Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A new Season

I once saw a Talk Show where they had a celebrity on that had written her life story.  I was intrigued, because I thought it would be so hard to write a book.  She also said that during the writing of her book, she experienced it all over again.

I now know why.

Writing my book, the emotions, fears, happiness, regrets and just general re-living my life have come into play.  I actually feel as if I'm vomiting words out.  Really, no kidding.

It's all coming out.  I am consumed with telling my story.  I will be doing dishes, when, all of a sudden, a memory will come to me and I have to stop and go to my laptop and write it down.   I want to tell it all.

It's not just about husband and his disease.  It's where I've been and where I'm going.  It's about discovering me, coping with unimaginable events in my life.  It's also about faith and, how God has been a constant in my life.

It has brought out pure, raw emotions.  It's a lot to write a book.  But, in order for me to grow, I have to tell my story.

Husband, on the other hand, is unaware of my writings.  It is not necessary to explain to him what I'm doing. It'll take too much time and energy to get him to understand the concept of writing a book.  He is lost in his own world.

He had a good day yesterday.  I took him with me to a friends house.  He enjoyed himself.  He sat at her kitchen table and nodded his head for 2 1/2 hours.  She would show him pictures and say, "You remember these guys?"  He would smile and nod his head.  She doesn't understand or will not accept the fact that he does not remember any of them.

There was a picture of us, when we were dating.  He did not recognize us.  It was a good picture.  We looked so happy and healthy.  He sure was handsome.  I made a copy of it on her copier.  He stared at that picture all the way home.  Said he doesn't remember that picture.   Asked me several times if that was really him or not.

Jack called earlier this week.  Said he is having a rough time, but, when I asked him if he was going to make it, he said, "Of course, Mom."

God has been working in his life.  The day after he got to Basic, another guy had to leave.  Seems his dad died.  He did return about a week later.  When this guy got back and they had mail call, there was a letter from his dad, the day he died.  In the letter, he told his son how proud he was of him and how much he loved him.

Since then, Jack and this guy have become very close.  He is 28, a bit older than Jack, but, Jack said they have bonded over the fact that his dad is now gone, and Jack's dad is on his way.  Jack said he is kind of like his mentor now.  God put someone in his life when he is so far away that he can relate to.  How neat is that?

I miss my boy.  It's like an ache that won't go away.  I stay busy.  I have husband to care for.  And I have my book to write.

All in all, it was a good week.  Our weather is wonderful.  I saw leaves falling yesterday.  Fall is here.  Soon, the snow may come.  Time to get ready for Winter.  We have a good stock of firewood ready.  Button down the hatches and brace myself for the cold.

Time is going by so fast now.  Husband is fading further and further away from me.  One day, he too will be gone.  And, I will miss him and ache for him as well.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

A new beginning for me?

Thank you for your comments and suggestions on what to install on the front door.  I am going to look into door chimes.

Yesterday was quiet.  I ran an errand and took husband with me.  He loves to ride with me.  As we were driving, he was looking all around at the city, traffic and the sky.  He mentioned the weather at how pleasant it was.

He rested in the afternoon.  There was no sleeping, just resting.  I made a simple dinner.

I got a card for Jack.  I told husband it was from him and needed him to sign it.  I had sent one to Jack last week, but, signed it from Mom.  Husband was excited that he was to send one from him only.

It was a funny card, and, together, we got out some pictures to send along with the card.  We chose some cute pictures, I wrote in the card and told husband to sign it.  Of course, he did not know where to sign, so I had to guide his hand to the bottom of the card.  He did not know how to spell Love, so he spelled it Louve.  I had to tell him how to spell You.  It was simple, Love You Dad.  Took him awhile, but, he did it.

I had to explain to him how the US mail worked.  He was amazed that I would put this in a mail box and it would magically appear to Jack.  He kept saying how neat that was.  Later in the afternoon, he was asking me again how Jack would get the card.  Once he was satisfied that somehow, someway, Jack would get this card, he was quiet, resting on the bed and looking at the ceiling, still, with this look of wonderment on his face.

I had to leave the room.  "He doesn't even understand the US mail anymore?  It's like it was just developed recently?  He thinks it's magic?  He thinks I'm an Einstein, knowing how the mail system works?"  Oh yes, it brought me to my knees.

I knew once Jack left, husband would go downhill.  It's like he held it together for Jack, but, once he was gone, he has stopped fighting.  You can see it.  This decline has been more rapid than say, the last 6 months.

What am I doing with my days now that the children are gone and husband is sleeping?  Well, I am taking this blog to a new level and writing a book.  I have a story to tell.  It's the story of my life, my journey, what brought me here, what I have been through, what I am going through now.

My hope is that I will be able to reach other people traveling this road to madness.

This Blog will still be here.  You will still get a daily glimpse of my life.  But, one day, as you are passing the book isle at the store and 4th Pew on the Left  is there on the shelf,  you can say to yourself, "Hey, I read her Blog!!!"

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Yesterday was better than the day before.  Only because husband slept most of the day.  I let him sleep.  He has not been sleeping well at night anyway, figured he was tired.

