Saturday, May 30, 2015

Life is Awesome..... and then there's Alzheimers... and Anniversaries......

No really it isn't a joke at all. My life is currently almost exclusively Awesome! Awesome's diapers, Awesome's hungry, Awesome's being held..... yep it's Awesome. I am beyond blessed to finally hold in my grasps a beautiful baby girl that we have affectionately named Awesome!

Life has been quite a blur lately but I can honestly say that it's been a good blur. Boys, baby, grandparents, husband and soon I'll be taking classes again :) Compared to so many other times I can say that the hustle and bustle has got me tired. No i think it's more like really exhausted but not the give up it isn't worth it kind but rather the fall into bed lets do it all again tomorrow kind.

So lets talk about the not so awesome.... Grams has Alzheimers and I have had the privilege of being around Gram a lot lately (that's the awesome part of the not so awesome) and while each moment is bitter sweet, for Grams it has become mostly bitter. She is very confused and very unhappy and while we all know it's not really Grams talking it's still a lot to swallow and hard on those who care for her.  I think I'd nominate my Mom for Sainthood for accepting the challenge of living with Gram and I'd love it if I could grant my Grandfather patience and a blind eye that would only see the good and be able to forget the bad times when she is wearing him out over returning home (where ever that may be for the day). I love the moments when she holds Awesome and is delighted and content, confident in her ability to sooth and rock her but like all good storms the rain gives way to thunder and lightening fast. Gram can quickly become irritated if Awesome is squirming or even whimpering and that requires quick evasive action to ensure that the irritation is not long lasting. Then there's the constant packing.... remember she's going home..... and the trips to the bathroom, and the questions........ oh the questions......

"Where's my purse? Is it raining outside? Where am I? Who's house is this? Why can't we go home? I have three kids right? Is this my table? What's today? What are we doing here? Why can't we go home?

It's most always confusion and frustration mixed with a total inability to grasp any of the answers so you just answer and wait to answer again! However in the middle of it all there is this sense of amazement..... there are moments when I'm exhausted and I think seriously what is the deal why would God even think about doing this to someone.... why would He think about putting people through this day in and day out...... it's a slow fade and she didn't get a choice in this...... so why?  Ultimately I can't answer that but what I can say is that I have never been so blessed..... there are these little moments throughout the day, little nuggets of gold gleaned from my grandparents that really can not be replaced by anything else....

So what do Awesome, Alzheimers and Anniversaries have in common? Moments...... they are moments..... and every moment counts.

One of the most blessed days I have had with my grandparents was the day of their 60th wedding anniversary. The day started out like any other...... they got up, got dressed and proceeded out to the living room for breakfast and medicine..... socks and shoes..... all the normal daily grind that we face. Like any other day a trip to town is a great thing to do when you have nothing else on your schedule so we loaded up in the car and headed to Shreveport ( I think that's where we went lol ) and like any other day I expected a quiet ride, grandpa typically sleeps and grandma sits quietly in the back talking to Awesome.

Gram quietly asked from the back seat, "what's today" and Grandpa answered her "it's our 60th wedding Anniversary!" Sixty years Gram exclaimed, "I can't believe you've put up with me that long". Grandpa responded "I think it's been the other way around!"  About thirty minutes later Grandpa began to tell Grandma moment by moment the events of their wedding day..... where they were as each minute passed in the car as the timeline of the day passed it was met with little word pictures of their wedding day from start to finish..... from dressing and hair to the preachers prayer to lines from their vows...... every now an then he would say "do you remember that" and sometimes should would respond.... I remember..... Listening to him tell her the event he knew so clearly that her mind would no longer allow her to retain, the gentle reminder of a day so sacred that most think they will never forget it, at least not by choice and yet here Gram sat 60 years in and almost clueless to their accomplishment..... Moments...... simple moments.... What a blessing it was for me to hear the love and dedication on that day.... a private time in the car that had I not been driving I would never have heard the delicate interchange of love.......

All the while as I help my Gram it makes me think of a southern gospel song that over the years I have loved so dearly....... it goes like this....

Hold tight to the sound of the music of living,
Happy songs from the laughter of children at play;
Hold my hand as we run through the sweet fragrant meadows,
Making mem'ries of what was today.
Chorus: We have this moment to hold in our hands
and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand;
Yesterday's gone and tomorrow may never come,
But we have this moment today.
Tiny voice that I hear is my little girl calling,
For Daddy to hear just what she has to say;
And my little son running there by the hillside,
May never be quite like today.
Tender words, gentle touch and a good cup of coffee,
And someone who loves me and wants me to stay;
Hold them near while they're here and don't wait for tomorrow,
To look back and wish for today.
Take the blue of the sky and the green of the forest,
And the gold and the brown of the freshly mown hay;
Add the pale shades of spring and the circus of autumn,
And weave you a lovely today.

Gram can no longer weave her "lovely today" but on that day Grandpa did something for her by weaving her a lovely day. I hope that as I age I will have and experience the same opportunities to hold tight to the moments with my family to weave memories for myself and for others and if and when my mind disappears someone will be there to weave me a lovely day......

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