It’s been busy.
it’s been hectic.
The rages of Alzheimer’s continue, as well as the rages of those fun teenage hormones and attitudes.
But amidst it all we are surviving the chaos of a crazy March and April schedule.
We are surviving thanks in part to the prayers and help of so many of you!! Many dear friends have brought us meals! And what a blessing they are for this weary, and mentally exhausted mom. I can not tell you the emotional revival that occurs when I come home to find a delicious home cooked meal all ready for our family! Ahhhhhh, just breath in the sigh of relief with me.
And here is a pic of another HUGE blessing!!!
Yep a guy up in a tree………. but it is so much more than that!! After cutting some branches off this old, dead tree. This is what happened next
This group in the woods helped to pull that old dead tree down!! Our Sunday School class came and immensely blessed our family with completing a ton of spring yard work for us!
Now every time I pull into the driveway I can breath a big sigh of relief, and feel so blessed, instead of freaked out about the big task before me!
Sports have been the mainstay these days, when both Tyler and Madi have games at the same time, I bring my bike along and ride back and forth between the two games.
My mom and dad came for a visit on Easter day. I enjoyed having time to cook a real dinner and spend time with my parents!
Our family also got to speak to a committee with the Pa General Assembly on living with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s. It was a great experience for all of us, and great for the kids to take part in the legislative process!
I also enjoyed watching Tyler “coach” some of the kids in the neighborhood on how to throw a fastball and a curveball. Came out one day to find him working with the kids, I secretly snapped a pic with my iPhone. I guess it’s not a secret anymore!
Love the spring wildflowers blooming in our woods! I am such a geek like that, I really enjoying checking out the flowers in our woods.
My handsome, 6’4″ “boy” and I before his basketball banquet.
Yes, it is so busy, and I can feel so frustrated and overwhelmed with it all. But as Curt continues to say, “It is what it is, and God is in this!” There are moments where I do feel blessed even during the storm. Thanks for letting me share a few of those blessings with you today!
So last Monday was the pits. Our sweet dog of 10 years, Nina, had become rather complacent on Sunday and I was a bit concerned about her when I left for school on Monday. I had made a vet appointment for her the next day.
So as we settled into our Monday evening routine, I was savoring a bit of time to actually cook a real meal (burgers on the grill), and we were all enjoying the warm spring air while eating dinner on the deck. BUT…… Nina soon lumbered onto the deck and began wheezing and throwing up.
So our pleasant evening went down hill real quick. I realized Nina needed to be seen by the Vet. right away. Tyler and I carefully lifted her into the van, and Curt and I ran her down to the vet. The vet examined her, took an x-ray and gave us the bad news. She had a problem of her esophagus that is quite common in old labs. But he also explained that her condition was quite grave. Thus I made the painful decision to have her move on to doggy heaven that night.
I called the kids, they came down to the vet and we all cried, said our good-byes and then came home. It all happened so fast, it just didn’t seem real. But I had a feeling something was wrong with her for some time now.
And the night continued on a down ward spiral of misery after that. Madi had a paper due the next day she needed to finish, so I took her to a friend’s house who had volunteered to help her with the paper. I was relieved. As I was driving home, Curt called me all upset about something. I really couldn’t understand what he was saying it was not making sense. I told him I would be home real soon.
I arrived home to find him furious! A neighbor boy had come over at 8:00 to watch a TV show, and that triggered a snowball of anger. I actually think everything with Nina triggered it, but he was upset that this kid was coming over at 8:00 at night. I had great difficulty getting him to calm down, at one point I thought he was going to hit me. He was cussing up a storm, which if you know Curt, this is rather comical, I have been married to him for almost 23 years and never heard him cuss. I heard more cuss words explode from him in one night than I have in 23 years! It was not a good situation, Madi needed to be picked up, I ended up asking the kid to leave, and then tried to distract Curt some. That seemed to calm things down a bit so I could leave to get Madi.
I returned to find all was calm and Curt had really forgotten the rage of just a mere 45 min ago.
I then had to put together this stupid queen size bed frame for a new bed that was being delivered the next day. At that point my brain was fried, and those silly, little tiny print directions were not cutting it for me. Somehow, I got the seemingly simple task done by 11:15 and then laid down for a good cry.
