Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today....right now........that is the time!

Sometimes one begins to wonder about tomorrow........stop right there! Today is all that is important.

There will be good days when I can understand all that Jack is trying to communicate to me. There will be days when I have no clue. But the thing that he has never had trouble with are the words "I love you", and making that very plain.

There are times when we get so caught up in the 'what is' and 'what will' that we forget to just enjoy the 'just now'. A wise person told me once.........grab the moment and hold it close, that is the essence of memories.

I have spent so much time at the nursing facility the past year and a half that I feel I am a part of the building. The staff are good and try to do everything possible to make the residents comfortable. Sometimes we just are so focused on our loved one that forget that the patient needs to just be a part of the whole and not a "me".

I am learning to help Jack wait.........and waiting is difficult, but having every wish and whim immediately granted isn't good either. As the Parkinson's progresses the personality changes and impatience is the first emotional signpost I have been able to make out. Jack is impatient with himself as well when he can't communicate or move the way he wants.

I am also learning to judge what is fact and what is supposed fact. A good example is: Jack has just received his meds........a few minutes later he is complaining that they are late again with his meds.

From time to time I hear about the second story of the building and he has found how to get there. (There is no second story.) Sometimes I get call from Jack about a problem and after I drive 10 miles to the facility, he was mistaken, and greatly embarassed. Helping him through these painful times is just part of loving your spouse.

Most of all I am learning that showing LOVE is understood and communicated without any barriers in the mind. The brain can be a broken machine but the love cells still function.

The Oklahoma Irrigation story that you might have read in Patrict's blog was a reality but he would laugh that the irrigation ditches I dug that year are back and there is a constant drip into a large terricotta bowl and then there is the overflow under the elm trees for the "town cats" to lay in a cool damp place during the days of expreme heat warnings. These cast off animals are the furry things that keep my blood pressure low, my sense of humor in tact, and my cat food budget constantly strained. But my Mother (passed in 2008), and Jack constantly reminded me that these are God's creatures and not to let them starve............or get thirsty ..........or too hot! lol


Elizabeth Pancamo said...

Having a loved one in a nursing facility is a strain by itself, but when mental faculties start to go ... it's just something we have to painfully accept. I love how you express the love for your husband. It strangely reminds me of how I had cared for my mother in a nursing facility after complications from a brain tumor, and I feel such a connection to your situation. Yes, you got it ... we have to appreciate the today, the right now.

Patrick@Caregivingly Yours said...

Powerful entry! Steinbeck had it wrong in "Grapes of Wrath" the story is not in those driven from the Oklahoma prairie but those who stay and share "a day in my life" of caring.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick