My dearest son is coming out from California on Monday to spend his last one-one week with Jerry. It will be a bitter sweet week. I am praying for God’s presence to be evident through precious memories, resolution, and peace. The girls will be coming down over the weekend and we will all participate in moving Jerry’s things to his new home. Homeplace has a weekly gospel sing and short devotion every Monday at 1:30. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Jerry will enjoy that. He loves the old hymns. They bring warm fuzzies to his heart. With IVAN singing at the top of his lungs, it won’t be sad....it will be happy! What a gift! I’m going to take Jerry to the sing this Monday. On January 31, I’m going to take him again along with my kids. We’ll be there as a family and I am praying that the sadness will be replaced with joy. If possible, I’d like to leave Jerry there at that time. I know he will be feeling happy. BUT, I’M OPEN IF GOD HAS OTHER PLANS because He knows best. After all, he’s made it pretty obvious that he’s got it all mapped out.
A dear friend from the North Carolina Alzheimer Association asked if I was going to continue this blog after this part of the Alzheimer journey. The thought has been rumbling around in my mind. It might be a little anti-climatic, don’t you think? Perhaps, I’ll keep writing a couple of days a week, just to talk about Jerry’s adjustment. Those who are contemplating these steps which may be ahead in their journey, may want to know how it all pans out. However, we do need to move on and not get too comfy in the grief.
My children have expressed that this is so final and it feels like a death. That grieves my heart, because I lost my own father when I was 29. I know the loss. I lost my mother when I was 37. I know the loss. This will not be easy for them, however, they know it has to happen. My job is to continue living, not only for myself, but for my children and grandchildren. Jerry would want that. My job is to show my children that, with God’s help, WE can do this. Yes, there will be times of shock, loneliness... an empty house feeling. Yes, there will be times of guilt. But, now is the time to be steadfast and look forward. I am confident that Jerry will be in good hands and well cared for...probably better than I cared for him. Instead of “staying in my grief”, I’ve begun to make plans for the future. I’ve enrolled in an intensive three day portrait workshop conducted by this fabulous artist. It begins on February 10th. (Let’s just hope I can pick up a brush at that point.) Friends will be spending the night at my house...so there won’t be much room for crying. (maybe just a little bit.)
Moving right along. I hear footsteps coming....