Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. –Proverbs 11:16
Happy Monday to all! I hope you all had a great weekend! We got some decorating done and had some fun. It was nice. 🙂 My side wound is healing slowly but surely…so it could be worse. 🙂 Not much new news on mom. Is no news, good news? I hope so.
Now, don’t give up on this piece as a political one, for I am as apolitical as it gets these days. What I want to talk about today is being “legit” in politics and in our dementia-centric worlds. President Trump has changed his tune this weekend from stating that he has won the election to new rhetoric: that he lost, but the results are illegitimate (due to fraud, political stunts, etc…). I am not the only one who is sick of modern politics. There are some great folks in politics…and many not good folks as well…but I have long ago given up on trusting in a party or most politician for much. Bitterness and back-biting is so tiresome that I am apathetic now. Regardless the outcome and/or harm brought to the office of president the next 2 months, it does make me think of dementia. Here is how:
Let it go– To begin, I would encourage you to listen to this piece by Al Mohler, as the discussion was first brought to my mind by it. An interesting thing happened in 1980, but ramped up since 2000: challenging the legitimacy of an election result. Reagan’s struggle for legitimacy wasn’t a matter number of ballots—he won by tremendous numbers–but whether the voters were just charmed by his personality. Opponents tried, and still try, to paint Reagan as an empty suit that relied on his cabinet to make every decision, and countless biographies disagree with that assertion. In his elections, GW Bush was treated as somewhat illegitimate because of the Florida voting fiasco and because of losing the popular vote. (Note: His father didn’t seem to struggle with legitimacy…and is the last president to be treated this way…) Clinton had multiple reasons to appear illegitimate including only receiving a plurality of the popular votes in his elections (and his moral failings). Obama, led by Trump’s drumbeat, was treated as illegitimate because of conspiracies as to where he was born. Trump’s first term was never accepted by media and rivals due to Russian influence (disproven…and sort of moot anyway considering the US influences many, many countries’ elections…). A lot to be said here…and more is said by Mohler in the audio above. **********Summary: Not liking the results of something doesn’t change it or its validity. Enter Dementia/Cognitive Testing, stage right: I would like to encourage you to read this piece as it is an explanation of my opinion on testing. Are you struggling with memory? With day-to-day activities? Are you making more mistakes than normal? Are you frustrated a lot? Please talk to your doctor. There are many, many things that mimic dementia that CAN BE TREATED. There are treatments FOR dementia’s symptoms that, if used early enough, can extend the “easier” days of the condition (even if they don’t extend life span). Dementia…and elections…bring heartbreak. Don’t make it worse for yourself or your family by ignoring the problem. There are still many, many great days ahead!
Eat with Those Whom You Disagree– What is sorely lacking in politics these days is a willingness to sit down with someone who disagrees with you over a sub sandwich or a beverage and just do life a little. It is Ok to share your opinions while you eat…but listen with understanding at least half of the time. I have gleaned a lot…really….a lot!…from people with whom I completely disagree in politics, religion, lifestyle, etc… I haven’t always been quick to give and take like that, but, as I age, I see that it is wise and quite edifying to do so. Got a problem with a family member during your season of dementia caregiving? Are they NOT helping or trying to butt in and do too much? Talk to them. Call the Alzheimer’s Association or your local Area Agency on Aging or your church and get some respite help so the two of you can head over to Chick-Fil-A or similar…and eat…and talk. You need each other. A more united care team, like a more united political structure, makes things easier.
Grace, given and received– I hate that intentions are always seen as ill-intended within the political world. Not everyone who disagrees with you is actively seeking your hardship or to take over the world. Harsh words are chucked out quickly and easily. I think social media has a lot to do with this. We say things online that we would NEVER say to someone’s face…and we do it sooo often that pretty soon we are so conscience-seared that we can do it face-to-face. This is the tragedy of our modern age. We NEED grace. Romans Chapters 1-6 labor and labor and labor to remind us that we have no hope…and are desperate for GRACE. If WE NEED grace, do not our “enemies” too? Can we all agree to offer some grace to two folks that need it?: With your loved ones and with yourself. When (not if) your loved one says something harsh/mean/wrong/angry/unloving, can we be fast to offer grace? It is the disease talking. The disease is a savage devil…and it causes loose and broken lips. Forgive them. While you are at it, forgive yourself too. Have you always been a perfect husband/wife/daughter/son/friend? Nope. Have you let them down? Yup. Often? Probably. And they probably have you too… The only things that can be done are asking for and granting grace. It is all we can do and all we should need if we are to be more like the Lord.
Internet and news fast- Whether or not you are a caregiver, please take time off the news. It is 24/7/365 and there is ALWAYS breaking news! We need a break from being hyper informed. Inform yourself… from a few, diverse sources…then go for a walk. Read a novel. Take up a hobby. Exercise. Sort pictures into a picture album (after writing about the pictures on the back or in a journal.)Listen to music. Pray. Meditate. Build. Create. Volunteer. Grow. If you let yourself, you will spend your whole existence getting informed (and streaming Netflix) and life/time will pass you by. These political situations will work themselves out, with or without us. I am NOT saying NOT to advocate. We NEED to advocate for folks with dementia. I am just asking for balance. I need it and you do too. Take a fast from media early and often.
Terms matter– Calling a president illegitimate is a slanderous harm to those that have come before him. It hurts the stature of the office and the country. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…uhhh…tend to hurt things just as bad sometimes. In dementia, I just want to beat this dead horse a little more: It is good for us to lovingly correct basic mistakes people make in thinking about the disease. When someone calls it “Old Timer’s Disease”, it is an opportunity to be sure they understand just who all gets the disease a little better. Here is one piece I did on that topic. When presented with a “cure”, lovingly share it is your (correct) understanding that there are no cures nor life-extending treatments for dementia available today…but you will investigate their claim. If you get one, shoot me an email to email@example.com or text me at 417-955-2513 and I will research the claim with you. Trust me…a cure is worth multiple trillion (with a T) dollars. That is how expensive treatment is and how extensive the problem is. It will get out quickly and loudly when there is a cure. I am here to help. 🙂
Oh politics. Sigh… Anyway… Thank you for doing what you can to help folks with dementia. Stay legit in what you say and do in this realm. Holler if I can help in any way. If you want to hop on a ZOOM tomorrow for our caregiver support group, shoot me an email or comment below with your email address and I will send you the Zoom invite. It runs from 6-7pm CST on the 3rd Tuesday of every month (tomorrow this month).
Thank you all! Let’s not stop until we #EndALZ !
Update: No new updates. We are hoping to resume outdoor visits in 2 weeks in the cold. Sigh..hoping more for indoor visits. We will take what we can get. I have a video call Wednesday with mom. We are a day away from day 250 of the lockdown from free access to the nursing home. Again…I understand and empathize. I don’t blame anyone. COVID hammered mom’s nursing home. It is, however, extremely sad. AND, loneliness kills too…
WW update: I haven’t been able to exercise for 2 weeks as I recover from the procedure on my side. I have likely gained a few pounds… I have my first in-person WW meeting in 6 months tonight. I look forward to recalibrating with their scales and seeing old friends although I weigh in far fewer clothes at home than would be kosher around them. 🙂 I will update my weigh-in next post.
Last thing to check out: Link Yup…this mess is legit.