Husband asked me  last night whatever happened to his Shop Vac when we moved.  OK, let's go back a little.

When we moved into this house, husband said to leave the Shop Vac at the old place.  Said he had no use for it anymore.  We have no garage here, only a carport and storage.  I did what he asked, told the old landlord we had left it and that was that.

Last week, he asked me about the Shop Vac.  He was looking through all the closets in the house and had been out to the storage in the carport.  I told him we had left it at the old place, per his request.  A few days later he told me, "How could you have left the Shop Vac?  I may need it one day."

So, last night, after dinner, dishes and feeding the dogs,  I did the usual, changed into my PJ's and closed the front door.  Our front door is at the front of the house, along with the master bedroom.  The living room is at the back part of the house.  I don't like the idea of having the front door open when I am so far away from it.  Also, I have a fear of husband getting out without my knowing it and perhaps wandering away.

I was involved in my TV shows (Survivor and The X Factor).  Husband appeared out of nowhere, scaring the you know what out of me and asked me what happened to his Shop Vac.

(Insert big sigh here.)

I explained again to him what we did with the Shop Vac.  I also told him to quit asking about it, it's gone, we don't need it anyway, drop it.

He seemed satisfied with that.  Off he went to bed and to sleep.

As I was going to bed later, the front door was wide open.  I was confused.  I know I closed the door hours earlier.  Husband woke up as I came into the room.  I asked him about the front door.  He said, "Oh, I was outside looking for the Shop Vac."

So, the wanderings have begun.  Lovely.  I knew it would eventually happen, but, like everything else that comes along with this disease, I was not ready for that.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do about this.  And, what's scary is, I never even heard him go out.  How did he leave?  Did he use the walker?  Or, worse, did he attempt to walk on his own?

Now what?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I've been in a slump the past few days.

We are, I think, entering the final phase of this disease.  Husband has been absolutely lost the past few days. You cannot hold a conversation with him at all.

As I was talking with him yesterday, his left eye became bigger than his right.  It was an awful sight.  Then, the eyes started to wander.  I kept talking, but, knew I had lost him.

Everything I tell him he does not retain.  Everything.

As I was heating up dinner last night, he asked me what we were having.  I told him.  Went in the kitchen to check on dinner, came back into the living room and he asked me what we were having for dinner.

Yesterday morning I was going to father in law's house to give him Jack's address.  Told husband where we were going, only stopping for gas first.  He became so confused in the car.  Did not know where I was going, saying I was going the wrong way to his dad's.

He has forgotten that he cannot walk anymore.  He tries to walk, stumbles, and, when I tell him to sit in his wheelchair, he looks at me as if I'm crazy.  He told me yesterday he can walk just fine.  It's all in my head, he said.

He is in the bathroom constantly now.  I think he's afraid he's going to have an accident, so, he sits on the toilet.  Every time I went to check on him yesterday, he was in the bathroom.

Also, and this may sound funny to some, but, I have noticed an increase in use of toilet paper.  I put a package out in the basket in the bathroom, by next day, it's half gone.  I don't know what he's doing with the toilet paper, but, I cannot afford to keep buying the stuff!!  Actually, I looked in the waste basket, and it was full of toilet paper.  I asked him why there was so much toilet paper in the trash.  He looked at me as if I were talking a foreign language to him.

Just some of the turn of events in the last few days.

He tells me that I am the one who is imagining there's something wrong with him.  He says he is perfectly normal.  I just have an unusual overactive imagination.  Oh, I wish it were so.

When all this occurs, I am the one who has to react.  I have to act like there is nothing wrong with him.  I have to go along with it.  Otherwise, it can get ugly around here.

It's a crazy house, I'll tell ya.

I woke up this morning, looked at husband sleeping, with those eyes squinted shut and thought to myself, "I wonder what side of the rainbow we're going to be on today?"

Somewhere over that rainbow, is peace.  There is no sickness.  There is no confusion.  There, you can walk again.  There is no Alzheimer's.

It's called Heaven.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bad dream?

I just read a blog that I have been following for a few years.  Her story is inspirational.  On her blog this morning, she posted about her surprise birthday presents from her husband.  He made her day so special.

As I was reading her blog, I started to feel sorry for myself.  How different my life is compared to hers.  No, I'm not envious, I'm sad that my life does not include a husband who would go all out for his wife's birthday.

My husband doesn't even remember when my birthday is anymore.  He would not know how to do anything for me and my birthday.  He does not remember when our wedding anniversary is.  He does not know when Christmas is.  He does not remember what month Thanksgiving is in.  Easter?  No, we won't go there.

Husband does not know what day of the week it is, asks me constantly during the day what time it is.  There are clocks throughout the house, but, he cannot read a clock anymore.   In fact, he can't read anything anymore.

I can go weeks not thinking about all that we have lost.  Literally, weeks.  Then, something simple as reading another blog can take me on a downward spiral.  I think, in the last 2 1/2 years, I've said, "It's not fair", maybe, 3 times.  Today as I sit here updating my blog, I can honestly say, "It's not fair."

When we married so many years ago, we both thought this would be our "Happily ever-after."  We were so in love, dedicated to each other, raising a family, working hard toward our "future".  We had plans.  We raised a bunch of good, well-rounded kids.

