It’s been a couple of months since I have written in this blog and I’m not really certain why. Perhaps I was trying to forget the past year and the heartache that it has brought to my wife. Maybe I was thinking that if I didn’t write about it than it isn’t real. Or maybe I was hoping for the doctors to call and say that they had made a mistake and I really didn’t have Dementia. Maybe the predictive timeframe in which this disease will progress is wrong, and that I will be around for many more years instead of the few that they are suggesting.
In many respects the past year has been but a blur. I have been to more doctor’s offices than I care to remember or count, and am taking more pills in a day than should be legal, so that I can maintain some sense of normalcy. Having my wife home during school vacation now during the days is a treat. The days are long while she is teaching, and I am left home most of the time to fend for myself. I feel fortunate that I am still at a point where I can be alone, though I know the time is approaching when my wife will no longer allow me to do this on my own. I feel like I am doing fine but it is the small underlying things that I am, or am not doing that I don’t see, but my wife does, that is subtly showing the progression of this disease.
I know most people ask “why” when something like this happens to them or someone they love, but I haven’t done that. As a matter of fact I have done just the opposite and thanked God that if anyone in our family had to have this, than I was glad it was me. I believe that through every life event there is a lesson, and if you don’t learn from every obstacle than it was a wasted trial. I’m not certain what the lesson is by sending me on this journey, by shortening my life here on this earth and taking me away from the one thing that makes me who I am am. I haven’t asked as to the fairness in how this is affecting my wife, frankly because there is no fairness. She is being robbed of a husband and golden years. Retirement together will not happen for us in the “normal” sense, but she will have to rely on her memories.
Before I lost my job, as a result of this disease, I used to work 60 plus hours a week while maintaining all my lawns, yards, gardens, and all the other household duties, while also mowing all the lawns on the main farm for my in-laws. I do well to put in 6 hour days now, which leaves me bushed.
I have decided that next summer is going to be much different as I am determined to create new memories with my wife, ones that she will be able to hold on to during the most difficult days, after I am either put into a Memory Care Facility or gone. Going to the ocean and walking on the beach is far more important than weeding the garden. Taking a ride along the coast and stopping at a roadside food stand for a lobster roll is far more important than mowing the lawn. And camping for the weekend with the kids is more important than stacking firewood. Family is so sacred, and I love mine so much. We have been with each other 24/7 this past week and I have absolutely loved it. She is more than my wife, she is my best friend and support system. I know that she is my biggest fan and that there is nothing that she wouldn’t do for me, and there is nothing on earth that I wouldn’t do for her.
Life can sometimes feel unfair, but we are never promised a tomorrow. We need to appreciate the time we have been given and not take one second for granted. My wife is going to get my undivided attention for as long as I am able to do so, and when I am no longer able to communicate, than it is my prayer that she will still be able to understand my love for her by looking deep into my eyes and seeing that our love can never die.