Hi Lyn, I'm sorry to have been away for so long, but I hope you can understand that it is coming up to a year since Jean passed on. You may be aware that I'm writing the sequel to 'Lonesome Stray' and I'm finding it such hard work. There are times I wish I had been given an education, that way I could get my story down quicker and with less effort. I have a burning passion to let people read my story as I'm sure a lot can benefit from it. It can not be just a story about
Alzheimer's alone because without the evidence of what I did alone 24/7 365 days for almost five years would be considered impossible. To-date I'm half way through my story and strange as it may seem I'm looking forward to covering the Alzheimer's road part. I look in on your site from time to time and note caregivers keep repeating the same questions and make the same statments. Like 'every patient is different'. My answer to that is, every single person is different. In my case I know the chances of coming accross someone like me would be very unlikely.
It's because of who I am that I was able to enyoy caring for the girl that was the first person to introduce me to the meaning of love. My life was enriched in so many ways by being granted the wonderful privilege of caring for the special girl that took on this abandoned stray 55years earlier and married me 3yrs later. What would I have done extra? Though I'd known her since she was 17, while she could still speak I would have tried harder to learn more about her life as a child. I'll never know how hard it must be for a daughter, son, grand daughter etc, to realy know who their loved one is/was. At 77yrs old I know that if anyone tried to 'put me away' I sure as hell would fight for my life. But then I would, because I was 'put away' by a judge for 14 yrs as a two year old.
The pain of seeing Alzheimer's patients in a NH still haunts me. One clear picture is of a lady with her hair falling out, no teeth, her face brused and battered. When I looked into her eyes the wear of years fell away and there was still the lovley young girl. Without thinking I did something I could never do, I put my arms about her in an embrace and cried. All through my years of incarceration I had never experienced an embrace and until meeting Jean.
By the way I'm still out running every morning. I may be on my own, but I value the control of my life. We tend to forget that growing old brings changes, it's the same road for Alzheimer's victims only their road is full of pot holes and boulders. Some people state: 'Why me?' I say: 'Why not me?' We can't pick the way we go. Some say: 'He/she always cries when I visit' I become overwhelmed with emotion when people are kind to me. They are tears of joy. Savour the NOW, what will be will be. Hope this is not too long a post.
May your God go with you. Padraig