Pat & Christine invited us to their house for dinner yesterday.  As we were getting ready to go, the button on husband's shorts fell off.  He became agitated and flustered.  I got another pair of shorts out for him, one with an elastic waistband.   I went to check on him and there he was, mumbling to himself, very frustrated.  He looked up at me with the most pitiful look on his face and said, "Help me."

He had put both of his legs in one of the legs on the shorts, instead of the elastic waistband.  As I looked, I couldn't help but burst out laughing.  It was better than the obvious.  After hearing me laugh, he too started laughing, all the while saying, "help me, help me."  I got his shorts on him, all the while still laughing.  As we got ready to leave, he said, "You have to dress me everyday, please.  I can't do it anymore."

Alzheimer's has taken another chunk of my heart.  There isn't much left, you monster.

When will this nightmare end?  There are days I imagine this all to be a bad dream.  I imagine I wake up, husband is already off at work, I think about this "bad dream" and shudder.  Thanking God that it was all just a nightmare.

Then, I realize, I'm wide awake and this "bad dream" is in fact , my reality.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Going there"

So, life continues to go on.  Despite the fact that my son has left for the Air Force, despite the fact I am now childless and despite the fact that my husband is dying.  Life continues.  Or, lack thereof, for husband.

He is so confused.  It's been coming on slowly.  I noticed it last week, but saw firsthand yesterday just how much he has lost.

He just can't function anymore.  He is helpless.  He repeats himself constantly.  If we see a neighbor out and about, he will greet them with a "Boy, the weather sure has turned nice."  If said neighbor asks him a question, he will nod his head (my interpretation of he doesn't understand what you are saying) and repeat what he said about he weather.  People who don't know what is wrong with him will look at him, then at me, back to husband and shy away from him.  I know what they're thinking.  He talks like he's drunk, so, they must think he's been having a few too many.  It's so sad to watch.

If I could educate people on Alzheimer's, I would tell them first off, look at his eyes.  Those eyes.  I've said it before, I'll say it again.  They haunt me.  You'll know something is wrong mentally if you really look into his eyes.

I'm trying not to get so down, but, I feel myself "going there".

If only I could find a job.  I pray for a job daily.  I have to go back to work.  We need the money.  Home Health Care will care for husband 6 hours per day, 5 days per week.  I got it all figured out.  All is needed at this point is a job.

I am getting angry.  Angry at my situation and lack of a job.  Where are you, Lord?  I cry out.  Has He forsaken me?  Why?  Then, I ask for forgiveness for feeling this way.   I know these feelings are normal, but, I don't like getting angry.  I fight it daily when the phone doesn't ring from a potential employer and when I see husband wandering the house, confused.  I feel it welling up in my chest.  I fight hard to keep it down.

Then I come here and it all comes out.  This is like my best friend.  My heart opens up and my fingers start typing.  The fears, the frustration, the anger, the heartbreak, the sheer audacity of it all, it's here on my blog.

One day, it will all be over.  Husband will be gone.  He will finally be at peace.  He will be in Heaven.  That I know.  I will be left to pick up the pieces of my life.  To start a new life.  Alone.

Today, I have a question for myself.  It's one of those days.

Where do I go from here?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dogs? What dogs?

Oh, the perks of Alzheimer's.

Yesterday, out of sheer boredom and "I have to get out of this house", I thought it would be fun to look at Apartments, just for the heck of it.

Also, when we moved here, I thought I would have a job by now.  This house is big, 3 bedrooms and 2 Bathrooms.  Once winter hits, I will have to close off half of the house, to save on heating costs.  It's just so big.

Now, I would rather eat hot nails than move again, but, I have to survive somehow, someway.  But, the thought of saving money on rent is appealing to me as well.

So, I took a drive up to one of these Apartments.  They are very nice, but, I've also heard they go by your income.  And, yes, I took husband.

On the way, I told him to not say anything about having dogs.  That would come later.  If we liked the place, rent being reasonable, and if they were a pet friendly community, then we could mention the dogs.  He said he would not say anything.

Got in the office, I started talking to the girl, she offered to show us the grounds and a model unit.  A 1 bdrm, 1 bath unit.  The grounds were so pretty and welcoming.

As we stood up to view the property, husband says, "We have 2 dogs.  One big and one little."  She looked at husband, then glanced at me.  I had the sudden urge to spank husband right there in front of this girl.  Luckily, she smiled and said they were pet friendly and pets were welcome there.

We viewed the grounds and the model.  It is nice, the rent is a lot cheaper there, but, then they add in $25 per month, per pet and $38 per month for water, trash and sewer.  I'm not saving much there.

On the way home, I said, "I told you not to say anything about having dogs."  He looked at me as if I were the crazy one and said, "You never said that."

Next time, I shall go alone.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Days seem to be flying by.  The weather has turned cool and September is half over.  What?  The holidays are coming up.  I don't dread them like last year.  Not looking forward to them, but, let's just get it over with.

Husband continues to be in a constant state of confusion.  There is a glimpse of reality, then, he slips back into his own world.  I am so used to him being this way, when he does come around, it catches me off guard.