And thus the roller coaster we now call life. Tues. and Wed. were calm and normal days. Thurs. was busy and Friday was a VERY, busy, stressful day. Thus the ups and downs of our life.
This past summer while at Hershey Park with the fam, despite my own voice of reason telling me not to ride the Great Bear roller coaster, I did. I decided to tackle my queezy, roller coaster stomach a new way, I would just close my eyes the whole time and then I wouldn’t have to see the going upside down stuff, and my stomach should be able to survive. Well overall I am happy to say this tactic worked fairly well. I rode the Great Bear twice!
So I am thinking I need to apply this tactic to my life these days! Embrace the roller coaster, ride it, and close my eyes and pray LOTS!!
And I do appreciate many of you who have come along and rode the coaster with me for a day or two. Your prayers, support and LOVE sure help me ride this coaster with a smile!
This song has become my mantra……
~ Philippians 4:12 & 13
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty of in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength! ~
I can see it coming. Pictures like this tell me it’s near. I see it on the horizon of our life.
Yep spring will be here before we know it. I LOVE spring! I love flowers, and truly relish seeing them begin to rise from the earth and bloom into something so beautiful. It’s one of those little things in life I enjoy!
But this spring looks to be a bit crazy. Madi is playing lacrosse and Tyler will have baseball. When putting the sports schedule on calendar last week, I see there are some weeks when they have games the same day/same time and some when someone has a game every day in that week.
To be honest it’s all a bit overwhelming.
Sports, household duties, some financial things we are taking care of right now, dealing with that anger issue that still lingers, rearing it’s ugly head at unexpected random moments, spring yard work, tons of paperwork to complete at school etc etc etc………
Curt is now so limited in terms of what he can contribute to the running of the household that it pretty much all falls on me. So if you see me and I forget something you told me, just smile and remind me it’s ok. I have forgotten some key things lately, simply because my brain is too full! But I am ok with that…it is how it is these days!
But as I am frequently reminded…take each day as it comes, don’t worry about the future. Which I must admit can be hard.
But this devotion I read recently really hit home for me. It’s from the devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sara Young. Um, yea you can see the section I starred in my book!
Keep your focus on My Presence in the present! Yep, great point and a powerful reminder for me!
I am really choosing to focus on what is good not the struggles.
Alzheimer’s is a wretched disease that we all confront as a family daily….but there are also some great things that happen to us also. I am going to end this post with some of those good things.
This little gem sure has made my life easier! I love the reminder app, I am constantly typing in little reminders for myself. I am sure while you are chatting with me sometime you will hear my little reminder alert go off. Just smile
Curt’s brother came for a long visit a few weekends ago. It was a welcome diversion!
Oh and I must mention I devoured an entire box of these in 2 days! Not exactly a proud moment, but a good moment!
Thanks friends for your continued prayers and support!
~Thanks to many of you who came to our rescue after my depressing Ugh post! That rough week was/is just another step on this uncharted journey called Alzheimer’s.~
Things have improved from that dreadful week. I think I had to learn to handle the situation differently and make sure Curt DAILY takes his meds. I see now that blow up was a “perfect storm” of a lot of things going wrong. It will probably happen again…..and again….and again. It’s never going to be easy or fun, but I do feel that at least I will be better prepared next time.
And once again we were blessed by many of you during the last week or so. I think it’s so cool when I would get a text or email from someone who will say, something like
~God has really laid you guys on my heart this week, and then I went and read your blog, and now I see why~
A few dear friends brought us a meal or two, and that sure helped my sanity. This may sound funny, but I have found that with so much going on, I can make the big decisions that are needed for running the house, finances, calendar, future planning etc etc…..but it’s the simple decisions like what kind of cereal to buy, or what to make for dinner…… that I can’t make and become brain dead and indecisive!
I often think if the kids didn’t play sports, I would not be as busy.
BUT, the sports thing is also a blessing in many ways. Curt LOVES going, it keeps him occupied and he likes to take pictures at the games. It’s good for him to get out.
At this point he is home all day ( since he can’t drive anymore) usually using the computer most of the day, and occasionally stopping to make something to eat. His cooking skills pretty much consist of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a bowl of cereal. Occasionally he will heat up some leftovers.
This disease is not an easy one, as I continue to see Curt’s skills diminish. Even today, as he was playing pool with Tyler and his brother who is in town from Florida, I realized He really can’t play at all anymore.
