Friday, May 29, 2009


Six years ago Sargent Shriver at the age of 87 was diagnosed with Alzheminer's. His daughter Journalist Maria Shriver has produced a four part series on HBO called "The Alzheimer's Project" that is airing this month. You can watch it at

Shriver's children told her, "Just talk to Grandpa. Just go with whatever he is saying. Don't try to correct him, don't get mad. It's not him. Just laugh with him or just accept him, or be patient with him."

Says Maria, "What I've learned from my own children . . . . is to accept the person for who they are, not for who you want them to be or who you remember them to be."

So much of life involves acceptance. I love this quote shared in a workshop I once attended (author unknown):

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation--some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in this world by mistake. . . . Unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

Lord, as with the Serenity Prayer, help me to accept the things I cannot change. Thank you for the wonderful love of my husband and help him to always trust and feel my love. Amen.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


When my sweetheart drives, he often gets angry at other drivers. Demenia has made him especially impatient and I have had to adjust to his impatience. Sometimes he is impatient when he can't get the TV channel he wants or when I don't finish a sentence quickly or make sense to him. I have to think carefully when I talk with him. Sometimes he is insulted that I remind him of something. We are adjusting.

At some point he will need to stop driving. Here is a check list from the link below and I can answer yes to two on the list.
  1. Needing more help with directions. Yes he does. I can remember near panic a year ago before he was officially diagnoised with dementia. Thanks to the cell phone I could help him.
  2. Forgetting destinations or where the car was parked. Not long ago I had to meet him at work so we could find his car in the huge garage.
  3. Having trouble making turns or being confused by traffic signals. Not so far.
  4. Receiving citations for moving violations. I still feel save when he drives us both.
  5. Putting dents in the car that can't be explained. Not so far.
He remembers to get gas, but that is about all. I have taken over normal maintenance of his car--the oil checks need to be every week because the car is old and that oil does go down. We have done a lot of preventative maintenance for his car including a new battery recentlly.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lost and Found

Lost. A little history. Sweetheart needed to mow the front yard and wasn't getting to it.

"Should I take up the riding mower?" I asked him.

"No," he kept insisting. He would get to mowing that lawn.

I get a message on my cell phone from Sweetheart that something is missing--I couldn't tell quite what he said. I call him at home and ask if the lawn mover is missing. We hadn't put the lock back on the shed since it was painted along with the house, and it could have been that someone got that expensive riding lawn mower out of the shed. He walks back to the shed. The lawn mower is still there. He can't remember what was missing.

About the time he is ready for bed (about five hours after the call on my cell), his wallet turns up missing--what the message on my cell was all about. We look for his cell and can't find it. I go to our online banking and find out he used the debit card that day to buy gas and so I start out for that gas station to see if he left his wallet there. On the way there, he calls me on my cell. He has found the wallet. For about five hours he has forgotten he lost his wallet! At least it turns up! At least he remembers to call me when he finds it and I don't get all the way to the gas station!

Found. Sunday we went to Golden Coral Restaurant after church. We were seated in a room not in view of the buffet. He went to get food and then couldn't find me! He was looking for me in the area where we usually sit. I had to go find him!

With all the reminders about mowing the front lawn, with the loss of the wallet for hours and his not remembering what he lost, and with new places in a restaurant we go to periodically, I realize that it is my sweetheart's good habits that keep him functioning and still going to work.