He spent the day with his dad yesterday.  Father in law took him out to lunch.  They had a good time.  Husband was in good spirits.

I, on the other hand, enjoyed being alone.  I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.   It felt like I could breathe again.

There are days that I feel as if I'm suffocating.  From this disease, from husband.  When he is gone, the very air in this house seems to lift.  It may sound awful to some, but, that's the way it is around here.

I am in the process of finding myself.  It's challenging at times.  I find myself arguing with myself.  I find myself feeling selfish.  I oftentimes feel guilty.  The very idea of taking care of me is thrilling, yet, scary at times.

I don't know what it's like to care for me.  I have been taking care of children for so long, and now, husband with this deadly disease, that I forgot me along the way.  I got left behind.  Well, now it's my time.  

Some may say I am being cold and heartless.  Trust me, 2 years ago, I would've thought the same.  But, when you are faced with the impending death of your spouse, knowing there is nothing that can be done, you either crawl in a hole and die, or, save your own life.

I choose to save me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Jack called me yesterday morning.  That made my day.  Just to hear his voice.  He sounds good.  His voice sounded a little homesick, but, he is standing strong and will make it through basic training.

He told me all about their day.  He said several guys have left already and it's only been a week.  He has made a few friends, but, they keep them so busy, when it's lights out, he is pretty much done for the day.

I felt so much better the rest of the day.  One simple call that says, "Hi, Mom, it's Jack," can turn my otherwise dreary day into a wonderful day.

And, usually when I tell him, "I love you," he will mumble back.  Not so yesterday.  At the end of our conversation, he said, loud and clear, "I love you Mom."   Be still my heart.

Husband was happy about Jack's call.

I made husband a special dinner and he ate a lot last night.  He loves my enchiladas.  I make my chili from scratch which makes them extra good.  I was surprised at how much he ate.

Husband has not been sleeping well.  Talks a lot during the night, tosses and turns.  Gets up about 3-4 times during the night to go to the bathroom.

I think father in law is coming for him this morning.  I hope so.  I need a break.  He wants to go get firewood and said he'll get us some too.  That means, if he does come for husband, I get a whole day to myself.

If so, I can spend time by myself.  Time to reflect.  Time to plan my future.  Without a husband or children.  I know it's time.  I need to have some kind of plan.  I don't know where I'll end up, but, one thing I know for sure is, I always land on my feet!!  Somehow. Someway.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Moving forward?

Whatever got into my blog is gone, I hope, for good.  May have been a little bug?

I had a sad day yesterday.  I am missing Jack.  I was hoping he would call, it being a Sunday and all.  I want to hear his voice.

Husband has been waking up early.  Comes out and the questions begin.  He sees me typing, asks me what I'm doing, continues to ask me questions.

Father in law may come get him today.  I hope so.  I haven't had a break in about 2 weeks.  I feel like I need to get away, but, where?  He goes with me everywhere I go, especially since Jack has been gone.

The day Jack left, Tuesday, husband came out of the bedroom and asked me, "Was I a good dad to Jack?" I broke down crying.  Right in front of him.  I saw pain and confusion on his face.  I told him, "When a person asks that kind of question, you know you were a good dad."  Of course, he didn't understand that, so, I had to break it down for him.

He misses Jack too.

Oh, if only I had a job to go to.  I continue to pray for something to come along.  It certainly would help me out not only financially, but, mentally as well.  When I filled in at my old job 3 weeks ago, well, I felt so good, laughed even, looked forward to the day.  For a week, I had that feeling.  I want to have that feeling again.

Church was good yesterday.  At first, my heart wasn't into it, but, as pastor started speaking, my heart opened up to the message.

I'm just blah today.  It's just another day.  No place to go, not much to do.

What happened?  We used to be such busy people.  We were always coming and going.  We were always exhausted at the end of the day.  We always had plans for the weekend.  The house used to be filled with the sounds of kids coming and going.  I was always telling at least one child to "turn that music down."

Now?  Children are all grown up.  It's so quiet here now.  I don't like it.

And husband?  Oh, well, he has Alzheimer's.  He's going to die.  He doesn't know whether he is coming or going anymore.  He can't walk anymore.