The great irony is Curt who taught Tyler to play and love the game, was being coached and helped through the game by Tyler.
I know it’s going to be a tough road for us, but after all the lovin, texts, prayers, hugs, support, care we received the last 2 weeks, I am thankful we are not walking this alone!
I am going to leave you with a video of the other thing that has caused me great stress lately! Tyler’s basketball team! They are not like normal teams who win by several points or loose by several points. No we tend to either win by one amazing buzzer beater or lose by one! Here is a great video of one of our many buzzer beaters this year. Tyler is #30, you can catch a glimpse of him a few times.
I also think you will love seeing our supportive student section singing the national anthem!
Well things at our house as of late have gone from bad to worse.
Yep, there, I said it bad to worse….so be prepared this is going to be a discouraging, depressing kind of post. It had to happen, there had to be a kink in our armor of life, and I think I finally found it.
It’s called Alzheimer’s anger and it ain’t pretty! I have seen glimpses of it for a few months now, but I could always reason my way out of Curt’s insulting demise. But this time it was to no avail. It is amazing the assault this disease has on the brain! It slowly steals away your logic and higher order reasoning skills. The worst part is it leaves you thinking you are still the same logical, wise adult you once were!
This past Friday was the start of this unexpected anger assault. By Sat. morning it was rising with a furry. I made the mistake of trying to reason with Curt, which only led to greater frustration on my part and more anger on his part. But somewhere in the midst of my trying to reason this through, he said he was going to call the police on me for assaulting him. It was a sad, yet revealing statement, because it was at that point I realized he had really lost the ability to reason and I needed to change my approach from here on out.
I also realized that Curt will ALWAYS be the WISE, insightful man I married, and the man that was spewing anger, and irrational words at me was the disease speaking to me NOT the man I married!
Things got worse as the weekend went on, and even continued into the school week. I ended up being late for school the one morning because he woke up and was so upset with me about not telling him that there were seven stages to Alzheimer’s and was worried the kids would play their music too loud at the computer despite the fact that we now have headphones for them. He was confused and mad.
But this disease is so unpredictable, we had some great moments in between and things seemed so normal……well as normal as normal can be.
We have tried to make things a bit calmer at our house, which isn’t always easy if you know our goofy, loud, humorous family….but we are trying. I am praying that will bring a calmer spirit to Curt. But I see this as another step on this dismal journey….I can assure you we are not enjoying it, but I can also assure you that as God does allow such difficult moments, He is there with us through out it. I read somewhere that if God sends us over rocky paths, He will provide us with sturdy shoes.
Well I can assure you I now have some pretty sturdy shoes!
(Actually they are Tyler’s stinkin, huge, size 14 boots!!)
Thanks for the prayers, emails, and texts this past week friends!
Basketball games, lacrosse games and practices, Eagles football game……..yes it’s been a busy start to the new year for us! And in some ways the busy stuff is a mixed blessing, the kids and I are so caught up in the day to day chaos, that we don’t have time to focus on the perils of living with Alzheimer’s!
We had the best start to the new year, we got FREE, yes FREE tickets to the Eagles vs the Redskins game. A dear friend worked it out for us, and the seats were the best! No nosebleed section for us….phew!
Now some of you may be shocked to see me in an Eagles jersey, I know this may be hard for some of you, knowing that one of the first songs I learned as a child was “Hail to the Redskins!” I grew up in the DC area, I grew up with a disdain for the Eagles, Giants and the Cowboys. But this day was one of those moments in life where you look beyond the entrenched football rivalries and you support your husband! He has been a long time Eagles fanatic and this day was for him! It was a fun day, the weather was ideal for Jan 1st and hubs team the Eagles won!
Madi has also been busy becoming buff girl…..she is doing a strength and conditioning program for Lacrosse and playing indoor lax. Unlike Tyler, Madi has floundered a bit in finding a sport she loved. She just started girls lax last spring, but has really come to LOVE it! And it’s neat for all of us to see those skills continue to grow and improve!
Tyler is having a blast playing hoops this year, and I must say Curt is enjoying every game. He sits near the court and takes pics while chatting with his new lady friend. Now don’t take that the wrong way, his lady friend is one of the player’s grandmas. But the two of them have forged a fun friendship this season. Curt took this pic of Ty (#30) stuffing the leading scorer in the league! Ha not in our house! (ok,sorry competitive mom moment, I’m moving on now!)
