Today you wonder … who I am
Tsunami’s strong … SLAM
Surges … knock me …down
Wearing … gloomy … frowns
Jump up … solid … on two feet
Head to toe … Blue … I greet
Reality battles … futile … war
Confusion reigns … forevermore
The mind … battleground … I see
The heart … always … room for me.
Copyright/ Sheila Grimes/ April 16, 2014
I’m sitting at my desk looking out the window, observing my Snoopy cat pouncing through bushes. Does he know Momma is no longer here on earth? Probably not, but he did like to purr up against her while she pet him. Some days she’d say scat cat! Some days she’d call him Sam (the cat she used to care for and worry about, now lives with her grand daughter Kayla). Such simple things to remember, but heart warming for me. I still have Snoopy cat, and the fact that Momma enjoyed him too, pleases me. I’m gathering items to send to various loved ones from Momma. I get so teary in her room (our spare room). What to do with her stuff, so I shut the door. I’m in and out a few times a week, and just absorb the sweet Momma smells. Not ready to clean it completely yet. Will take some clothes to give others at the facility where she’s been this last year. I’ve even thought of getting a small building and putting her stuff there, but, she’s not ever going to need it, so, will give it away to others who do. I hold Mary doll and get misty eyes. She’s my link to Momma, makes me remember when I was a kid and Momma was caring for me. We had little money for toys back then. I can’t remember a doll, but did have a stuffed little bunny I’d tie a string around the neck and bounce him along. So many memories. I’m so grateful to be able to return to work, even just a few days a week keeps me busy and feeling useful. Thank you Lord for Nursing, it’s a joy to do the job! When I quit to see about this Alzheimer’s Mission (caring for Momma), I had no idea I’d get so deep emotionally, it helped me to grow closer to her. I always saw Momma, just a changing Momma. She was so helpless, yet very strong, physically, spiritually, and willfully. Every Alzheimer’s person is unique, an accumulation of their years. I worked hard to become a Certified Dementia Practitioner to give back, the strength that Momma gave to me. Being around others who are losing or have lost a loved one in the fight, helps me cope. God has given me the tools, now just need prayers to know how, when and where to use them, my challenge.
Recently spent five days in upstate New York attending a family reunion. So much fun, laughter, and tears. Sadness for those who have ailments, disabling their lives, and happiness for those who are growing new families and enjoying the younger years. Spent some time with an older sister who spends three days a week having dialysis treatments (doing awesome, by the way). Rode with her to her appointment on a public transportation (trax bus), long and bumpy ride (but she seemed to enjoy the time talking to me and the driver she’d come to befriend. I met people who just wanted another day of life, another day to enjoy their families, another day. Seneca Lake welcomed me with cool nights and beautiful days, thanks to the hospitality of my sister S and bro-in-law G. Joined by another Bro and Sis and nieces. They always make room for all who come to the lake. I say thank you to them from the bottom of my heart. I was pretty weary by the time I got to the lake. The evening before I flew home, I walked the Gorge at Watkins Glen State Park (about 20-30-minute car ride from the cottage). It’s towering waterfalls, steep trails with stone steps were just a piece of this beautiful park, recreation, and historic preservation. My precious memories of this trip will be stored for future days when I miss my family, my arsenal!
The plane ride home was another story, leaving Syracuse, N.Y. 40 minutes late, caused me to miss my connection in Washington D.C. headed to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. After (what seemed) an eternity watching an attendant with flying fingers on a keyboard in front of me do her wonders, I was routed on a flight to Chicago, Illinois’ O’Hara airport, where I spent the night. Not enough time to find an appropriate bed, I tried napping in the airport, (NOT). But, I did meet some wonderful travelers and we shared time and experiences. The next morning at 5:54 A.M., I boarded for DFW. By then, I was way beyond tired. My restless legs wanted to dance all over the plane, which did not make the airline stewardesses happy. I smiled and danced for two hours to the Dallas airport (my routine medicine was in my bag I had sent ahead (what was I thinking!). Arriving in Dallas, still had a 2+-hour car ride to home. Thank you to my son for picking me up and to my husband for a smile and a wave as I literally stopped and flopped for a quick nap before going to see Mother. I missed her. I couldn’t help myself, my eyes were misty when I found her at the nurses medicine door holding her precious baby dolls. She didn’t quite make out who I was till I walked closer, then she sighed: Sheila Grimes! Yep, I’m home!