Me?  I'm still me. At least I think so.  I just want to live again.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Well it looks like I have not fixed this issue after all. Please bear with me. The blog may look different as I have to post in "old school" HTML type. I am doing OK. Getting through each day. I wonder about Jack. A lot. I miss him. Husband is doing OK. He is confused most of the time. Which makes an interesting day for me. The questions he asks will sometimes throw me. We are going through a stage again where he will leave his walker in any given place. Drives. Me. Nuts. When I take it to him, he will look at it as if it's a foreign object. Using the wheel chair in the house is harder for him. Because he doesn't walk that much in the house, I let him use the walker. Sometimes, he forgets to use the walker, and when I remind him, he looks at me confused, then asks me where the walker is. Yesterday afternoon, as I was putting clean laundry away, the walker was left in the hallway (again). Being that I had a full load to put away, I just shrugged my shoulders, put the clean clothes on the walker and sped through the house!! His sleeping has been rough. Which makes my sleeping rough. I wake up tired. Still on the job search. Man, there's gotta be someone out there who will be interested in me. So frustrating. Our weather has turned very cool. Had to break out a pair of socks. I am loving the cooler weather, with yesterday being so pleasant. I love it when you can open your windows and doors without having air condition or heater. Aired the house out yesterday. Everything smelled so fresh and clean. Church this morning, then, whatever this afternoon. The kids have been calling almost daily. I am hoping I will hear from Jack today. That would be so nice. Well, there you have it. Not much I'm afraid. Plan on pounding the internet pavement, looking for a job, watch my husband wander the house and try to act normal. It may seem crazy to some, but, this is my life now. I didn't ask for this, never in a million years did I ever imagine this kind of life, but, it is what it is. Making the best of a bad situation.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Well, finally, I think I've fixed the issue.  At least I hope so.  For some reason, I cannot name a title.  I hope this will work.

This has been a rough week for me.

We spent the day, Tuesday, downtown at MEPS.  Jack was excited to go.  They were wonderful to us during the morning.

We left around noon to go to the airport.  There were 10 of them leaving that day.  We met up with Jack at the ticket counter.  Jack said the airlines told him that Mother's could go to the gate.  I just couldn't leave husband in his wheelchair alone.  So, we said our goodbye's at security.

Security was heightened because of the date.  9/11.

I watched my son until he was swallowed up in the sea of people at security.

I brought husband home to a very quiet house.  Wednesday, I did OK.  Thursday, not so OK.  I was just so sad, cried at everything.

With each day now, I've gotten better.  I cleaned out his room Wednesday, just to keep busy.

Husband has been dealing well with Jack being gone.  He's so confused most of the time, I think he forgets Jack is even gone.

Husband did not do well at MEPS.  You have to be buzzed in, go through a metal detector, turn in your ID and be issued a visitor badge.  They talk very fast, so, I did the work for husband.  Only, when they handed me mine and his badge, husband starts handing him his hat.  He was so confused, he didn't know whether he was coming or going.  Frustrating for me as I was an emotional wreck anyway.

Once we sat down, husband started in with the questions.  There was one point that I thought I was going to lose it on him, but, of course, I didn't.  He was just so confused, and, knowing Jack was leaving I think, was bothering him as well.

I will feel 100% better once I hear from Jack.  It's the mother thing, you know.

Have been applying for positions this week.  So far, nothing.  I pray I find a job.

A new chapter has begun for me.  I don't know if I like it yet, but, like everything else in my life, better get used to it.

My house is so quiet.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Where do I begin? My heart is heavy: my heart swells with pride. Tuesday was a rough day for me.
Bear with me.  Am having trouble posting.  Want to post about Tuesday.  Am in the process of trying to fix this issue.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Turning pages

  The day has come.  I will surrender my son to the United States Air Force at 3:00 PM today.  He will stay in a Hotel overnight, go to processing tomorrow, and then they will shuttle him to the airport where he will fly away.  I am invited to be at processing, but, will not take him to the airport.  We will say our goodbye's at processing.

I will put my sick, broken husband in the car and drive home.

Thus will begin a new chapter in my life.

While my heart is heavy today, it is also filled with such happiness for Jack.  So, so proud of him.

We spent several hours at father in law's house yesterday.  Mother in law and I had the most wonderful time talking.  She really is sweet.  I finally got to know her.  She told me after 16 years of marriage to father in law, all she has ever wanted was to be accepted by husband and I.  My heart went out to her.  She told me a little bit about how she met FIL, (at work), what her life was like then.  As I was looking at her, I felt such love for her.  I told her how guilty I feel, not getting to really know her, after all these years.  She looked at me and said, "We can start today."

We took pictures, laughed, shared times when Jack was a baby and toddler.  MIL made homemade salsa (was that good or what?), laughed and cried.  FIL beamed when he looked at Jack, his namesake.  He was so funny.  Every time Jack would do something or say how much he likes hot foods, FIL would say, "Oh, you got that from me."

As I looked at this family, laughing, loving, crying, I felt such love for them.  I promised both we (husband and I) would do this more often from now on.

As we drove away, FIL stood in his yard, watching us all the way down the street.  He looked so sad, yet, was so proud of his grandson.

The kids all came over and we had a blow out BBQ.  Patrick did all the cooking.  As each one of the kids left, there were tears.  Marie being the worst.

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  Jack was surrounded by so much love.

The day has come.  My emotions are all over the place.

I look at husband this morning.  He is sad.  He told me he was going to miss Jack.  He looks confused as well.  I have to tell him over and over what we are doing today and tomorrow.  He gets it, then forgets it.

This new chapter.  I won't know what to expect until I turn the page.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Final Countdown

So far, this last weekend for my Jack at home has been good.

Pat & Christine took him hiking yesterday morning.  He called later and said P & C wanted to take us all out to dinner.  (A rare treat for us!)  Oh, it was so much fun.  We went to Fudruckers,  We had never been there.

Jack & Patrick got a full pound hamburger.  Wow.  It was so big.  Each of them ate the whole thing.  Made me a little sick to my stomach watching them eat it.

