I wonder sometimes about the life that I have led up to this point, and if what I have around me is deserved? The wife that I have had for almost 28 years, the three children, 2 grandchildren? Or the home that I live in and the acreage surrounding me? Then there is the materialistic “stuff” like a garage full of tools, lawn mowers, vehicles etc…? Do the materialistic things that people possess really define who a person is? Sadly, I think it does.
My wife and I tried for over two years to purchase the house that we live in now. It was a foreclosure that involved multiple banks and was a complete fiasco. Fortunately, my father-n-law who is Real Estate savvy, was able to guide and direct us through the process of purchase. We moved in on Thanksgiving weekend, back in 2010. We were finally secluded and out of the hustle and bustle of the farm where we had been for the prior 23 years. We built a new house on the farm back around 2000 or 2001 and sold it to my brother and sister-n-laws who had been living off the farm in a neighboring town. It was a great move for both our families and allowed us to finally be by ourselves and have our own identity away from the farm. It is sometimes very hard to escape the everyday comings and goings of a very active farm, when there is a progressive compost business, a thriving maple syrup supplies business, a sawdust business, a maple syrup business, and multiple apartment complexes and many business district buildings. We were finally alone and plenty of breathing room that we had never had before because we were surrounded by so many businesses.
We were hit with news that neither my wife of myself could have ever been prepared for. I was fired from my job of 17 years for forgetting things one too many times. I had been noticing for some time that I was becoming forgetful but always attributed to the fact that I was tired, I was getting older having just turned 48 years old, and my workload was becoming heavier and faster paced. This was totally new ground for me, and my wife. In a single morning we lost half of our income, literally. My wife is a school teacher and we both knew we couldn’t pay our bills on a single income. Due to many health problems that I have accumulated over the years we decided to apply for disability and was denied twice. I went seven months before finally landing another job doing the same thing I had done for the first company and I was elated.
I was holding my own at the new company for the first month but then started falling apart there as well. I was once again starting to forget things and my co-workers could see it. They addressed it with me and I assured them that I could get back on task and not to worry. Much to my dismay, it was starting to happen on a daily basis now and my coworkers suggested I seemed to be having trouble holding onto my short term memory but could recall things easily from years past. This employer also had to let me go, though they did it with so much more class than the people did where I worked for 17 years. I made an appointment with my doctors and after many tests it was revealed that the frontal lobes of my brain had dead and dying parts and I had a condition called FTD (not the flower people) or Frontal temporal Dementia.
So as we continue to adjust to a new normal, we are slowly drifting apart. It’s subtle at first, and some days I would swear that I was in fact “normal”. But, the truth of the matter is I am losing ground every day. I’m not mad about this anymore, as I feel for the most part I have accepted the “what is” and have resolved to try and make the best out of every opportunity. If I don’t learn something from this experience than it is a wasted experience. I hope that my wife and family realize how very much I love them and how important they are to me. It appears I may be blazing the trail to Heaven for my direct family, but know that I will most assuredly be reunited with them once more someday.