As I sit here at my computer again I look across this beautiful landscape that God has allowed me to borrow. I cannot help but wonder how many other people in this world are doing the exact same thing right now. I am certain that there are many out there that are just like me, confused as to what it is that God put me here for and if I am in fact doing it? I wonder if there are people out there all around the world that wonder about the same things that I wonder about. There is a video on Youtube called: “Gods Love Letter to You.” It is remarkable, and really does ask the question about whether you are content in who you are, and if you feel complete, accepted and loved. I think we all go through times where we feel alone. Honestly, I am certain that I could not handle this Dementia journey without my faith in Jesus Christ. Today, I am at peace with it and really am not scared. But tomorrow might be an unsure day and I will have to convince myself and those around me that I really am okay after all. And then the next day…
I grew up on a small Dairy Farm in Albion, Maine. My parents are in heaven now, but they raised six kids on that little farm. I grew up with a strong work ethic that was instilled in me early by my parents. Being a teenager that couldn’t afford to go to college I entered the U.S. Navy where I was told later in my life that I came out of my shell. I was extremely shy and I never made eye contact with anyone while talking to them. I was that way in school most of the time, with the exception of a few friends. At the age of 16 I was introduced (over the phone) to who is now my wife. We grew up in different town’s, so we went to different schools. After that phone conversation a couple months went by and she sent me a letter. After a few more weeks she sent me a postcard that simply said “It’s your turn to write”, which I finally did do. Remember, I was shy then. Mail correspondence and 2-3 hour phone conversation’s became the norm for us.
My wife’s persistence led her to stop at my house one summer day and formally introduce herself. I now had more than a picture of her hanging on the wall, I had the real thing. She had on a pink shirt and jeans and I was absolutely awestruck. She was gorgeous. I, for the life of me, couldn’t believe that she was interested in me. I was just a poor boy that had no concrete future. I wasn’t going to college and she was. I figured for sure that if I were to ask her out I wouldn’t stand a chance. But… she said “yes” and we started dating at age 16. We’ve have been together ever since. We survived the long distance’s that separated us while I was in the Navy and she was in college. We got married at age 21 and started our family soon after. To this day, I still thank God for her every single morning and every single night. She is my equal and together we truly make one.
Our family has had it’s share of problems through the years, as marriage takes work. Raising children is not easy, especially during the teen years. I have a picture that reads on it “Raising teenagers is like trying to nail jello to a wall”, and that is so true. Today though, they are all soaring as young adults and we couldn’t be more proud of them. We have two grandchildren now with my son and his wife who live in Florida. We don’t see them nearly enough and would love to be able to be within driving distance of them. They are two thousand plus miles away so it is not just a little jaunt down the street, but maybe someday we will live closer.
I have had numerous accidents through the years and have been hospitalized more times than we can remember, once where it appeared I might not survive. The truth is that I wouldn’t have if I had not had a helmet on. During the weeks that I was in the hospital for that accident, my mother was in there too. She never made it home again as she died from cancer at the age of 59. It was also my wedding anniversary. I was devastated and attended her funeral in a wheelchair. That was twelve years ago, and since then I have also lost my father. I miss my parents but am comforted in the knowledge that I will see them again in heaven someday.
So, here I am at 48 and I can’t work. I forget things that people have told me often within minutes after I have been told, and I’m not aware that I have forgotten until somebody points it out to me. However, I think that I’m doing pretty well for the most part, at least as long as no one tells me that I have forgotten something. I am hoping that I can soon walk the woods of the maple syrup orchard and help to prepare the lines for the spring run. I am hoping that I will be able to physically handle the workload that this will entail. I am so tired now and know that I am not the work horse that I once was, but I’m not washed up yet. There is still so much left for me to do.
I am praying for a future that is absolutely flooded with blessings regardless of how much time I have to be able to understand. I am hopeful for lots of time with my whole family, time that is happy and full of laughter. I am going to be positive, kind, respectful, thoughtful, and take the time for friends and anyone else that wants to just chat for a while. I am going to spend as much time with my loved ones as I possibly can while I am of somewhat able mind. There is an endless list of journeys and adventures that I am going to have with my wife. I want people to know how very much I appreciate them, and how much I love them. Again, I want them to know that right now while I can express it instead of having them have to guess at what I’m thinking. I am going to have a great rest of my life.