I ordered for husband.  He ate pretty good.  Christine was concerned that I had ordered him too small of a burger, but, I explained he doesn't eat much anymore.  She looked a little sad when he had finished his small meal and announced he was very full.

While eating, Patrick said they wanted to come over and bring some movies.  What a wonderful idea.

During the movie, husband talked through the whole thing.  He cannot understand anymore what is going on, so, he started asking Patrick how work was going, talk, talk, talk.  I tuned him out and concentrated on the movie.

We watched one more movie, my pick.  The Hunger Games.  I had wanted to see it for such a long time.  Of course, Pat & Christine had the movie.  By then, husband was tired, so he went to bed.

Today, we will not be going to church.  I want to spend every minute with my son.  We will be going to father in law's house, mid morning.  Father in law does not want to go to the airport on Tuesday.  He said he wants to say his goodbye's in private.

This afternoon, Pat & Christine will be bringing food to BBQ.  Jack's choice:  Steak & Bratz.

Jack told me that he got his final 3 pics for overseas.  He will either go to England, Germany or Japan.  He is hoping for Japan.  That is, if he is chosen to go overseas.  He thinks he probably will.

I had a few moments this weekend where sadness overtook me.  It comes in waves.  The finality of it all.  The sheer excitement for this boy of mine.

My emotions are all over the map.  I look at Jack and am so proud of him.  I look at husband and feel so sad that he truly doesn't understand anything anymore.

The countdown begins.  Tonight is Jack's final night at home.  And then?  He's off to conquer to world!!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Up, Up and Away.....

But when Jesus heard this, He said, "This sickness is not to end in death;  but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it."  John 11:4

I know my husband is suffering.  There is so much confusion around him now.  His eyes dart around the room, looking for something to recognize.  Even me.

I took him out for a few hours yesterday.  I took him grocery shopping with me.  I had to.  I was afraid to leave him alone.  He was in better spirits than the day before.

Oh, this roller coaster.

Jack got his orders.  He has to go to a hotel, Monday night.  Tuesday morning, he goes to the MEP (I think that's how you spell it) Station for his final physical,  is sworn in again and off to the airport.

My son, that beautiful baby I gave birth to, that big bouncing baby boy will leave and begin a new life all on his own.

I remember when he was born, he was so big (almost 10 lbs), how they laughed that they had to go to the Pediatric unit to get bigger diapers for this child.  He was the talk of the maternity ward.

That baby is now a young man, ready to begin his life.

How I loved raising him.  He was always such a good boy.

I don't know how I'm going to allow him to leave.  I am scared of my feelings.  I am trying to be strong and act happy for him.  While I am happy for him, inside I'm crying.

Crying for all that he has lost.  He doesn't get to have that Father & Son talk, he doesn't get to joke with his dad, he has no bond whatsoever with his dad anymore.  He mostly ignores his dad.  He's angry.  He's also scared the he too may inherit this monster.

Sometimes it's all just too much for me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's time

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart".  Jeremiah 29:11-13

Only God knows what His plans are for me.  Only God knows what my future holds.  All I have to go on is His word.  He will carry me through this dark time.  I have faith, although, some days my faith is tested beyond my limits.  I have to keep looking up, knowing He will not forsake me, however, once again, there are times I cry out, "Where are you Lord?"

I'm human.

Yesterday was not a good day for husband.  He was depressed and slept all day and all night.  I tried to get him up, he refused.  He said his life was over, he has nothing left to live for.  He cried.  A deep cry, a cry that no wife should ever witness from her husband.

How do you tell someone who is dying that yes, they have something to live for?  When you both know those words are meaningless?

Husband is getting farther and farther away from me.  I am having a hard time reaching him now.  I used to be able to talk to him and have it affect him.  Now?  No affect whatsoever.  He is in his own world now, the world of Alzheimer's.  It has taken total control.

The heaviness in my chest is back.  I watch a commercial on TV and it brings tears to my eyes.  I think of my Mother and it brings tears to my eyes.  I think of my children, when I gave birth to them, and it brings tears to my eyes.  I think of my childhood and it brings tears to my eyes.

My acting skills have to come into play now.  Jack is leaving on Tuesday.  There will be people over here to say goodbye to him.  I will put on my "acting suit" and smile, offer coffee, coke or water?  Play hostess.  Making small talk, answering their questions on how I'm doing with a cheery, "Oh, I'm fine, good in fact."

There will be no mention of impending death.  No, no one will ask about husband.  They will see for themselves when he is wheeled into the room.  He looks like he is dying now.  No, you don't have to ask anymore.  It's like he carries a sign that says, "Yes, I am dying."

My prayer now is for God to take husband home.  Enough is enough.  He has suffered enough.

Yes, enough is enough.  It's time.  He has fought the good fight, a mighty fight, but, the monster has won.

Time to go home.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness".  Hebrews 12:11

Wow, that hit me as I read that passage this morning.

My joy will come.  

Husband has had trouble the last few days.  Is getting quieter, it seems to me.  Wants to either stare at the ceiling or sleep.  When I do take him out, he tires easily.  Says his legs ache or his back hurts.  It's a job taking him out.  Lifting that wheelchair in and out of the car can be difficult at times, for me.

