Friday, January 23, 2015

a bad week

I have started this post many times and deleted it. this time it is going to be published whether it is "polished" or not.

as my Alzheimer's progresses my emotions get out of control. My feelings get hurt very easily. I have written before how it has been hard for me to let go of things. I don't know why I can't keep my emotions in check. I don't know if I am imagining things, reading into things wrong, or just losing it at times. But it really affects me when I am left out, forgotten or people just don't care enough, when I have put my heart and soul into a friendship that people do some of the things they do. If I say something to them, they think I am being petty -- but it isn't petty to me. We all have our thresholds I guess and mine is pretty low.

a couple of weeks ago I had two funerals in one day. It brought sorrow and joy into my life -- sorrow for losing two individuals  so young, but joy to know how well they were loved and by getting to see so many people that helped celebrate their life. Tomorrow brings yet another funeral. I guess as we get older, funerals become the norm, but it is still hard.

This week I suffered a head injury and the doctor has deemed it a concussion. Can't say I have ever had one of those, but it isn't pleasant.

Also this week I sat down and wrote several letters -- yes, actual letters. I like writing letters "the old fashioned way". One of the letters was to a man that I went to college with that has had a lasting affect on me. Every time I went back to Illinois I would say I want to go by and see him. I never got around to it. so, I finally decided to sit down and tell him what our friendship meant to me and how he showed me a different way of thinking and how grateful I was to have had him as a friend. I am glad I did that.

I am hoping next week will be better.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Another year

is in the books and we are greeting 2015. I started reflecting on the last year and was going to write all kinds of things, but realized they are probably only meaningful to me so I am going to spare you from that post right now.

But the past year took many people from my life and probably yours as well.  And, sickness has overcome many and some are not looking at real bright outcomes. I guess as we age that is to be expected.  I am so thankful I am here so long after my Alzheiemer's diagnosis.  I guess that is why I seem to define my life in "time".  Time matters. We take it for granted.  I want to spend my time doing things that matter to me not because someone expects it of me.  Everyone defines their life differently and as we mature we change those definitions every now and then.  Although my husband would never admit it, he defines his life by things.....what he has, what he wants, what he doesn't have.  He likes to be able to touch things, covet things and get better things.  I know that probably stems from not having much growing up. And, I'm sure that my definition comes from never feeling like I had time to be with some members of my family -- like my dad.  My father always worked nights so he was home when we were in school and then he would be off to work when we came home.  I know I worked alot when my son was growing up and wasn't around as much as I wanted to be and I regret that.  I know that he probably does too. So, it is something I will continue to work on -- to be there for my friends and family as best as I am able to.

For Christmas this year, I asked for nothing other than time.  I asked my son to spend time with me on Mother's Day (the actual day of Mother's Day).  I know that sounds silly but sometimes due to circumstances (or distance) we weren't together and I was bothered by that.  The actual day shouldn't make a difference, but for some reason I can't let that go.  So, for Christmas my son has already made arrangements for us to be together on Mother's Day.  From my husband, I asked for acknowledgement. I asked that he acknowledge my birthday this year. That sounds pretty silly too - doesn't it?  But it doesn't cost anything and I will be grateful if he will do this.

Speaking of letting it go -- I have had a hard time with that this year.  I think I have had a drastic shift in my thinking on this.  For so many years, I let things go that bothered me because I didn't want to confront it, didn't want to deal with or just couldn't be bothered.  But then I found it festering in me and getting upset with myself that I didn't deal with certain things and then found myself resenting people because of my inaction.  So now, I'm holding on to things too long and becoming frustrated so I have to find a happy medium.  Hopefully, I can do that soon. 

I am so thankful for my friends.  I have made a lot of new friends this year and it has opened up some things for me that I didn't think were possible.  I am truly grateful for that.

I have had to make quite a few changes in my life this year and that hasn't been comfortable for some of those around me.  But, it has freed me up and I guess I am to the point where I am selfish enough now, to do things for me -- not others.  It has taken me almost 60 years to figure that out -- but better late than never -- right?

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I am here

I know it has been awhile since I have written.  I just haven't been able to put my words down.  I think about what I am going to write and then I just can't get the words to go from my head to the page.  Lots of things have been going on -- not bad things -- but just a lot for me to keep track of.  Not doing the "multi-task" things so well anymore so everything just seems to pile up in my brain and I can't sort through anything.

Since I last wrote we have been to my son's in Atlanta for Thanksgiving. We shared the day with my great niece who goes to Emory in Atlanta, my daughter-in-laws parents and her sister.  It was a great day....quiet and Jen and Alan did the cooking so it was an easy day for me.

