A friend shared a quote the other day from It’s A Wonderful Life that I’ve been rolling around in my brain. I had been working on updating my site, re-watching old videos of this past year or so, and really feeling the two gaping holes near me on the couch. My eyes hurt from crying. I felt so damn alone, but then I kept re-reading this quote and I found it oddly comforting:
Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
I’ve tried to capture small moments to fill those gaping holes however and wherever I can. I so encourage anyone who is navigating the caregiving process to do the same.
Dad had been the primary caregiver of Rosie for years. Sadly, 85% of caregivers to those with ALZ die before the loved one affected. Stress can kill, folks. This was Dad’s scenario. We always thought he’d out-live Mom and have some golden years. As he put it months before he died, “Golden years, my ass.”
Rosie and Joe take a twirl to their all-time favorite Sinatra tune. This video was captured during one of the most challenging times in our family. Mom’s 10-day stay in the geriatric psych unit. Rosie’s ALZ plateaued for years–till it didn’t. Dad, being Dad, did the best he could. But once those hallucinations and paranoia started, we needed help regulating her medications. Finding what works is a process. I’ve learned so much about medication management and care as a result of this journey. It can be overwhelming doing it alone. I’m here to help.
In the midst of ALZ and Dad’s Cardiac Amyloidosis, we tell the truth and we love.
If you don’t laugh, you’re not gonna make it! As Dad’s illness progressed, Rosie saw him less and less but finding those small moments of love and laughter helped little by little.