Thursday, October 2, 2014

an angel at my doorstep

she's got alzheimer's.
i'm just on the side lines.
no voice in anything.
just standing around the edges.
only touching in here and there.

and still, i find it one of the hardest things i've ever experienced.

there is no safe spot with this.
no solid ground anywhere.
there is no certain way to act to keep her happy.
seems everything i do makes her cranky.

the person i once knew is gone.
and any real communicating now seems impossible.

and then there's a good day.
when that's all changed.

and my head whirls. 
there's some relief.
i think maybe it's gonna be okay for a little while.
and then poof.
back to it.
and heartbreak.

last nite, after a frustrating round,
i hung up the phone and tried to keep from falling apart.

i was in the middle of filling an order.
so i went back to it.
with quite the renewed energy.

all the pent up stress was coming out as i packed.
i talked out loud to myself.
telling myself i handled that wrong.
telling myself i handle it wrong every time.
telling myself that's because there is no 'right' way that's going to make this okay.
the whole thing feels wrong.
reminding myself i'm doing my best and that my heart is still open.

my dreams were weird and disturbing.

this morning on the treadmill, i moved with a vigor that only happens
when life gets to be too much for me and i have to move out some of that energy.

but sitting and looking out the window just now,
for this moment at least,
i know without a doubt this is something that's gonna grow me in a way i need to be grown.

there is no solid ground.
nothing makes sense.
if that's how i feel,
i can't even imagine how she feels.

i have always wanted to grow strong enough to stay open in the midst of the
ugly. to keep loving when it felt pointless, to believe in my actions even when
they didn't make sense to anyone else, and to hold compassion even when it felt
too exhausting.

i have a feeling i'm sitting in a classroom right now
and that this is truly just elementary school.

i know bigger lessons await me in all this. and in the course of my life.
so i'm thinking i need to dig in, pay attention, and try my best.

here's an angel at my doorstep,
beckoning me to grow.


diane in ar said...

It is one of the hardest, saddest things to witness someone you know/love develop Alzheimers or dementia - you just be the best you can be to them always and in your heart keep the memories of who they were, how they were. . .when they knew. . .

hugs and thanks for letting us share in your growing. . .

terri st. cloud said...

thanks, diane. so much.

margy said...

Alzheimers is indeed a crappy disease. My dad had it, and in part because I lived far away, he did not know me at all at the end - but he had always been the most gentle soul in my life, spoiled me absolutely rotten and I adored him beyond measure. We were also blessed that the angry, paranoid personality was never show to us.
Wednesday, while working at my sister's adult family home I watched 2 alzheimers patients - one a gentleman very deep in thought trying to figure out how best to fold washcloths and put them in particular piles, the other sitting and hitting the chair p.o.'d beyond measure and when asked said her parents left and didn't even say goodbye (they're both deceased) and earlier in the day had been yelling because her jewelry was gone (she was wearing several pieces and others were brought out to her, but she stayed p.o.'d).What I try to do is look beyond what they're doing and stare into their eyes looking for their soul - I saw the gentleman's, but not the lady's - that seems to put the illness on a different plane.

terri st. cloud said...

margy, i'm sorry you've experienced it. and oh so glad you didn't get that angry paranoid stuff. it's so sad. yeah, my experiences here are more like the lady you described. hard...and so heartbreaking.....sighing here......