He is also becoming very pale looking.  He used to have this beautiful olive skin color.  His skin is ashen looking now.  Funny, my MIL mentioned about him looking pale last weekend, and, now, I see it.

His hair is turning more gray too.  And thin.  His face is not what it used to be.  It's as if he's aged 20 years in the last 2 years.

His eyes no longer sparkle when he laughs ( a rare occasion).

I was thinking yesterday.  Since diagnosis, as I've mentioned before, the "friends" we thought were friends do not come around, do not call, it's as if we are strangers nowadays.  Maybe, just maybe, it's for the best.

Looking at husband is not a pretty sight.  His head bobs, his eyes are blank, his arms tremor, his legs dangle.

Yes, it's probably best if no one sees him anymore.  It is painful to see him.

One day, I will cook chicken.  He will tell me he does not like chicken.  The next day he will ask for chicken, telling me I haven't cooked it in so long.  One day he will ask me to cook something for him, then, when I cook it, he says he does not like it.

Actually, just as I typed this it surprised me that I take it so lightly.  I just do what he asks me to do.  If he refuses to eat it, then it goes in the fridge, waiting for him to "remember" that he actually does like it.

Ah, Alzheimer's.  You little devil you.  You've struck my husband down in the prime of his life, you have destroyed his mind and body, you have taken me to the depths of hell and you have tried to destroy me as well.

But, as the passage tells me today, " my joy will come."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fire and Desire

My friend, Jackie gave me a book last month called "The Purpose Driven Life".  I had planned on finally diving into this book yesterday, however,  I received two very long phone calls back to back, and could not get into it.  This afternoon, after Bible Study and getting husband settled, I plan on doing just that.  I may have to unplug the phone.

Suddenly, I have this fire in me burning.  Somewhere, deep inside of me, there is a me.  I am on a quest to find the me I know I can be.  The desire is there.  It's not hopeless for me.  I am not a lost cause.  I am important.

As I was looking through the job list,  I noticed a company I had applied to two times before was advertising once again.  I sent my Resume again, this time telling them I don't give up so easily.  Either they'll hire me to get me to stop emailing them, or, tell me to stop emailing them.  Whatever.

In all, I think I applied to six or seven places.  I have done this before, never to get a response from anyone, however, that old saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," is what I'm doing.  Time will tell.

I was putting clean laundry away yesterday.  As I went into the bedroom, husband was laying on the bed, staring at the ceiling.  I asked him if he was alright, he nodded his head and said, "I was thinking of the first time I ever went camping."  I sat down on the bed and he told me all about that camping trip.  Every detail.  When he was finished, he said, "I remember so much about my childhood.  I can remember.  It was a good childhood, you know?  My parents were good to me."

Fighting my tears, I put my arm around him and said, "It's so good that you remember that.  I'm glad you remember those things, when you were a little boy.  It makes me feel good to know that you know you were so loved."

I left the bedroom, the tears started.  I wanted to sit on the couch and sob my heart out.  But, of course, the phone rang!!

It feels at times like I'm a caterpillar, wrapped up in my cocoon.  One day, I'm am going to spread my wings and fly.

Just you wait and see!!

"So do not worry about tomorrow;  for tomorrow will take care of itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own."  Matthew 6:34 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Battle Scars

Because I was working all last week, I didn't have too much time with husband.  Until this weekend.

There has been a drastic change in him.  His head bobs, "the look" of course, is there, and he shakes.  A lot. I have had a hard time understanding him speak.  Memory?  What memory?

Wow.  What a difference.

I don't know if I mentioned it here, but, a few weeks ago, I went to a Psychologist.  I wanted him to tell me I was normal.  Not only did he tell me I'm normal, he also diagnosed me as clinically depressed.  Ya think?

My Dr does not feel comfortable in giving me anything for this depression.  I really don't want to take anything anyways.

I just want this depression go away.  It's an awful feeling.  I get up in the morning and it's like a dark cloud looming above me.

When I worked last week, the depression vanished.  I felt so good.

This morning, I applied at several places.  The fire has been lit on me.  I really want to work.  Actually, I have to work.  No two ways about it.  I cannot afford to be at home anymore.  Something I realized last week.

I will have to have a nurse come in daily, if I do find employment.  Yeah, we're at that point.

My husband is gone, I have no partner.  It's just me now.  He is just a body living in my home.  I have to start thinking of me now.  I have to start taking care of me now.  There is nothing I can do for husband anymore.  Make his days comfortable, give him his meds, feed him and wait.  That's it.  I cannot do any thing more for him.

There are no future plans for us anymore, as there is no more "us".

Today, I am going to start a whole new chapter in my life.  My last child is leaving next week,  my husband is dying, but, I'm still alive.  I'm still here.  Still kicking and fighting.

I'll be fine, I know.  No worse for the wear.

But, the battle scars that will remain with me until my dying day will be deep.  This ache inside of me, loosing my husband to this horrible disease?

No, I'll never get over that one.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

My "Real" Life

After re-reading my post from yesterday, I sound silly.  And selfish.