Caring is sharing/ Sheila Grimes/ July 26, 2015
Just me and my no thoughts. Some days I’m totally blank looking at Mother. It’s like … I’ve seen it all in the past 4 years and there is nothing new under the sun. My feelings (as I watch her) change, sometimes I see (feel) from a different perspective, usually I’m the daughter, sometimes I’m a friend, she calls me by name, but yet so many times, her stare tells me different. How sad this Alzheimer’s is. As she stumbles for words, I want to fill in her blanks, but I really don’t know what to fill in. I just hug her and tell her I love her. “I’ll see you tomorrow Mom”, I say to her every day. “I love you Mom”, I say to her every day. Because she’ll see me the next day, our parting is o.k. with her. For me, an endless goodbye.
Caring Is Sharing/June 25, 2015
We’ve been friends, prayer warriors through most of my adult life. When I had a problem, I’d call Momma and she’d pray for us. When she had a need, I’d pray for her. So many prayers answered between us, it’s awesome. God has seen us through. Now I gaze upon her and see that God is with her as she journey’s through this Alzheimer’s storm. Her baby dolls keep her from being lonely. You can be lonely with others around, and Momma has hearing difficulty, making her situation a challenge. Bought her dolls baby bunting hats and you’d have thought I’d spent gold. She was so appreciative. Her baby dolls are her strength, her drive to get up and going. I’m so thankful she has an out in this dreary disease. A lady passed away on Friday that I grew up around, played with her kids. She was my Moms best friends sister. Aunt Lillian Lis from New York. I’ve so many memories of Aunt Lillian (not an aunt by blood, but by love), she was kind to me. You never forget kindness. Thank you Jesus for kind people in my young life. They helped me become who I am. And who I am, helps me care for my sweet Mother.
Caring Is Sharing/ sg/ April 3, 2015
Have sad news today, one of my half sisters passed away. She was 79 years old. Mother was her step-mom for almost 20 years. Mother was just a few years older than the oldest of my Dad’s first kids. Now, I’d like to share this with her, we’ve talked about these first kids many times, but I can’t, no use. So I’m going to talk to you. Even though I haven’t seen JoAnn for years, my heart aches for her and her children’s loss. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. This was a turbulent time in my life. I was a snot nosed kid and Dad’s first kids were teens and young adults trying to make it in the world. They’d come home and leave again and come home etc. The younger ones had tougher lives in many ways. The three older sisters are still living, and the youngest brother. Now I love all these guys. I’ve only been close to the three oldest because they mothered me at some point in my life. When I was born, they were graduating from high school, dating and getting married, so their kids were like cousins. But I’m Aunt Sis to many … and I love it! My heart holds a special place for my half brothers and sisters. I was blessed to have grown up with two sisters Sharon and Meta and a brother Bill, and when my Mother remarried, David came along. So thankful for all these siblings. I guess what I’m trying to say is stay in touch with family, no matter what. They are a comfort through the years, and we’ve been blessed to have a life. Thank you Jesus for my dysfunctional family, each and every one. We just went different ways, different life styles. May God richly bless you all with loving families. Thank-you for listening.
Caring Is Sharing/sg/March 1, 2015
My favorite thing to do is to read this blog, your comments comfort me. Sometimes I just cry! Sometimes I shop, my husband tries to ease my sorrow! Sometimes I call siblings/or friends, there’s something to the phrase: misery likes company! Sometimes I go to the gym and walk, walk, walk! But always I go to my knees and talk to Jesus. I’m so thankful for my relationship with my God and my Lord. What do people do without Him? Thank you all for your kind words and prayers.
Caring Is Sharing/sg