Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. -James 1:17
Happy Friday, friends and family! Welcome, too, to Birthday Season at the Applegate House and extended family. For some reason we have an abnormal number of birthdays that fall in July and August (and one in September) in my family and we are right smack in the middle as I type. Add to this one of my kiddos moving out, as I discussed last episode, the need for a couple different cars, multiple clinical studies and interviews, and getting a new puppy today (!), and we have been very busy. I finally got my first run in 10 days in yesterday. I have a lot of work to be done by June because next year’s event will be a hot mess….details forthcoming.
Early next week is mom’s birthday. Every year the last couple we agreed that this will be her last, and she proves us wrong. She has now been diagnosed with mixed dementia since 2009, or 13 years…and she is holding her own. We had a care meeting this week and they were pleased that she was still doing s well as she is. Our main concerns, while critical to her care and to having a “good” life, were not life or death issues, but nuisances. She needs more frequent eye drops, there is too much light in her eyes, and she needs to keep being turned more and more to prevent sores (which I am sure they were aware of). All things considered, these aren’t too big of a deal for longevity, but they certainly effect her day-to-day happiness. We are nice, but we are squeaky wheels. I feel for those who have no squeaky wheels. (BTW…if you want to become a squeaky wheel, here is one great idea: LINK and LINK I did Ombudsman work for about a year and will go back and do it again once mom passes away. It is very important that everyone is watched after by someone outside of th nursing home. It can be hard for caring employees to address problems in some cases for fear of reprisal. These volunteers bridge the gap…and so much more.
Birthdays for mom are hard.
What do we get her?
How will our bigger group visit/party break her routine (much more important in early- to mid-stage…now it doesn’t matter)?
It is bittersweet. Happy and sad. It is hard to know whether to be excited for her or sad.
Does she know what is going on? Does the singing bring her joy. or sadness? I suspect joy…but have no way to know.
It turns into another time to reflect.
Guilt rears its butt ugly head. Very much so…
Yet, because the Earth made another inevitable trip around the son, it is time to celebrate. And that we do…with joy!!!!
I would like to have another card shower for mom, but I am not sure it would benefit her much these days. Pray for her…that benefits her. Donate to the Alzheimer’s Association and/or create or join my Walk to End Alzheimer’s team (Never Gonna Give You Up). Here is the link for that:
Regardless how stressful birthdays can be, they are still a celebration…a party…and a time to look forward to the promised place of rest some sweet day, the place with no sadness, no illness, and no death. Heaven awaits…how many rotations around the sun will happen yet is the only real question.
I was fortunate to be able to help in a small way with this article in the NY Times:
I was also interview by the Springfield News Leader this week about nutrition processed foods, and dementia. While I am certainly not a poster child for good eats, I am getting better in my 50s. 🙂
I hope you all have a great weekend. Celebrate this weekend with your loved ones. Nothing obvious to celebrate? Find something. Despite the downer I made it look a bit in this piece, there are few things better than celebrating the time we have. 🙂