If you've ever been surrounded with death looming at your door, watching your husband fade away, trying to make it financially, a depression that can, at times, overwhelm you, you've just described me to a T.

I came alive last week.  I smiled, a real genuine smile.  I laughed.  I had something to look forward to each morning as I got up.  Oh, it was wonderful.  Just wonderful.

But, only God knows what's best for me.  I believe and fully trust in Him.  Time will tell.  If not, well then, it wasn't right for me.

On the home front, husband had a good week.  Jack & Kristen took care of him, with Kristen doing most of the work.  She made sure he ate lunch and did not sleep all day.

He said he was glad I got out of the house, and looked forward to me coming home each night.

I took him out for a bit yesterday.  He enjoyed it.

Father in law and his wife came yesterday with a big surprise.  Father in law bought us a small trailer for husband's scooter chair.  All I have to do is buy a hitch for it.  That was so sweet of him.

We had a great visit.  Lupe, (FIL's wife) and I had a great time visiting.  She told me at one point that husband looked too thin, was he eating enough?  She was concerned that he sleeps a lot.  I explained that I make him wake up, per Dr's orders.  She said he looked pale to her.  Said she was concerned about husband.

I had to explain to her that no matter what I do for husband, this disease will always win.  He will sleep a lot, he will lose weight.  All I can do is make sure he gets the nutrition he needs and stimulate him to keep him awake for the better part of the day.  She told me I was doing a good job of taking care of him, it's just that it upsets her to see him now.  Yeah, I know.

An excellent week for me, just another week for husband.

Beginning this week, I go back to my "real" life.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A very long post.

I'm back.

My week back at my old job was, in one word, Wonderful.

As I was driving to work Monday, I was nervous.  I hadn't been there is almost 2 years.  Could I actually do the job that was expected of me?  I walked in, sat down at the desk and it all came back to me.

I was joking with one of my old bosses, telling him I hadn't used my brain in 2 years, bear with me.  He said, "I fully trust you.  That's why we asked you back."

By noon, on that first day, it felt like I had never left.  I soared through my first day, with one glitch.  Seems the girl who replaced me, (and I trained), went on vacation, leaving me with a big mess to clean up with one of our biggest contractors.  She didn't complete a progressive billing to him, emailed him with an outdated spreadsheet, then left.  It was up to me to find all invoices pertaining to this job, figure out what she did and didn't do.  All the while, this big time contractor was sitting at his desk in far away Arizona, waiting on me.  He didn't care if I had no knowledge of what was going on.  He wanted a complete breakdown of all invoices during the month of August.  I had to act as if I knew what I was doing.  He was not friendly, at first.  He was not pleased, at first.

Finally, at 5:45 PM, I completed this spreadsheet and emailed it along to him.  He called me personally to thank me, saying I had been so helpful to him.  Whew!!

Day two, Tuesday went as smooth as could be.  My other old boss came in that day and we had a nice talk about what had happened the day before.  I told her what the other girl did not do.  I created a file for this contractor and left her a note on what I had done.

During the week, I had found several more mistakes.  In all, I left her 4 notes.  Some of the other things she does is OK, but, not what I would do.  I told my bosses I didn't want to step on anyone's toes, however, this needed to be brought to their attention as well as her's.  My boss gave me her blessings on the notes, said if she got mad, too bad.

Yesterday morning, 2 of the Techs came to me and said what a wonderful week they had.  They said this week had been so peaceful to them, how much they liked having me there.  They said it was the best week they had had.

Later, in the afternoon, those same 2 Techs told me how much they dislike the other girl.  They said that no one likes her, she is very rude, hateful even towards them.  They said she walks around as if she is the boss, and, when they used to say "Good morning" to her, she doesn't respond to them at all.  Now, they said, they do not speak to her at all.  They also said she makes them feel uncomfortable when around her.

I was shocked.  When I trained her, she gave me the impression of how nice she was.  She also is the one who told me about the church we now are members of.  She too is a member.  Although, because it is so big, I never see her.  She goes to a different service.  Guess looks are deceiving, huh?

On Thursday, I discovered a really big mistake we think, on her part.  An almost $10,000 mistake that is.  Crystal, (my old boss) was furious, as well as Tom, her husband and my other old boss.  Crystal is going to ask her about this on Tuesday, when she comes back.

Now comes a confession.  I want to go back there.  This whole week was such a blessing to me.  I did not realize how much I missed working there, until I worked there this week.  How good I felt about myself.  This funk I have been in, lifted.  The whole week.  How at home, I felt.

I don't know where all this will lead.  I only know I want to go back.  Of course, she will have to lose her job.  However, she is one of those who does not have to work.  Her husband works at one of the labs here, making good money.  She told me the only reason she works is because she likes to spend money.

Now, a favor of you all.  I am asking for prayer that I will get my job back.  Not only will it help me out greatly financially, but mentally as well.  I want to feel good again.  I don't like what I've become.  I want to be me again.  I lost me.  I want me back.

Jesus Christ can make it happen.  Let's bombard Heaven with prayers.  Thank you, my readers.

I just wanna go back.