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Monday, July 8, 2013

The Three Little Pigs July 8, 2013

I have found myself buffeted by strong winds these past few weeks and I thank all of you who shared your silver lining stories with me, either by email, in person or through Facebook and LinkedIn. I was trying to find a future good outcome to sustain me through some rough times. My 61 year old cousin was  dying in Switzerland which was so devastating to his wife, my cousin Nora, the process of integrating my recent trip into my new book was eluding me and my husband had not recognized me since my return from a long absence.
All three situations have now changed with one negative outcome; my cousin Robi passed away early Saturday morning from lung cancer which had metastasized to his liver and recently to his brain causing him to have symptoms which mirrored the devastation of Alzheimer's disease. He was hallucinating, did not remember anything and he did not recognize his wife or his surroundings. In the few days before his death, these symptoms subsided and he seemed to know who she was and he became peaceful.
The book has found its rhythm, it seems to be all written in my head and all I need to do now is type it all out at my leisure until I have a complete manuscript.The process appears to be similar to that of a musician friend of mine when he is composing a new piece. Sometimes, he too, has a few bits and pieces but the composition eludes him for a while before it takes shape in his head and at the piano.
And yesterday when I went to visit my husband. he said " I rec-c- c " which I filled in, "recognize me? Who am I?" to which he pointed his finger at me and declared "You are my wife!"
And today when I arrived at the memory care center where he lives one of the workers reported that my husband had been looking for me, asking her "Did you see my wife?" to which she responded, "I don't know. What is her name?" and he responded , "Phyllis."
Just like the story of the three little pigs who had to be united, to be stronger than they initially thought in order to be protected from harm, I too have to be aware constantly of the stresses that can threaten my equilibrium and use the resources of my family and my friends to support me when the situations overwhelm me. 
Even after all the work Nora and I did together publishing my book Put That Knife Away, she told me yesterday it is only now she really understands the stresses of caregiving for a spouse who suffers from dementia for so many years, but she said, "Even a half a husband is better than none." I didn't agree when she said it, but after this weekend, she may be right. My husband's presence in my life is still very precious to me.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the Oliver Sachs too. Glad to hear you're still working on the book and that your husband is responsive.