So life for us is good, not always easy, but good.
Our local basketball parents club had a slogan a few years back…it simply said
“It Ain’t Easy”
This year the slogan is, “Every Day, Every Play”
Yep, we work hard every day, it ain’t always easy, but we press on!
Well I can’t really say 2011 has been good to us…..but I can thank God for many of the blessings we have seen along the journey of living with Alzheimer’s. There are many good things that have happened this year, and I am choosing to reflect upon them on this New Years Eve! It is a choice to see the good in the storm of life, and I daily battle with that, but let me tell ya……choosing the positive over the negative sure makes things go a little easier! Just sayin!
Family has been a huge blessing to us this year, and I am thankful for Curt’s family and my fam. Their love and support is priceless! This is a Christmas pic of my mom and I, she has always been a great support for me!
Our family ski trip last Jan. to Mt. Snow, Vt was an extra special blessing and was basically paid for by someone who has chosen to remain anonymous! It was a great memory maker. The kids and I were just reflecting fondly about the trip the other day!
FRIENDS are the greatest!! It has been so sweet to see how many friends have called and wanted to get together with Curt and our family. It has been so nice for Curt to reconnect with old friends and stay connected with current friends. It has meant so much to Curt to get together for pizza, a ballgame or just anything with friends. Let me tell ya, our friends have been good to us in 2011. THANK YOU!
My big 17 year old boy getting a baseball scholarship to Liberty Univ was another highlight of the year. The recruiting process takes a great deal of time and effort, and it is nice to have that behind us. With everything else to figure out, it’s great to have Tyler’s college plans taken care of. And let me just tell you, I LOVE Liberty, the campus, the coaches, the educational program and christian atmosphere, it just warms this mom’s heart! And I am thankful that Curt is still be able to fully understand the magnitude of Tyler’s accomplishment. For the dad who spent ENDLESS hours pitching to his son and throwing with him, I am blessed to see the pride in his dad’s eyes as he knows his boy will be playing Division 1 College Baseball!
We spent much of the summer traveling in our van! From Columbus Ohio to Atlanta Ga, we conquered a big portion of the highways of the US. And despite the busy schedule, we did have a lot of fun!! Lots of great memories were made this summer!
Madi grew 3 inches this year and has transformed into quite a lovely young lady. Her kindness and helpful spirit continue to bless me! The first picture is of her with her science fair project in March, the 2nd is fall homecoming. Can you see the difference?!
Those are just a FEW of the blessings of the year 2011. The years go by fast and I am learning to cherish the moments. The days may be long, the frustrations constant, but the special moments that come along remind me to slow down, and cherish. They can bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart in the middle of a long journey.
I am going to end with how we ended our year with a few pics from our Christmas Fun!
Happy New Year…….may we all find those special moments and blessings on the journey of 2012!
When I was a kid my all time favorite Christmas carol was, “Silent Night.” I loved the magic of singing it on Christmas Eve as I carefully lifted my just lit candle during the Christmas Eve candlelight service.
But as I grew up, I realized I cherished the “moment”, but had really never “listened” to the lyrics and captured their true meaning. Recently I have been focusing on those words penned back in the 1800′s by Joseph Mohr. The man was born in 1792, yet his words still speak to my heart today!
My thoughts have been all over the place as of late, I may break down crying randomly while shopping at Target when I hear a dad talking to his son about buying a baseball bat. Or when watching Curt play drums at church for the last time. Also when I hear Curt all excited about wanting to see Tyler play college baseball…..I just wonder if he will be able to. Those tears seem to well up pretty easily as of late.
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Then, thankfully, there are some things that warm my heart lately, like I said my mind is all over the place. Tyler got a baseball scholarship to Liberty University in Va…..that soothes my overworked brain and blesses this momma’s heart! Tyler also just celebrated his 17th birthday with being “Player of the Week” in basketball and scoring 14 pts and grabbing 8 rebounds in a winning effort last week. Those kind of things are such a welcome distraction!
My girl Madi continues to get straight A’s as a ninth grader, she is so independent and organized, it brings me such relief to not have to worry about her grades and work ethic! We also had a blast at Madi’s 9th annual cookie party a few weeks ago.
The kids lives do provide a welcome distraction from the stress of living daily with a monster named Alzheimer’s. For that distraction I am so thankful!
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Some days I get so overwhelmed with all the cares of life I just curl up on the couch and want to do nothing. I have so many things to tend to, I don’t know what to do first…. so sometimes I just do nothing. Where do I even begin I ponder all the time.
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.
I seem to fear the future the most……I just don’t know how it’s all going work out for us. Curt will require long term care, my kids may be in college at the time, they might not be….who knows how long this disease will take on it’s unruly course of demise. I am a planner, the future is so unknown. Curt now struggles daily with his reasoning ability…oh how I miss his wisdom!
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Oh but then there is that song again………it continues to replay in my thoughts frequently.
All is calm all is bright……………..
Christ the Savior is born!……………………
………….With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus Lord at Thy birth!
In the chaos of the day, Jesus was born in a simple stable, on a peaceful night with so little fan fare. Somehow, the thought of the Almighty coming to earth in such a simple manner, calms my weary heart and mind. There in the storm of life at that time, Jesus steps onto the scene…..in a barn of all places.
All was calm, and suddenly the future got real bright for all of mankind! Our future is bright, not thanks to Alzheimer’s and my worries, but thanks to the redeeming grace of that precious baby born oh so long ago. Yes our future my be tough at times, but it is bright. The message is so simple that sometimes I can overlook it! Jesus Lord, at Thy birth!
And that Hope brings a calming smile to my face.
Yes ALL is calm, and ALL is bright at our household this Christmas!
Merry Christmas dear friends!
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Tyler trotted around the bases during his Varsity baseball season this year with excitement, eventually tagging home plate as the team erupted into an impromptu celebration. It was his his first high school home run.
Reaching home as a sophomore was a reason to celebrate!
We traveled a ton this summer, new cities, new hotels, baseball games, lots of excitement. But I can tell you there was always such anticipation, joy and relief when I walked through the door of our home after days in a hotel coupled with lots of driving. Dorothy’s words from The Wizard of Oz really took on new meaning. “There is NO place like HOME, there is no place like home……” I still recall the great relief I felt as I slowly sank into my favorite chair at home after a long road trip. I LOVE MY HOME , I love my home……I would think to myself!
I must say I did not indulge in Black Friday shopping this year, I was too immersed in the Thanksgiving fun at my brother’s house to bother with it. Somehow shopping for hours on Friday after Thanksgiving really had no appeal to me. I really enjoyed having FUN at my brothers house so much more than frantic shopping! Uncle Scott’s go kart is always more fun than shopping for more stuff.
So the question is, what do Black Friday shopping, my desire to be at home and Tyler’s home run all have in common? Yes we answer the big questions of life here at Jesus and Dark Chocolate!
I had such a strong desire to go home after being on the road so much this summer. Home to my refuge, my place rest, and peace and comfort. And as we all did with Tyler’s home run, going home is also a reason to celebrate!!
………..I am learning a lot these days about going Home…..about the importance of Home! And I am not talking about my physical home here on earth, I am talking about a heavenly Home.
With Curt’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease I see a whole focus shift for him. His eyes are heavenly. When I routinely asked him what he wants for Christmas……he replied “besides a few Eagles (football team) shirts, really nothing.” He knows those things are not going with him to heaven. And that is what they are….things, stuff, they have NO real eternal value. He is buying and preparing for Heaven not for earth.
And as even I hate to admit this, my new, lovely Keurig coffee machine that I truly worship each morning, really has no lasting value. Sure it brings me joy each morning as I put that little k cup in, and behold, with in moments my morning addiction awaits me. But it really has no eternal value.
HOME, yes our heavenly HOME is so much greater than Ty’s home run. My heavenly HOME is so much greater than my cozy, refuge I currently call home. And all those great deals you got on Black Friday and my sweet Keurig coffee machine truly have little to no lasting value.
Yes I am thankful for Curt’s perspective. It’s a wonderful reminder to me this Holiday season of the things that truly matter.
Jesus sent to earth as a tiny baby, He grew to be the Savior of the world.
HOME, our heavenly HOME, that perspective from Curt, is a wonderful Gift this Christmas season!
Thanks friends for all your encouragement, prayers and hugs!
I get asked that question by someone almost every day. And I am thankful for their care and concern for my hubs. Friends and even those in our community have been more then kind to us in so many different ways.
