Jack, you have been with your mom since January 24th, 2016. It is to keep her safe. You have been there 91% of that time. (who’s counting) She is almost 89 years old. She does not want to be alone at night. She needs company 5 or 6 times a day and you do not know when that will be. Buddy, you have been extremely loyal to her and the job. Jack, you are luckier than a lot of caregivers, you have family near. They have provided the safety net that other 9% of the time. Lots of caregivers have no help at all. But still you are there, hanging tough, bad attitude and all sometimes, but you are there.
Jack, you are one of the most persistent men, I have ever known. It’s not going to get easier, but you WILL get stronger. Continue to get up every day, get dressed up and keep her safe. Your man foe, is in your head. Do what you have always done buddy. Keep Going. Don’t let the change get ya down.
This post is to me, from me. That’s pretty cool huh?
Upon moving here with mom, at first their was no significance to the highway down the street. Long highways had become important to me. In 2013, I traveled across America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. 2,594 miles were on foot. 458 in the passenger seat of a car. U.S. Highway 80 was once a cross country route. It now ends in the Dallas, Texas area.
She starts at Tybee Island, Georgia and, in the past, terminated in San Diego, California.
Here is a picture, near mom’s house in Georgia. Jogging west on Highway 80.
I’ve read or heard this formula, a few times.
168 hours in a week. 56 hours sleeping, 56 hours working, 56 hours left. 10% of the left over time is 5.6 hours per week. So, 5.6 hours a week dedicated to giving back.
I found this quote a few minutes ago. I like quotes. Sometimes they help, maybe sometimes they don’t. Anyway, here it is.
“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.” ~ Malcom Bane
he emailed me this morning. Things are different now. I never suspected anything bad or sad. We met in 2013. “He called himself over the hill and fat.”
He sent a picture. He lost 93 lbs.
- No surgery
- No medication
- No doctors
He said no to coming back on Facebook. Didn’t say why.
He runs 3 miles daily, 5 days a week. On the 6th day, he runs 6 miles. The 7th day, he takes off and walks.
We promised to stay in touch.
Today was his birthday. He is 61 years old.
During the time he was gone from Facebook I sent him an email one time monthly. I never missed a month.
He apologized for the abruptness of his departure. We spoke on the phone this evening.
Oh yeah, he is 5’10” tall and weighs in at 150 lbs.
Some folks say they weren’t cut out for caregiving. I’m cut out to do what is my responsibility. It may not look pretty at times, but I am here. This is my watch.
he said watching animals can teach. He saw antelope in a field. Things were great, they felt good. Life was good for them.
A mountain lion appeared.
The lion left. He had did his thing. The antelope immediately went back to enjoying life. They felt good. Life was good for them.
A call to me this morning: “My best friend stopped calling. It hurt. Being a caregiver has turned me into a complainer. Nobody wants to be near or talk with me. I finally called her yesterday. Her husband informed me, that she has cancer. It’s bad.”
This has been a process of trying something, evaluating my feelings, and going back for more. My level of acceptance is high, so I am often disappointed in my presentation. After almost 5 years of working at it, I know my approach is important to me, as an individual. That must be addressed.
I work at letting others approach me. I give them ample reason to. My car, stroller and myself can be easily spotted. Once they approach, I answer any questions or point them in the direction of a possible answer. Sometimes I then ask for permission to hand them a card or a bracelet. Either of those have the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline phone number on them.
If enough awareness is raised maybe
- more of the electorate will see the need to ask Congress for more research funding, and Congress will respond and a cure will be found.
- caregivers will know where to go for more knowledge
- family members will understand the need to help the primary caregiver
- friends of the primary caregiver will understand the need to offer help
Most folks would be amazed at the difference between the awareness level of a primary caregiver and a sibling of the primary caregiver.
Keep climbing those Mountains. One day when you get to the top, God will take you home. Until then, keep climbing Jack.
Manage your resources. Remember, only one Finish Line matters. Enjoy the good times, push through the bad ones.
Never Give Up on what matters to you. It’s your Journey.
Be able to look at God and say “I used everything you gave me”