When at the gym the other night, I was asked, “How’s your husband?” I immediately said, “Don’t make me cry.” (in jest, sort of.) She mentioned she’s wanted to ask, but didn’t know what to say. I immediately told her how much I appreciated her asking. It reminds me that there are people who genuinely have concern. It reminds me that I’m not walking this alone. I would encourage anyone who knows anyone in this situation, to ASK. As a caregiver, there have been many times that I have been tired of repeating the story. So many of us, need to time be “without” Alzheimers....live a day “without” thinking of Alzheimers....a day when the word doesn’t even enter our mind. However, the reality is that it IS a daily concern, a daily priority, and it’s nice to know that someone actually acknowledges it.
Last week, I was so fortunate to be up in Raleigh exhibiting at the Junior League Shopping Spree. It was my first time experiencing the thrill of meeting, greeting, and selling. It was exhilarating! I truly had a week of respite.
When I returned to see Jerry, I had called ahead to tell them I was coming and that I was going to take him out for pizza. I was so excited to see him. When I walked through the doors, there he was; so cleanly shaven, dressed in my favorite fuzzy yellow Nautica sweatshirt, sporting a brand new haircut. I FELL IN LOVE ALL OVER
Although he didn’t exactly acknowledge our conversation, I rattled away telling him of how I was at a show...just like his computer shows he use to attend. Accept, I was selling my art. I told him how exiting it was....but said, "I know if you had been with me, people would have been walking out with a lot more paintings.” Jerry had that magnetic personality that drew people to him. He was genuinely friendly. He could excite anyone about anything. Seriously, my sales would have tripled.
Jerry would have been in the midst of those crowds, scurrying them into the booth, asking them “Where are you from?” Then, genuinely listening. He would have found something in common and had them laughing within minutes. That’s just the way he was. Such wonderful memories we had.
Needless, to say, when taking him back to his home, I had been sucked back into the “wanting him” stage. It’s something I need to guard against. “Wanting something I cannot have.” But, I am so grateful to have those memories and I’m so grateful that he is not pining, or worried, or afraid. I have a new Jerry now. One that is pretty close to perfect and nearing the completion of his life. I am so thankful that he is at peace in his world.
So be brave, and ASK. You don’t have to have the answers. Just ASK. It will mean a lot to someone.