My Dementia Diary 99 – From a Distance

It has been weeks since our daughter has taken my wife to live with her. Weeks of sorrow, tears, and loneliness, but also time to rest, to heal, to wonder. 

Did I do my best to care for my wife?

What about all those explosions, those moments of frustration? 

Yes, I slipped and fell many times, but I got back up, I learned to be more patient and understanding with her and with myself. 

I’ve learned that love is not perfect. We do our best to be loving, to care for those dear to us, but sometimes actions don’t measure up to intentions.

Sometimes we fail to be as loving as we want to be. I certainly did. Yet, on a journey such as caregiving for a loved one with dementia, such failures must be forgiven because most of us have never had to care for someone whose mind is being eaten away by dementia even though their body seems to be unaffected.

This has been my biggest challenge. I’d be walking with my wife, holding her hand, hearing her whistling in delight at passing birds, and think to myself, what could possibly be wrong.

And then she’d ask me if we could go visit her mom while we were out walking, the mom who lives two thousand miles away.

She’s here but she’s not.

And the part of her who isn’t here will never be back again.

It seems there are some things we will never understand. I don’t understand dementia and why it had to take my wife away. 

But, I do know I love her dearly and all I can do is care for her as best I can. 

tio stib

You might also appreciate: Forgiveness; My Dementia Diary

 

Forgiveness, the Greatest Gift

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

-Mark Twain

I made a mistake this year, something which has caused me much inner turmoil. A guy failed to honor a business agreement with me and, quite upset, I spent weeks trying to get him to repay his debt. Despite my many suggestions, he never did, and I couldn’t let it go. As he wasn’t going to change, the only thing left to do was change myself.

Fortunately, the Universe filled my need with a prompt from Pope Francis, who recently opened the Catholic Church’s “Year of Mercy.” As I understand it, (I’m not Catholic), this time allows for all who have sinned to enter the Church and be forgiven. The power of this message rang true with me.

It was time for me to forgive, not just the guy who had faulted me, but myself for my own many faults. After making a conscious act of forgiveness, I am blessed with peace.

Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

-Marianne Williamson, “return to Love”

This Christmas season, please consider the greatest gift of all, for without peace there is no joy.

Forgive

May Peace be with you.

Tio Stib Signature

 

As Christmas approaches, I’m aware that another year is coming to an end. I’m also aware, perhaps more than in the past, of how I feel about my actions in recent months. Being blind has left me much time to think, which, properly focused, can be a good thing.

Although I generally feel good about how I’ve lived this year, I know I can do better at being humble, respecting all life, and paying more attention to the feelings of those around me. I also have one nagging doubt that has bounced around in my brain for weeks, a doubt about how I handled a business situation.

I entered into an agreement with a guy who promised to translate my new book in a set time and then didn’t do the work. I was quite upset as he hadn’t bothered to tell me he was unable to complete the job. I was more upset when he failed to refund the deposit he’d also promised.

I emailed him repeatedly, trying to keep the high ground and suggesting it would be best for him to honor his commitment to repay his debt. As of this moment, that has not happened.

What do I do, was the question I could not answer until this week. Obviously, this guy was not going to change, but I could. I was reminded of Pope Francis and the start of the Catholic Church’s “Year of Mercy.” My heart knew what I had to do.

It was my time to forgive.

I’ve had a tendency in my life to forgive slowly and forget even slower. Although I’m not a Catholic, nor even a Christian, I do believe that part of the beauty of the Christmas season is the spirit of joy it radiates. I know that I can only be truly joyous, and so radiate such joy to others when I forgive all those who have faulted me.