Last weekend we spent time in Memphis with my nephew Jonathan and my sister-in-law Fran.  Jonathan ran his first marathon there.  I was so proud of him.  He ran in the St. Jude marathon.  Many years ago my great nephew had leukemia and was treated by St. Jude.  When Jonathan was looking for a marathon he chose the St. Jude charity as they had helped our family so much.  Jonathan came down from Champaign Illinois and brought his mom -- Fran. I was so glad she could come as she has been pretty much housebound the past six years caring for my oldest brother who passed away this summer.  We rented a house while in Memphis and spent some time catching up and enjoying Jonathan's accomplishments. But it was a tiring weekend and it took me all week to rest up after the long drive to Memphis. 

Now that Christmas is almost upon us, I am trying my best to stay with my routine but it is hard.  I feel like I am a "day late and dollar short" with all the things I want to do, but feel overwhelmed.  I've asked my family for no presents this year, as I really don't need anything and I just want time with my family.  That is more precious to me and the best gift of all.


Monday, November 17, 2014

November has been a busy month with it being Alzheimer's Awareness month.  Thanks to all the groups that have had me come to speak to their members.  There has been lots of good conversations and questions coming from these groups. 

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'm grateful I can still share my story. And, I appreciate all that will listen.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Walk To End Alzheimer's


This morning was our annual Walk To End Alzheimer's.  Thanks to all my family and friends that came out to walk.  Our team raised over $17,000 toward the cause!  Thanks so much!  Pictured above is me with my son Alan and UGA Women's Basketball Coach Andy Landers.  Coach Landers was gracious for walking with us and allowing the UGA Women's Basketball team to help with the Walk.  So proud to be a Lady Bulldog Fan!  Thanks to everyone who donated to the Walk -- I really appreciate your support!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Still Alice -- the Movie

I couldn't help but post this review from Variety about my friend Lisa Genova's film adaptation of Still Alice.  It got rave reviews at the Toronto Film Festival and it will be in contention for Oscar season.  So proud of Lisa and for everyone involved with the film.
Still Alice movie review from Variety

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Alzheimer's Awareness events

I have had two speaking engagements in the last couple of weeks -- thanks to my new friends in Madison Georgia and the First Presbyterian group here in Athens.  I so appreciate you asking me to speak to your groups and meeting all of you.  Thanks for wanting to learn more about Alzheimer's and helping to spread the word about this dreaded disease.
 
A dear friend of mine, Kathy Davis, is holding an Alzheimer's fundraising awareness event at her church on Saturday October 11th. It will be held at Moon's Grove Baptist Church, 1985 Moon's Grove Church Road in Colbert Georgia from 11am to 1 p.m. The event will feature jewelry sales (all proceeds go to the Walk to End Alzheimer's), gel nail manicures, raffles and lots of fun for everyone.  Information about Alzheimer's will be available. Also, my friend Kathy will be walking with us this year in the Walk To End Alzheimer's....see below.  She is asking everyone that comes to the event to bring a framed photo in honor or in memory of someone they know that has (had) Alzheimer's.  Kathy wants to then take a photo of all the photos gathered at the event and carry this photo with her in the walk.  She also wants families to sign a t-shirt she will wear on the day of the walk to remember and honor all of her friends and their families that are dealing with Alzheimer's.  It sounds like a great event and I would encourage all of those living out near Colbert to take a few minutes and go by Moon's Grove Baptist Church on Saturday October 11th and say hello to Kathy and do your part to End Alzheimer's. 1985 Moon's Grove Church Road - Colbert, GA 30628  -  706-7
 
This year's Athens Walk To End Alzheimer's is Saturday October 25th. Thanks to all who have contributed to make our team-- Team Athens the top team for Athens so far. If you still want to donate to the cause you may do so here -- any amount is appreciated!
 

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's been awhile

I've had so many things going on, so many thoughts in my head, I couldn't get them down on paper.  So many things I have wanted to write about, but getting them out of the brain and through my fingers to the keyboard has been impossible the last few weeks.  I keep making notes of things I want to write about but then when it comes time to sit down and process all the information -- the "processing" fails.  Some days it is like that.....hard to express what you want to say......hard to even say the things you want to say.

I panic when I can't get the thoughts organized in my brain enough to share them.  I think "this is the beginning of the end", "I'll never be able to have a rational thought in my brain". But, eventually, the thoughts become clearer and sharper.......for now.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The heat

has returned.  As you can see by this photo -- we have a friendly deer that comes to get the water out of the watermelon rind we put outside. This is right outside our back door.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Vacations

I am currently in Bar Harbor Maine.  I am enjoying the scenery, the lobster and the beautiful weather. my son is Iceland, enjoying the scenery, beautiful weather, glaciers, volcanoes and hot spas. who has the better deal here?