For months, we’ve been retreating, letting go, moving on, saying “adios” to activities, friendships, and family events that no longer fit us.
I say “we’ve been retreating,” but, in truth, it’s only me.
there is usually a moment of realization, a painful awareness that our life no longer matches up with the lives of others. I decide to stop attending a particular gathering because the combination of my blindness and my wife’s diminishing attention span makes it awkward for us to participate. I decide to avoid family get togethers because the adults can’t deal with my babbling wife and the kids find us boring. I stop visiting friends because my wife’s constant need for attention makes conversation with others impossible.
More and more, we are by ourselves in our small world. Yes, we are fortunate that this world is comfortable, safe, and offers us pleasant opportunities to walk amidst beautiful surroundings. We are also fortunate that there are a few warm hearted, compassionate folks who welcome us into their lives. Still, I can’t pretend that I don’t find this retreat process depressing.
More and More, I feel like I’m backing into the future, spending more time looking behind than ahead, thinking more about all the things we can no longer do, than appreciating the possibilities we still have.
Yes, I have an attitude problem. I am still struggling with letting go of what blindness keeps me from doing and accepting the reality of my wife’s dementia. In dark moments, find comfort in the stories of other bloggers in similar situations and their supportive feedback.
I have survived and grown through many perilous and difficult times and trust these experiences have prepared me for the challenges I now face.
But I’ve never climbed a mountain like this before.