Excerpt from 'When It's All Said and Done'
“In my professional opinion it will be within the next 12 hours."The words were as direct, as she was kind; as honest as she was compassionate. When Brittany, the visiting hospice nurse, spoke them, it was as if there wasn’t anything to doubt or question. After all, observing people during their last moments in this life was part of her job and if there was anyone more qualified to make the call… we couldn’t think of one.
That was on March 25th , 2013, at approximately 11am. Mom’s time of death was marked at 12:01 am March 26th 2013.
People diagnosed with Alzheimer's are more than three times as likely to die as those without it. (link quote)
Alzheimer’s is often overlooked by many individuals who aren’t dealing with it on the front line. Even those who witness this illness firsthand are often not confronted by Alzheimer’s stark reality. Many who have Alzheimer’s are in homes, hospitals and are cared for by medical personal. Alzheimer’s heartbreaking portrait can only be understood when we understand that, though it is a neurological illness, its effects are seen in the physical realm. Think about it... “the mind is a wonderful organ,” is it not? The mind tells your feet to move, it tells her stomach “I am hungry,” it recognizes beauty... The mind tells our arms to hug, and reminds our nerves that heat is present on the stove top. The mind sees and hears words, and translates them to something meaningful.
The mind. What a beautiful thing.
When a person loses their mind they lose everything. I’m not talking about a mental illness, I’m talking about nothingness.
I saw my mother look into a mirror several times and say, in all seriousness, “Who are you?” Mom didn’t see herself, she saw a stranger in the room. At first, when I saw Mom do this I wanted to laugh and make light of it, as Mom was often a jokester, but it was actually not a laughing matter. Mom saw another person in the room whom she did not know and it frightened her. Sometimes Mom looked at Dad and said “When are you leaving?” Mom and Dad were married almost 55 years yet she forgot who he was on many days. Mom kept waiting for this man , her husband, to leave.
We use the word 'paranoia' when describing some symptoms of Alzheimer’s but a better way to describe it would be mindlessness. Mom was not paranoid, she was losing her mind and it displayed itself as paranoia. Mom never changed. She was always lovely and pretty even in the end, but she could not recognize herself.
Alzheimer’s is more than just forgetfulness. It eventually spreads within the brain, effecting the section which controls the physical functions. A person with Alzheimer’s may eventually forget how to breathe or swallow. According to the Center for Disease and Prevention approximately 5 million people in the US are living with Alzheimer’s.
Still, many do not know that it is a fatal disease. There is no cure.
This figure is likely higher, since many with Alzheimer’s die from related complications.
I am so thankful that the prism of my own understanding is forced to depend on God.
Thinking about those who are facing “goodbye” and are processing their loss.
God’s Peace to you,
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Excerpt from ‘When It’s all Said and Done’
“Knowing what is to come, does not soften the reality when it does come. Thinking we are prepared for death isn’t the same as facing it.”
Thank you Penmor Lithographers for another warm welcome. My dad and son enjoyed the tour.
Excerpt from 'When It's All Said and Done' and a part of a poem written for Mom.
All my Grammy’s Books
"Her shelves appear disordered some would say a
mess, but hands reach out to touch them her books
above her desk.
She signed everyone one she gave you, each child received her
best, a scripture to remind them how
wonderfully they’re blessed."
Not since listening to Kim Komando’s explanation of the future of technology, as understood in ICloud, has my brain had such a meltdown. I say that with genuine appreciation to Kim’s keen intelligence on all matters “techie.” I joined Twitter in May of 2011 to follow breaking news and things of interest, i.e. The Drudge Report, CNSNews, Debkafile News and Arutz Sheva Briefs. Several weeks ago I decided to “join” and get involved in this social network. Mostly, I was frustrated with the current affairs of our country, along with the world in general. I thought perhaps I may find others of “like mind” who felt like me.
Wow...did I ever!
After a few days, and some lovely follow backs (#Thank you) I began to ponder just how your network actually works in terms of responding to my new found “community.” Twitter has so many subcultures, therefore I had to determine which ones I wanted to define as my "prefer to follow” tags. I am following Christians, Conservatives and military men and women, both active and retired, along with their supporters.
After a few paltry attempts at “tweeting,” I proceeded to the local book store to purchase Twitter for Dummies, thinking this would be helpful to my delayed learning curve. Wrong.
The very first line in the books forward says “Let’s be honest. You’re not a dummy.” No I’m not, but I’m not as smart as the dummies book. Honestly, try as I may, I am not able to get past RT, favorite and reply. Every day I am a newbie and it’s starting to bother me. I feel foolish sending a full newbie disclosure to followers.
I get so excited when my phone dings me with a new tweet, or as we use to say, “you’ve got mail.” I run to see your shared message or my inclusion in a message sent out as a group. I love to see I’ve been followed. At least I have caught on in the silently assumed behavior of sending a 'thank you' and to re-follow those of interest. In reading “for dummies,” I get the "not to exceed 140 characters," but not how to send a group shout out. When I am included in a group message with only a bunch of @names and nothing else, I’ve yet to figure out the etiquette of responding. All the while, I am thrilled to be a “part of” your community. I also understand from “for dummies,” that I should be sensitive to the tw or twi prefix ie tweet, tweeple, and tweetup, and assess whether I will be using it as my language or not. I won’t be using it except as the word tweet applies.
For those who have never read this book and are advanced in their techie mental finger speed, kudos to you. I really admire you and I am jealous.
Page 108 says the name of the game is engagement. Ok but I’m on page 108 and the best I’ve got is “don’t use any more than 140 characters.” I’m really not a dummy, so why do I feel like one? On page 145, I am introduced to #hashtags. That one I learned 3 weeks before I bought the book, therefore I can move on, but not until I make a mental note-to-self to not over use hashtags. Before I am able to apprehend the whole idea of Twitter conversation, code of behavior and those favorite group includes, “for dummies” suggests yet another impossibility called branching out with #thirdparty applications. Just when I thought I was getting somewhere I am being lead to other software downloads with names like Seemic Desktop, TweetDeck, Digsby, Friedcell, Blip and Twitterific. Seriously, I just want to visit properly!
Mind you, I kept looking at your retweets and scratching my head while pondering the 140 character and your links to web sites. What’s bit.ly? Uhh... a quick google search away and easy directions, PASTE and COPY, it doesn’t get much easier for those of us "not dummy" types.
I must confess that 6 months before I turned 50 I spent a tremendous amount of time at #BestBuy. I went in repeatedly to talk to a lovely clerk who was #IPHONE smart. She taught me most of what I would need to know. I have now been using an IPHONE for over 5 years. As a newbie to IPHONE it wasn’t this painful. Yep, my whole world seemed to fit into my phone.
At this writing I only have 36 twitter followers.The highest compliment I had yesterday was to be added to a list called “friendly to Israel." This truly tugged at my heart strings.
Essentially, what I mean to say is that I am enjoying your tweets tremendously. I am not sure I will be catching up very quickly, but I so appreciate hanging out in this age of social networking and finding others who are #StandUpPatriots, #DefendersOfFreedom, #BibleBelievingChristians, #SupportersOfFamily, #OutspokenVoices, #Hoorah, #NeverForget and #GodBless people... no matter who or where you are. ( I know that’s more than 2 hashtags)