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Woo Hoo!!!! It’s Friday!

So many people get excited when Friday comes, because that signals the end of their work week and make plans for the weekends to get away with family and friends or do projects around the house, or if they are smart, just rest up and gain strength and energy to make it through the next week.

When I was still working outside of the home, Friday was just another day for me. My days off were Sunday’s and Tuesdays. I didn’t have the same pleasure as most of my other friends when Friday’s arrived.

I think it’s great that there is one day a week that people are jubilant about; but what about the other six days? We should be just as excited for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Shouldn’t we?

Do you think when God created everything, he had it in mind that only Friday’s should be celebrated? More than other days? Doubtful. If we only look forward to one day of the week and miss out on the other six, what does that say about us? We just trudge through the rest of the week until Friday rolls around and then we start all over again, looking forward to just that one day?

I look forward to Saturday’s and Sunday’s now, because that is when my husband will be home and we can have quality time with one another. We can laugh and be silly, lean on one another, share our hopes and dreams and concerns and I am once again whole. For the past month and who knows how many more weeks or months, he spends the week with his father, taking care of him, due to Alzheimer’s and the distorted reality that he lives in. EVERYDAY is precious because you see glimpses of the man he was before the disease reared its ugly head. And we are thankful that when those glimpses come out, he can laugh and not be fearful of something his brain has conjured up.

Sunday is day celebrated in my heart because that’s the day I get to go to church and worship and enjoy the presence of the Lord with my church family. I become refueled for the week ahead and am encouraged by others and the testimonies they share of how Jesus has changed their lives! However, worshiping the Lord is a daily event for me. I sing his praises every chance I get, every day. I sing for him and he still loves me~I imagine he hears perfection when others hear an off tone, loud, obnoxious voice. My grandmother used to say you couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I didn’t care.  Jesus loves when I sing for him. That’s all that matters.

Monday is a day to start fresh, wipe the slate clean from the previous week when things didn’t necessarily go as you planned and pray this week will look better than the last. I will admit most people I know frown when Monday appears, it means back to business, no more playtime- except for the DSM team at my church, (Dayton Street Ministry) -this is when they gain joy and not only bless the homeless and hurting in the city-but are also blessed. Rain or shine, freezing temps or sweltering heat. Every Monday. No exceptions.Lives our touched.  We all seem to forget, that God’s mercies are new every single day.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are days set aside for Therapy and Medical appointments. Tuesday is for me, my appointments, time with friends, running errands, grocery shopping and all those other “fun” things that we must do to make sure our family is taken care of and the house gets taken care of. I used to be able to dust, wash walls, clear the pesky cobwebs and so many other things to give me a feeling of job well done! Now if I get the dishes done, it’s a win.

Wednesday and Thursdays are devoted to Tyson’s speech therapy inside and outside of the home, along with the Play Project which we will be starting soon. Although daily therapy is done, he isn’t aware we are “working”, like he does with the structured therapy appointments.. I am working on teaching him simple signs (American Sign Language) to request his wants and needs along with PECS, a communication system using pictures exchanged between Tyson and others so he can tell people what he wants or we can tell him what’s next in his day.

I am trying to celebrate every single day. Yay! I woke up, I can breathe, I can walk, I can laugh and I can cry. Yay! That means my work here on earth is not done. God still is willing to use me and stretch me and mold me to carry out the plans he has for my life!Jeremiah2911A

The moral of this story, is live life to the fullest. Enjoy every day as a gift. Trust that if you are still here, than your work is not done. And don’t take it for granted, it could be gone in a split second. Tell others how you feel, love on them, encourage them, hold them up, ask for help when you feel overwhelmed or lost or alone. Don’t wait to tell someone something that they need to hear, because you are waiting for the right time~you may not get the chance. Be someone that embraces each day with an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude. We all have at least one thing to be thankful for. And if you adopt this practice, you will see how very blessed you are and in turn can be a blessing to another human being.

And yes, I am excited it’s Friday. Tonight my husband comes home. I can’t wait!

Celebrate your life; your losses and your wins. They make you into the person you are right now. A great place to start celebrating is using the 100 Days Gratitude Journal from iBloom!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy EVERY day! May you know that Jesus loves you! Blessings, Carlene

 

 

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Memory Loss

When did I become so reliant on this device that I lost my mind? I wish I could give you an answer, but I actually have no idea when that happened. What is really amazing to me is that I can still recall the phone number that I had growing up, but I can’t remember the number I called yesterday to make a doctor’s appointment. my phone

I bring all this up because this love of my life, who is smarter than I ever
imagined can operate a smart phone, better than I can. He’s 2. He loves to watch kids videos on my phone and play educational games I have loaded on the device for him. He also thinks it’s quite cool to send text messages to many people at once. Mind you, you would have to know his toddler language to read the messages, they appear to be encrypted in some type of secret code. And he knows how to find my favorites in my contact list and make random calls and as soon as someone answers, he hangs up the phone!

Listening to him watch videos on the phone, little did I know that he had also opened my contact list and in a matter of seconds had deleted all but 6 contacts out of my phone! YIKES! I was in panic mode. I didn’t have those numbers saved anywhere else, or so I thought. Even numbers of family members, except for my mother and immediate family, had vanished!

After searching through emails and online accounts and reaching out to friends and family on social media, I was able to retrieve over 250+ numbers. And I learned how to use the backup software on my phone to make sure I am prepared if this should ever happen again.

What amazes me the most is how much I rely on my little handheld computer to keep me connected to people who matter in my life; that I stopped using my brain to store the information and started relying on a device to do it for me.  If I have taken for granted that I would always have a strong mind, than what makes me think something else couldn’t be so devastating?

I also learned there are apps to protect the apps on your phone so something like this never happens again. I had no idea. I know my phone is smarter than me on some days and, it appears so is my 2-year-old grandson.

Memory loss of any kind can set you into panic mode. I’ve seen it in myself and family members. Losing cognitive functions can be just as disturbing. You know that you used to be able to remember names and faces, places you visited, a skill you learned and your mind falters. You chalk it up to old age-everyone has forgetful moments, but what happens when your mind starts playing tricks on you?

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Watching our loved one go through the debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s puts into perspective losing all my contacts. At the time it happened, I was in panic mode, but I knew how to get them back, it would just be time-consuming. To think that someone who has Alzheimer’s can’t get their memory back or make sense of something as simple as realizing milk goes on cereal but orange juice does not; that’s scary.  Or hallucinating, thinking people are in your home, when you are the only one there. Paranoid to the point of thinking someone is out to get you and hurt you. This is what is truly sad.

I continue to pray a cure will be found for this mind altering disease. I pray for those that are suffering and for those that have to sit by and watch and feeling so helpless there is nothing they can do, but continue to love their family member or friend with an unconditional love.

1 Corinthians 13:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Blessings to all, 

Carlene

Coping in the Valley

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I am so thankful for God and His Word. In Psalm 23 he tells me that no matter what I walk through in life, down low in the valleys or high on the mountaintops he will be with me. Right beside me, holding my hand and guiding me. I have no reason to fear. Jesus is all I need. He gives me rest and renews my strength.

For several years, my husband and I, along with other family members have known that my father-in-law has suffered with Dementia.  It is hard watching someone you love lose their memory, struggle with simple tasks and become agitated and angry because they perceive something that isn’t really happening. The brain can play so many tricks on a person when they are ill.

You talk to them on the phone or in person, and in a short period of time, you have heard the same “story” more times than you care to remember, but you keep silent, because you love them. They talk about their lives when they were younger, but aren’t sure what happened 20 minutes ago.

They know their brain is failing them and it is so frustrating to them. They ask how can we fix this? Living like this is horrible. And you have to be the one to tell them, there is no fix. The docs might be able to give you medications to help slow the process, but there is no cure. It will never get any better than it is now. You pray for a cure.  You care for them the best way you know how, but then one day it becomes apparent to all the family, they need more can than you can give. Any child that loves their parents, only wants the VERY BEST for them, their life and their well-being.

By the time my father-in-law was diagnosed, he was in Middle Stage Alzheimer’s. I’ve read on Alzheimer’s National Organization page that many people are diagnosed in the middle stage. I am still learning about all the stages of Alzheimer’s and all the symptoms associated with each stage. It’s scary. Not just for him, but for all of us that love and care for him.

Hallucinations are hard for him to deal with; he thinks that what he sees and hears is real. He has fears that aren’t easy to calm down. It’s constant reminders that he is safe; no one will hurt him; he is loved. My husband is the oldest child of 5 siblings. He and another sibling have been taking care of his father on a constant-continual basis for several years now. Taking him to medical appointments,helping with medications, grocery shopping and other tasks he needs help with; along with staying with him on many occasions and giving basic care and support.

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When their mother passed on, they spoke of how life would be for their dad and vowed to one another, he would never go to a nursing facility to live out his life. Now the time has come, where it may be the best option for him. At best, we have to do what is in the BEST INTEREST of their father and not what they think might be best. At worst, they can do nothing and Social Service organizations can become involved and make decisions on his behalf.

Job 4:2-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

2 “Will you be patient and let me say a word?
For who could keep from speaking out?
3 “In the past you have encouraged many people;
you have strengthened those who were weak.
4 Your words have supported those who were falling;
you encouraged those with shaky knees.

As for my father-in-law, we don’t know what the future will bring. We can only trust in God to guide us on this new journey. We can reach out to others that have gone before us or are still going through it and we can accept advice and encouragement along the way.

In the beginning, our parents  raised us, taught us, disciplined us and most of all loved us and now it is our turn to teach our parent(s), be their rock, be their one constant in their life.. Many of us would not be the people we are today, without the loving instructions we were shown and given in our childhood days.

The one thing I know for sure is the sun will rise another day. Life will go on. Changes will occur and the one steadfast thing that will never change is Jesus. He is the same today, as he was thousands of years ago and he will be the same in the future.

sunrise-795311_1280Isaiah 26:3-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
4 Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.

If you want to learn more about Alzheimer’s, please fee free to explore the links below:

National Alzheimer’s Association

WebMD Alzheimer’s Center

National Institute on Aging

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Memory Care Locator Services

Lord Jesus, As we embark on this journey of caring for our loved one with Alzheimer’s,  I beseech you to give us clarity in making difficult decisions, wisdom to know what to do and when to do it and to continually be our strength and hold us up as we tread this unfamiliar territory. Please continue to be with our father and help him on his new walk. Lord, your word says that your Peace passes all understanding and we are to lean on you. Thank you Lord for your continued love and faithfulness in all areas of our lives daily. We exalt you and Praise your Name Jesus. In your Mighty name, I lay my requests at your feet. Amen

It is my prayer that if you or a loved one suffer from any form of Dementia or Alzheimer’s that you know you are not alone. Our Heavenly Father is always with you. He will never abandon you. Jesus Loves you.

Blessings today and always,

Carlene