You Fought the Good Fight

Who would have thought that when I got that call almost eleven years ago that we would have made it this long? Finding out that you were being financially manipulated by your oldest son. Finding out that you were basically living in your car. Learning that the family had turned their back on you.

I never thought, out of your six children I would be the one to get the call. The one of your six kids that you always made clear you didn’t like. The one child that you would never help. The one child you told “Nobody wants you around.” The one child that always seemed to step up for you whenever needed, well this was no difference.

Who thought that I would move you to the town that I lived in. Help you get you into an apartment and make sure you were safe and comfortable. Who thought I would be the one to step up and make sure you got the medical attention you needed when things seemed a little off. Who thought that I would be the one to step up after the Alzheimer’s, dementia and micro vascular disease diagnosis and mom deciding to divorce you after 50 plus years of marriage.

Who thought I would be the one to be there for you to comfort you during the confusing early stages of this disease? The visits to doctors, counselors and therapists and making sure you were safe and comfortable in your assisted living environment. Who thought I would be the one to see that you were financially set to afford your new living situation?

Who thought that I would be the one to come visit you at least once a week, take you shopping, out to eat and make sure you had some cash in your pocket so that you could attend the outings with the others at your residents? Who thought that I would be the one to be there and the years rolled by and your memory slowly went? Who would have thought I would be the one to still be there when time had finally taken your memory and I was just another stranger in the room?

Well honestly, I never thought it would be me.

Now you can rest. I finally got the call. you finally decided it was time to move on quietly in your sleep. Yes peacefully on the morning of February 1, 2022 your body caught up with your mind and you finally finished the fight.

Dad you are finally at rest. You have moved on to a better place and your memory has returned and you can ask yourself the question. Did I ever think he would be the one there for me out of all my children?

You fought the good fight.

10/10/1933 – 2/1/2022

Nice to Meet You

As I entered the room, I could see the gentleman speaking to different people. It was obvious he was struggling understanding what they were saying to him, but that didn’t stop his conversation.

Eventually he worked his way to me as I was resting comfortably in a chair near the door to the courtyard. He started speaking to me. He was telling me about the tough day he was having and the problems he was having there at his job. He commented on what a lovely day it looked like outside and would love to go out.

I told him I would gladly go out to the courtyard with him if he wanted to and he was more than appreciative. We made our way out there and got comfortable in some chairs in a nice shaded area. He was carrying a can of Diet Coke and on multiple occasions offered it to me, I declined.

He introduced himself and told me his name is Sam. I told him “Nice to meet you, my name is Walt.” He said, “Nice tho meet you Paul.” I attempted to correct him on the name, but obviously his hearing wasn’t very good.

He started to tell me about all the ailments he was currently experiencing. His sore ribs from being hit by a small child with a shopping cart. How he was having a hard time eating because of his stomach hurting.

He began telling me about his work and the struggles he was having with his coworkers there at his office. He told me about all of his food and belongings that have come up missing and all the money that had been taken from him.

He started asking me questions about myself. Where I lived. Did I live by myself? Have we ever met before? I tried to answer the questions the beat that I could, but he wasn’t quite understanding.

I tried to ask him about himself. Where he was from. Did he have any family? How long had he been here? He struggled, but for a man in his late 80’s obviously fighting dementia, he did his best.

We continued talking but before you knew it we were talking in circles. He kept asking my name. Where I was from and did I live alone. I started to wind the conversation down because it was getting late and I needed to go.

It appeared I had brought a little enjoyment to his day. He loved the fact that he was outside and had someone to talk to. He really wanted me to stay and have dinner with him, but I needed to go.

Our conversation ended and he thanked me for the visit and invited me back for another visit. He told me to take care and hoped to see me soon and I replied “Me too Dad.”

Alzheimer’s and dementia are hard to deal with for all involved……

Dealing with Rejection

As I keep battling anxiety, I have been trying to deal with the root cause of it. I have tried so hard to figure it out so I can release it and let it go. I gave myself a GREAT talking to the other day and I think I may be on to something.

I’ve mentioned in the past my need to “people please” so that I am liked. I’ve mentioned in the past how my parents were never really good at guiding, counseling and supporting me the way a parent should. I’ve mentioned in the past how I’ve always felt like the outsider in most settings, family, friends, social and work. I’ve always felt the need to say “yes” to please others while neglecting my own needs.

I’ve done ALL of this for fear of rejection. Growing up and feeling rejection from your own parents leaves a large hole in one’s soul. It really brings life to such a negative place that you can waste a lifetime thinking you can “fix it” and guess what, you can’t. It has taken me 57 years on this planet to figure this out. The moment the reality of it all hits you in the face, you awaken to all the damage.

Now how do you get past this point? How do you start to get it all turned around in your favor? Honestly, I’m not sure yet, but I have an idea. The first thing I need to do is Stop believing the lies. What lies are those? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself.

Lie #1 – You aren’t a failure –

Just because things haven’t gone to plan. Just because something hasn’t worked out. Just because your business hasn’t succeeded, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. What that means is that you at least tried. Now take the experience and improve on it. Learn what you should have done, not done or maybe just done better. You’re not a failure, you are someone willing to try.

Lie #2 – You are loved –

Unconditional love is the best love in the world, unfortunately I have experienced very little of that in my life. Fortunately my wife and daughter have given me that and I get an over flowing amount of that from my precious grandchildren. Have have spent a majority of my life dwelling on the ones I should have received it from and not celebrating where I was receiving it is where I made a big mistake.

Lie #3 – You are worth it.

I have spent so much of my life feeling worthless, out of place and lacking true direction. I have just floated through life with no true guidance having to figure it out on my own and making mistake after mistake along the way. No parents to rely on and feeling alienated from everyone. I think this lie is the biggest of all and the one that has hurt me the most. I AM WORTH IT!

Now that I have shared what I believe to be three of the biggest lies, I have a lot to do to get past it. I have started that processes by realizing they aren’t true but now I must train myself to accept and live the truth. The truth I will find starts with my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father.

My healing begins. My journey continues. I search for the faith and love in myself.

God Bless.