do I miss her laughing voice yes my heart cries out straining to hear her call in the silence do I miss the rose petal scent of her softness yes each breath aching to know her once more do I miss the way she tossed her hair her playful smile that said I’m beautiful do I miss her reaching out to take my hand to dance with me in blissful oneness yes always with every heartbeat but most of all I miss her whispering as her lips touched mine mio tio stib You might also enjoy: The Memory of a Single Rose; My Dementia Diary
it is quiet
as I offer my thanks
for the bounty of blessings
that fill my life
a week of good people
food on the table
money in the bank
health and wellness
hearts that care
I am truly blessed
and I wonder
does God care if I get out of bed today?
there were times
moments walking down my road
times I felt the grace of God
a smile that called me out to play
a word that brightened up my day
a secret kiss
a voice divine
a view sublime
a dream of peace for all mankind
in life’s winter sun
there were times
when I was dearly loved
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in the muck of news’ day platitudes
I’ve lost my cheery attitude
midst hate and anger screamed and spewed
what happened to beatitudes
but past these ugly, mindless feuds
beyond behavior simply rude
there is another world that can be viewed
in Nature’s holy latitude
in this world outside our doors
flowers dance, birds sing, and oceans roar
a world that heeds not human news
where souls soar high on gratitude
2016, 2019, 2020
Yes, dementia sucks and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but living with dementia has also brought blessings. The experience of being my wife’s caregiver has pushed me to be a better person, challenged my ability to love and forced me to be humble.
We have received help from family, friends, and unexpected places, good people who have stepped up when we needed assistance. In a world that often seems filled with cynicism and negativity, I have been given renewed faith in the basic goodness of human beings.
We’ve had the sweet perfume of roses and buzz of hummingbirds just outside our door.
We have a A treasure chest of wonderful memories from our life together that lights up dark days.
Although dementia is slowly taking my wife’s mind away, it has not taken her cheerfulness. Her joyful smile continues to light up my life.
I’ve never known a more perfect example of love than my wife, my Maria, she is my hero. I could not have been more blessed than to find her smiling face in front of me when I opened the front door that fateful day a dozen years ago.
It’s too easy to forget all we have to be grateful for so I’m stopping to do so today-
Today’s Gratitude List-
My wife’s constant joy for life, and, in spite of her diminishing mental capacity, her ever present love radiating out to everyone she meets.
Our excellent physical health, strong and vital bodies that take us out into the world on foot each day.
Family and friends who reach out regularly to share their love and care for us.
A small town life that is safe, convenient, and filled with beauty.
A home that fits us in every way.
Money in the bank, no debts, and enough income each month to meet expenses.
Health insurance, including a caring and intelligent doctor who cares for both of us.
Advanced technology that lets us connect with friends and family and allows me to write and publish for a worldwide audience.
Fresh tomatoes for BLTs.
The smell of roses by the door.
My wife’s delighted descriptions of hummingbirds buzzing about the feeder.
A treasure chest of wonderful memories to light up dark days.
Lastly, dementia is taking my wife’s mind slowly, enabling us to make the most of the life we still have.
Yes, I could go on and on, but I’ve written enough, thought enough, to be reminded that despite our life challenges, we’ve got a lot of good going for us.
“Tis the season of returning Spring vacationees, folks coming back from school breaks and family outings, eager to share the stories of their adventures. I force myself to smile and say, “how nice.” But it’s easy to be resentful.
Sure, cross country skiing through pristine trails in the mountains, drinking margaritas at sunset on a Hawaiian beach, or visiting the the wonderful museums in Washington, D.C., sounds like fun.
If you’re not blind and caring for a wife with dementia.
Sour grapes? Totally, which is why I work hard not to fall into the resentment trap.
After all, how many people get up in the morning with money in the bank, no debt, and food in the refrigerator? How many people go for a leisurely walk each morning in a comfortable climate through a safe and friendly small town, past sweet smelling flowers and singing birds, and listen to the gentle lap of waves on a beach?
Our adventures may not be as grand and exciting as the returning vacationees, but ours are no less delightful.
I’m better off being grateful for what we have, than resenting what we don’t.
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Today’s gratitude list-
our good health and well being
a comfortable home that fits us perfectly
living in a safe town in a free country
clear air to breathe, clean water to drink
phone calls from caring family
the Brocks, our compassionate neighbors
hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies
our daily walk adventures
digital music from Beethoven to Arkenstone
a computer that defies blindness and lets me write
a life full of smiling memories
audio books and my writing mentors
2012, our honeymoon year
a tasty club sandwich
playing the banjo
hearing my wife whistling
snuggles and wet kisses
and another birthday, happy, happy!
There is a clock sitting on the shelf near our bed. It belonged to my mom’s dad and was passed on to me, making it my grandfather’s clock. Over a hundred years old, this timepiece is relatively small, meant to be set on a fireplace mantle, but it has a surprisingly vibrant chime. There are no batteries within, its mechanism driven by a coiled brass spring, which I wind weekly with a dozen turns of a key. For this effort, I am rewarded with a melodious chime counting out each and every hour.
I take comfort from these chimes, from the tick-tock of the ever swinging pendulum, an aroused awareness that time is now. I wonder if my grandfather, my mother, other family members, felt a similar connection.
I’ve lived more than 600,000 hours so far, a surprising number when I attempt to remember the breadth of my life experience. what happened to all those hours? The more important question, what will I do with the hours I have left?
Each tick of that clock is a moment I will never have again.
How many more chimes are left in my life?
How blessed I am to have had so many hours of being.
As my wife sleeps peacefully beside me, I again find comfort in the tick-tock of time, past, present, and future, and I drift away in hopes of hearing the morning chimes once more.
There’s an old folk song that beautifully expresses my sentiments, perfectly named, “My Grandfather’s Clock.” Here’s a link to a Johnny cash rendition
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After several weeks of blustery cool and wet weather, today dawned warm with azure skies. We started out on our daily walk with one less layer of clothes. I’d even gone so far as abandoning my jeans for shorts. The Spring air, the melodies of newly arrived songbirds, my wife’s constant flow of delighted descriptions of happenings around us, was blissful.
I was suddenly struck with how fortunate we are to have the life we live, a peaceful and safe town closely connected to Nature, nearby friends and convenient walking access to all our daily needs, a comfortable and affordable home.
Given the challenges dementia and blindness present us, it’s hard to imagine how we could have a better living situation.
On top of these blessings, is the gift of still being able to share the simple joys of living in such a perfect place with my wife. True, we no longer have any sort of deep intellectual conversations, yet we can enjoy the little things. Ice cream cones and hot dogs. Tea and cookies. Hummingbirds at the feeder. the honks of Canada geese flying overhead. The smell of the beach at low tide. The laughs of children at the playground. “Hllos” and “How are yous” with neighbors and passersby.
My wife has become my eyes. through her childlike curiosity and delight, I am able to enjoy the world around us.
For this, I am deeply grateful.
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