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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Never Give Up December 3, 2013

I guess folks have the opinion about me that I don't give up even though people in my life are questioning me daily about the progress or lack of progress on publishing my new book. It will happen, just the time frame is a bit over the estimate at this point.
I try to find solutions for others that avoid despair and in my own life I have turned the idea of giving up into the idea of modifying my goals. One of my goals was weight loss and I met the first part of the goal; now I need to modify my expectations and accept that at least during this holiday time, I will be content to maintain the progress I have made.
Another goal was to read the stack of books on my MUST READ pile ; some for a book group, some to improve my knowledge about dementia and others that are Holocaust related. Yesterday, I amended that goal and visited the library to borrow novels and mysteries so I can sit out in my backyard in the sunshine and read for my own pleasure.
I still visit my husband at the memory care facility daily even though he often doesn't know or seem to care whether I visit or not. My expectations for my visits have been reduced; I feel I go to make sure he is being trated well, that he is not in pain, that his clothing is up to my standards for him. I sort of gave up on my expectation that I can still have positive memories of him as was the case just a few weeks ago when he told my son to tell me to "sit down and stop talking" to another resident's family members.
So yesterday when I noticed that my husband's belt was not pulled through all of the belt loops and his  pants were riding dangerously low on his hips, I walked with him to his room, chattering all the way and explaining to him as I rethreaded his belt. When I finished we were standing face to face. My husband looked straight at me and said, "You're getting old."
I thought, "See, he does know who I am," and I answered, "Of course I am. So are you. We both get older all the time."
He stood there a moment, gathering his thoughts. "So that's it," he said.
Perhaps he occasionally wonders why he is in the memory care center; perhaps he had a momentary understanding about advanced age as a reason. The curtain closed and I could understand no more of what he said.
But he is still "in there." He still has thoughts and feelings. We still have a relationship that is important to both of us.

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