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Archive for the tag “control”

And You Appear To Be Normal

I think one of the more challenging things about having a loved one with dementia        ( trust me there are a host of them) is their appearance.  We are so arrogant in what we deem to be basic knowledge;  when a condition or disease or situation presents itself to you and when you are personally involved, the logic flies out the window. You reach for anything that will help you feel better, because you are hurting. You are hurting when you don’t even know it. One day you will , and chances are it will come crashing down on you.

I was scanning through some very recent pictures of my mom, and while she did not look great she did not look like the person she is now.  She has help with personal things like dressing and hygiene. Little things like combing her once beautiful hair, has to be assisted or she will INSIST, her hair looks fine.

I am not dealing with it realistically, I can escape reality because I am not right there. However, when I am there physically, I am still not where I should be. I am putting on a strong face, because when I think about what is happening, when I allow myself to  accept my mom is not going to get better, it makes me so very sad and I weep. I cannot allow myself to sink into that place, because the business of life must go on.  I am grateful she is not deathly ill in a hospital. I do question quality of life matters. She is able to stay in her home with the help of my younger brother. You must understand there is so much more going on though.

Therefore, fair warning and a reminder “Things are not always what they appear to be.”

Old People and Getting Into Heaven?

More and more you see them, Bill Cosby(I know he is somewhat taboo these days but he is a point-of-reference..look up the routine) joked about them in a stand-up routine decades ago. He said,” That is NOT the person I grew up with!” Faces fixed with a seemingly genuine smile, talking to random strangers, and adoring the babies..all babies.  These kindly elderly folk will be given all the sweet consideration you have within.  Then there are the OTHERS, the ones who seemingly DEMAND respect but are ugly and disrespectful. The very same ones who at one time told a young person how “they” must respect their elders. Do you ever wonder who these people are and who they were in their past/earlier lives?

ALL of these folks were once smooth skinned, silken haired, athletic and energized. They were the “go-getters”. Now they are captured by the worn, broken and damaged vessels; some flicker in and out of rational consciousness, but all are left to navigate the remainder of their lives in a condition they certainly did not select.

Funny, we never think about people’s condition beyond what is set directly before us. That is until we are faced with circumstances that force our hands. The elderly gentleman who appears to be homeless in our neighborhood asking for food..we never think he has a home of his own and people who love him waiting there. Yet, if we knew this we would likely wonder why he is doing what we perceive as begging. However, one must be careful there is likely an explanation that reaches far beyond what we have time to examine as we rush to work.

What do you say when the well dressed older lady approaches you, as you sit in the park, and proceeds to curse you for no apparent reason. How can you know she has been a widow for 30 years, today is the anniversary of her husband’s death, and you look quite a bit like the doctor who told her her beloved mate was gone.

You may think the solution is to spend more time with them, or their loved ones should keep them under control. Do you realize these people still have some control and wills of their own? Do you realize that none of us can help anyone who does not want or will not accept that same help? I think these same folks feel “themselves slipping away”, away to a place where they do not know what to expect, and they are afraid. A feeling that they probably have not had, in an overt sense, for many years.

Faith is challenged each and every day; where is their faith now, where will yours be when YOU are faced with this from someone you love. They look and sound like your loved one, but many times the one YOU knew is not consciously in the present with you. Now YOU must pray, not only for them but yourself as well.

As our time continues to move forward, as we forget names and dates I wonder how we will react. I suggest you be kind and understanding when you meet these people, any of them. Perhaps the ones trying to gain entrance into Heaven may actually be us;  by what we do we are determining our fate and we may be occupying a similar “place” in the near future. How do you want to be dealt with?

It Is Better To Remain Silent

Sometimes words are just too much. I may not be the”brightest light on the Christmas tree”, but I am certainly not a full blown “power outage” either. People think they know you and oftentimes will express this verbally, but situations will expose the real truth. As time goes on you realize it is not always necessary to  give everything you have away, not all of your opinions, not all of your feelings, and not everything you know/or think you know.  I have honed this skill carefully and use it regularly. Although, this is true there are still people in your life who will challenge this ability of yours to keep things to yourself.

This is because people ALL need to have a “voice”, we all want to be heard. Some require and auditorium filled to capacity  in order to “mic it out”, that is not to say what these folks want to convey is any more significant than those who choose a quiet one-on-one intimate talk. The talkers aren’t always the best listeners, and being realistic listening is an acquired skill. We grow tired of being in the perceived inactive state, because we are impatient.

My latest experience that prompted this piece came as the result of someone I know, and THEIR “guilt trip”. Additionally, it is the beginning of one of my father’s favorite sayings and it’s meaning eluded me until I was older due to a very short attention span with “adult old sayings”. Little did I know one day I’d be quoting those very same words.

I bet there was an occasion or two in your childhood that you broke something. Maybe you were playing in  the house, maybe you touched something you were told not to. Once it was broken then you tried to hide the fact YOU were totally and completely responsible for this mishap. Maybe you hid the object hoping it would not be missed, maybe you reported you “discovered” it broken to draw the attention away from self (not an option for the only children out there), maybe you outright lied, or maybe you blamed it on someone else. While none of these is the honorable thing to do, we are humans and what we imagine is generally far worse than what actually will take place. This is expected behavior in a child and though it is undesirable one can understand.

Yet the same behavior in an adult is not understood nor tolerated, sorry you don’t get a pass because once you enter adulthood the “token/chip” you carry  with you at all at all times is responsibility. Now you can deny it if you want to but it changes nothing. YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF! I have come to know this individual for blaming mistakes, bad behavior, etc. on someone other than self it still does not take away from how annoying the characteristic is. The long term result is you do not believe anything, absent of documented proof, this person says. The more he talks the further away from what actually occurred, you become We are at the point that an omission would be welcome.

As I recognize I am NOT the only person who knows a being like this, I offer the advice of the old saying that is timeless(as most of them are).

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove ALL doubt.”

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