train!! Nothing is more true than when we are caring for a loved one with Alzheimers. That train runs along the track going places on pretty days with the sun shining brightly and the beautiful landscape developing before our eyes. and Boom... oh, gee, no pun intended there... the track runs through a mountain and it gets dark enough in there you can't see your hand in front of your face.
You can't jump off. Your loved one needs you and you don't abandon love. So, you sit tight and trust in the engineer of our lives (God) and before you know it, the train pops out the hole at the end of the tunnel and the sun is shining once more. You just gotta learn to not be afraid of the dark!!
As I read my dear friend Dolores' blog at http://movingforwardwithalzheimers.blogspot.com/ this morning I knew that I had already walked that path and perhaps some suggestions I found helpful might be of benefit to her and to the rest of you.
David has begun to wander. Oh, I remember those days. Scary, yes. You just never know when they will become confused about their space or not know where you are... or where 'home' is, and head out the door. Elbert was forever trying to go 'home' so I tried the chain on the door.
Didn't work. He wasn't dumb... he just slid that chain until it became disconnected and out he went. Well, so much for that.
I found great peace of mind in a very simple solution. My son in law screwed in very small door alarms on all my doors and I knew everytime Elbert opened an outside door. These alarms can be found at Lowe's or Home Depot (maybe even Walmart, I haven't looked there). They come in two small pieces, one to attach to the edge of your door, the other goes on the door frame and when the door is opened the alarm goes off.
A small thingamajig (*I don't know what it's called) the alarm part I guess.... the receiver... anyway it plugs into the wall. It's small so it's no distraction. And, you can just unplug it when you don't want the alarms to be activated.
Yes, I have gotten caught up in the interesting world of Pinterest. And, this pin really made me stop and think. It came from sunnysblog.typepad.com. Thank her for putting these thoughts in my head this morning.
'A true love story never ends'.......... and that says it all. If two people truly love each other, through all the trials that life has to offer, and love each other even after death... then that love story never ends.
I still feel the love so deeply that Elbert and I shared, through being young and so unprepared for life, through raising a family with all it's struggles and joys, through growing older, through Alzheimers and then through death. We were joined as one on Dec. 10, 1950 and all these years later we still are one.
Cherish each day you have with your loved one, keep that flame of love burning brightly. Then someday you may have that love to carry you through days that you will be alone.
There is nothing more important to us grown-ups than to see the world through the eyes of a child. We get so caught up in our struggle to survive this life that we forget to enjoy those tiny little moments that are special and are filled with joy.
I spent yesterday in Charlottesville, Va. two and a half hours away from home in an apple orchard atop Carter's Mountain with my 8 month old great-grandson (and his Nana, Papa John and Mom). His little eyes took in everything, things we adults would have not paid any attention to... the tractor going by pulling a trailer full of apples, the feel of a pumpkin stem
the red apples hidden amongst the leaves, people going by, a mill wheel turning
The sound of metal strips when you run your fingers through them.
Just so curious about this world we live in.
And, that was renewal for me... to put grief in the back recesses of my mind and to watch this adorable child learn and grow.
I used to have a difficult time being on the puny list when I was taking care of Elbert. Not too long after he was diagnosed with Alzheimers, I found out I had colon cancer. He could still be left alone at that time and I had lots of people in and out seeing about the both of us so that worked out pretty well. That was 10 years ago.
Elbert helping me up the front steps after my cancer surgery
Then, a couple of years later I had one total knee replacement. He was some worse by that time and although the doctor suggested I go to a rehab place to get my therapy out of the way, I knew I had better go home as soon as I was released from the hospital. I could tell my absence disturbed him. Even when I got home he couldn't figure it all out. But, he was able to help me with my exercises.
I'm listening to music in my own bed after knee surgery. And, get a sweet kiss.
One year later I had the second knee done. A little tougher for the both of us. I needed him to be helpful and he could not comprehend what I was saying. So, we struggled through that. Again the family helped tremendously.
The therapist has me walking down the sidewalk in front of my house.
I am so thankful that those serious surgeries are behind me. And, I think I am pretty healthy for an ancientold woman. However, just recently I have been having some Fall allergy issues (infected sinuses, sore throat etc) and I was thinking that I am dealing with getting better pretty well. No extra stress that caregiving always put on me... I just lay in bed and didn't care if I got up or not. I watched way too much football on Saturday, all stretched out on the couch. But, that was okay. I rested, took my medicine and this morning I felt well enough to join Shirley at Hardees for our Monday biscuit. I bet by tomorrow I will be raring to go.... somewhere, anywhere, nowhere. Just raring!!