Arrived back at mom’s after 12 days of sharpening the saw and it was good to be home. Mom and Dash the dog looked well.
The trip was great because every day the knowledge that mom was in good hands was on my mind and my focus was on relaxing.
The wide open spaces, like in the picture below, bring peace for me. Sometimes at places like this, I will park, get out and walk around for hours.
We were illuminating the tapestry, so to speak. It may have seemed methodical, but the Epic Journey was the byproduct of being sincere, persistent, attempting, failing at times, succeeding others, and in realistic terms, I was simply a small part of it. The award could have many names on it.
Mark, Janice and I drove to the Lodge at Amicalola Falls for breakfast.
We drove to the reflection pond, took a few pictures and walked a bit.
After my ICU stay in 2001, a lot of my time was spent here at the park.
At 729 feet, Amicalola is the tallest waterfall in the state, located in the north Georgia mountains. You can drive or take a couple of different trails, but the 604 steps seems to be the most popular way to get to the top.
I had a brief conversation with a young lady that was born with Down syndrome in the restaurant at the lodge.
Drove to Amicalola Falls State Park and met Mark. We walked up the paved road to the lodge, had lunch, visited old friends, and went down the stairs to the cars. There are 604 stairs.
I was a volunteer at Amicalola for many years, worked with the birds of prey, led overnight backpacking trips, lead in the park hikes for school groups and in doing so, met a lot of folks.
Here is a picture of Mark, taken today.
Here is a picture of some folks from todays walk. They had an Alzheimer’s connection.
Most of the folks I knew from the volunteer days are gone to other places now. Things change in our lives, something it feels good, but sometimes it doesn’t.
Alzheimer’s was brought up a few times today and I feel comfortable listening to the stories.
One lady spoke to me about the suffering her 60 year old neighbor experienced before he passed away with Alzheimer’s. She remembers a day he cranked his lawn mower, mowed a few feet, turned around, went inside, and left the mower running.
Up early and out of Little Rock, traffic was extremely light. I took Interstate 40 into Memphis and then got on Highway 72 to relive old memories. The picture below was taken in 2013, east of Memphis.
I stopped a few times for pictures and took time to jog/walk my three miles.
A long phone call with a friend wasn’t real pleasant because we were discussing Pfizer and Enbrel. Some of, what seems to be, life’s realities, shake me.
My favorite quote . . .
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me” Erma Bombeck
Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject to the monarch of Britain and were now united, free, and independent states.
Almost a year ago a friend mentioned something that interested me. His intentions were to help me learn, learn about me.
My life has been, well a lot of it, has been an open book because I post my accomplishments and failures. His suggestion was for me to hold back on some of the stuff that got done, you know the stuff it may appear I am boasting about, and maybe I was. I knew what he meant and it seemed like it had the possibilty to teach me something, something about me.
I have done that, but mentioning it now would, well I won’t mention it. That may defeat the purpose. – If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make noise? Yeah, it probably does.
If your involved in an activity that helps others or accomplishes a goal and you tell nobody, did it happen? Yep it did.
This exercise has left me taking less pictures of meetings and at times, no pictures, no names and sometimes no mention. Also, some unfinished business has been finished but the only one that may ever know that . . . is me.
It’s a good feeling and it does feel like growth.
I’m not sure this post makes much sense to anyone that may read it, but inside I can tell I am trying to say something worthwhile.
I got up and left Henrietta Oklahoma very early and the drive was uneventful into Little Rock Arkansas.
I made a quick visit to the Alzheimer’s Association Chapter after checking into my room.
A great friend from the Reynolds Institute on Aging, at UAMS, picked me up and we had lunch. He dropped me off at the motel later, I rested a bit and then walked to Reynolds and spent time with another friend, about two hours. We spoke of many things.
The jogging and walking to the Institute and back, from my motel room, made for some good exercise.
If you or anyone you know needs information concerning Alzheimer’s disease, take time to call 1.800.272.3900 anytime. The call will be answered by a trained counselor for the Alzheimer’s Association.
I ended my driving day in Oklahoma and it felt good to get in a room. The skies were cloudy and an occasional lightning strike produced thunder, but not much rain.After the weather improved the jogging began, a bit over three miles.
A very dear friend phoned and we spoke of encouraging topics. Conversations with her have a way of lifting my spirits.
Mom and I spoke and we miss each other, but she sounds good. My sister in law is working at keeping ma safe, and the time off, for me, is appreciated.
Here’s a picture from yesterday. Wide open spaces that lack the normal busyness of life are relaxing to me.
While jogging yesterday a man, about my age, pulled over and we spoke for a few minutes. It was noticeable that he was using oxygen. We chatted about Alzheimer’s and he had a connection, but something else he mentioned stirred a thought. He said “I wish I could run one more time.”
In one way or another, those words have been said to me many times, about many activities.
It turns out he had been a runner in high school and college, and he found great pleasure in it, but health problems slowly brought it to an end.
Many things may have the ability to change our lives, and age, I believe, is a big one.
I remember when mom agreed to give up driving, it was obviously hard.
I thought of others, besides mom, and believe a lot of folks give up stuff they enjoy, as things change.
Stuff that I have given up, brings me to a fork in the road. Be sad and remain that way, or try to make lemonade out of the lemons I feel like I have been given.
I made some decisions about how to proceed with my advocacy. My mission will be to raise awareness about one aspect of the Alzheimer’s Association and one aspect of the National Down Syndrome Society.
Giving out the helpline phone number for each organization is important, because if anyone needs information concerning Alzheimer’s disease or Down syndrome, these two numbers may be a good place to start.
Alzheimer’s Association 1.800.272.3900
National Down Syndrome Society 1.800.221.4602
I came upon two long distance traveler this afternoon.
I drove big miles today and have been in the edge of 4 states.
A man in a pickup approached me about my clothing and the sign on the car. He was using oxygen and said he has friends with dementia, nice guy. He said he wishes he could run again. As I walked away I thought of October, when I will be 69 years old.
Late this evening I spoke with a chaplain. He spoke of helping at the Las Vegas shootings and several natural catastrophes. He said he gave that up, to care for his wife.