But the question remains, how is he doing?
I often respond with, “he is ok.”
It’s been over a year since he was diagnosed so people will often ask, do you notice a decline?
When I think back that over a year ago at this time he was teaching, I know there is a decline, because there is NO way he could be teaching now!
He’s not doing great by any means, but he is not sinking quickly into the quicksand of Alzheimer’s disease. His symptoms are worsening, but thankfully at a slow pace. He really struggles with not being able to spell or write. He knows what letters, or word he wants to write but somewhere in transfer from the brain to the hand the muck and mire of Alzheimer’s destroys that process. And he can not write even simple words at times. It is very frustrating to watch. Add to the pot the fact that my husband has always had a determination to get things done….. so he often continues to try and try to get it right.
So he can’t fill out simple forms, checks or even sign a receipt to leave a tip. He has trouble even writing his name correctly. He recently forgot his Social Security number and the year he was born. He has trouble with word retrieval at times, he mispronounces words and stumbles over words when speaking. His depth perception is off, as well as his understanding of personal space. He will often just stand in the way of the commotion of the house not realizing he is in the way. He has some trouble completing simple tasks (shoveling snow off the deck) he just goes about it in an awkward, very time consuming manner. Yet he can still mow the lawn ok, I think it’s newer jobs that are not as much a part of his routine that seem to give him more grief. He also rarely reads much anymore. And as of late he is VERY tired and not real motivated.
All of this is Alzheimer’s…..who knew, I sure didn’t. I really thought it dealt mostly with short term memory issues. That is an issue, but so are the half a dozen other things!
But here is the good news, the guy is still funny and retains a fun, witty sense of humor! He is still passionate about his Phillies (even when they choked this year!) and the Eagles and follows them quite well. As a former social studies teacher he enjoys following the world and current events. He is quite into the current Republican presidential nomination process and the debates. His dream team would be Newt Gingrich for President and Herman Cain as the VP. He still pitches baseball to Tyler and plays the drums on Sunday mornings at church. Oh yes and he still loves his beloved Roma pizza. As well as the meatball subs from his favorite local pizza joint! When I was in North Carolina for the weekend I found 4 receipts for Roma pizza!
And for those who truly know Curt, you would want to know that he still knows how to purchase and eat a Snickers Bar!!!
November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month…..I know, you probably didn’t know that. I wouldn’t have a year ago either.
So I thought I would do my part to bring some awareness to what people deal with daily when living with this monster of a disease.
It’s a difficult, frustrating journey we are walking every day.
But these words Harriet Beecher Stowe penned oh so long ago seem to describe our attitude towards it all.
So to the heart that knows your love, O Father
There is a temple sacred evermore
And all life’s angry voices causing bother
Die in hushed silence at its peaceful door.
Far, far away the roars of strife and grief fall silent,
And loving thoughts rise ever peacefully,
And no storm, however fierce or violent,
Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord in Thee.
Oct 1st a year ago was when I first heard those dreadful words, “Curt has dementia, most likely Early Onset Alzheimer’s.”I had known in my heart for some time that something was wrong with my dear husband, I had basically come to the conclusion on my own that he had Alzheimer’s. But when the doctor took my intuition and made it a reality….the words hit hard. I cried most of the way home from the doctor’s office, overwhelmed for our now unknown, unplanned and unpredictable future.
We hadn’t really formulated a plan on how to tell Tyler and Madi. They knew we had gone to a doctor to get results for the 5 hour memory testing Curt had endured. They saw my tear stained face and immediately wanted to know what was going on. We sat down with them and the words pretty much just spilled out. So unplanned……so unlike me. We cried a bit, we prayed a lot and I ended up sleeping with Madi in her room for about a week as she worked through the emotions of now having a dad with Alzheimer’s.
But with in the week we were doing normal things again….we had to. Curt was being a “cheerleader” for a student on Daddy/Daughter night since her dad couldn’t be there. Tyler was finishing baseball season and gearing up for basketball season and Madi had a big cross country meet. We are a busy family with two busy teens. We are just now a busy family with Alzheimer’s thrown into the mix.
Life goes on.
And just as it is with this post. I actually started writing it 2 weeks ago. But life got really hectic and busy. Included in that was a long 8-10 hour drive to North Carolina for a weekend baseball tournament where I looked at too much of this;
Life goes on
I reflect and remember.
For weeks after Curt was diagnosed I constantly pondered and thought back over the last several years.
Yes, there were lots of signs, foreshadowing of what was to come. In hindsight there were so many indications of a storm brewing in Curt’s brain. The time he couldn’t put a simple swing together 3 years ago, or the trouble he had putting our tent up when we went camping in 2009, the sudden loss of interest in his hiking passion, the late payment charges on bills, his apathy. It all made sense now.
But…Life goes on
But Life goes on with such a different perspective now.
The little acts of kindness to our family mean so much and are never overlooked. Some random sweetheart of a person sticks a delicious box Wilbur Buds in my school mailbox every once in awhile. Such a little thing, but a big thing to me!
Family and their supports means the world to us!
Friends and even strangers who care for us, pray for us and help out. While I was away in North Carolina last weekend a group of men from a local church came to cut down a huge, dead tree near our house. I came home amazed to find a huge, empty gap where the tree once stood. We were surprised and blessed to see the SHAPE of the stump that was left behind. This stump will long serve as a reminder of the LOVE of Christ shown by this group of men.
Yes life goes on for all of us. But we now carry a different perspective on this journey. We are blessed in many ways by so many of you. But most of all we have a greater understanding of the depth and power of the LOVE of Christ. His care for us, His provision.
We are changed, Yes Life goes on…..but we walk it differently so much more aware of the presence of Christ which reveals many of His presents.
‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
Yes we are changed! Thank you dear friends for your prayers and love for our family!
Life goes on and we are not dismayed, shaken some, but not dismayed. God’s strength is what sustains us!
So we got a little rain around these parts. Ok, a lot of rain, 8-12 in. worth. Don’t believe me…..well here is one of my favorite places to ride bike.
Yep….see what I mean. A.L.O.T of water! So what do you do when your Governor declares a state of emergency, school is closed for 2 days, and endless friends have basements full of water.
You help out your friends and strive to make the best of it! I came home from my first day of school tired and weary. It was a long day. My kids of course came home excited and full of energy.
Our creek had flooded and they wanted to tube down it!!
WHAT????? I pondered? You have got to be kidding.
Before I knew it, they were pumping up our inner tubes and gathering the neighborhood kids, I knew they meant business.
And as any decent mom does, I worried about the dangers of entering the wild current of the overflowing creek. So I hiked back with the kids into the jungle of our rainforest looking for the Nile River to tube down…..a.k.a our creek.
We found the Nile, and I soon found myself up to my knees in the angry waters taking pictures. I trekked for what seemed like miles in the rain with the kids, watching them tube down the creek.
And before I knew it, I realized I was having FUN! It had been years since I had been stream stomping! Despite being so reluctant at first to go anywhere except to a couch with a blanket and a soft pillow, I was now prancing through an overflowing, wild stream like I did in my youth!
I guess that is how my attitude always is, I try to make the best of any situation. If I don’t like something, or it seems to hard, I see it as a challenge and go after it.
That was me….until Oct. 1st, 2010, when Early Onset Alzheimer’s entered our world.
This situation with Curt has been a tough one to make the best of. My usual positive, optimist attitude doesn’t always comply with my volatile emotions. It seems almost daily I rise to the challenges of living with this disease….and living with 2 teens. But some days I don’t rise to well, there are days I am beaten down, frustrated and overwhelmed! My feisty fighter attitude seems to have been washed down the stream in the flood.
I miss my husband.
I miss the competent, leader that he was for our family.
Actually, There is so much that I miss about him.
I am sad for our future.
HOWEVER…..my story doesn’t end here.
There is HOPE in this storm of life. And that is what carries me on this journey.
It’s words like this:
“I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. Psalm 91:15
Do you see the word in? Troubles will come and God will be with us in troubles!
It’s also songs like this one that inspire and strengthen me on this journey, in these troubles.
Sure it’s hard, but as Curt often says for those who know Christ and seek after Him, the journey ends well! Yes……there is Hope, Goodness, and Love on this journey. For Almighty God is with us IN our frustrations and difficulties. There is a Godly peace in the storm of life.
We may be beaten down and frustrated, but we do not despair. For there is Hope!
And that is something that brings out the optimist side of me.
Thanks for your ongoing care and prayers for our family,