Dad is 83 and Mom is 77, both are in fine physical health, but both are suffering from dementia manifesting itself in memory loss, both short and long term. After a chance phone call to my Mother a few weeks ago where I accidentally discovered that she no longer knew how to write checks, I took a hurried trip to Florida to determine their status.
|Mom& Dad at our picnic|
lunch last week
Carrying on conversations of any kind with parents who suffer with memory loss range from the quaint to the frustrating, depending upon my mood at any given time or the topic at hand. Trying to get Mom to get beverages on the dinner table while I prepare the meal is quaint - trying to explain over and over again that her driver license has been suspended due to the uninsured car sitting in their driveway is frustrating. Telling Dad for the 5th time in 10 minutes that there is snow on the ground in Ohio (it IS December Dad) - telling him for the 10th time in 20 minutes that he has to sign paperwork to redirect funds from his IRA is frustrating.
ANYWAY - life is what life is. Learning to deal with it one day at a time will be my new challenge as I try to convince them to move back to Ohio to live with me and allow me to care for them.
JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT'S BAD IN YOUR OWN HEAD...
You have a conversation with someone who truly is having a difficult time with life: an acquaintance dealing with not just one, but two family members with cancer; another who lost her father just in time for the holiday; good friends with children serving overseas in danger zones.
Obviously my life is not difficult in comparison and for that I promise I will be thankful.
AS THE SONG SAYS....and so this is Christmas....
After many years of trying, I've finally given up almost all shreds of commercialized holiday revelry: I stopped decorating the house a few years ago; stopped sending holiday cards that support no one except the post office and the greeting card industry; and this year I finally solved the gift shopping dilemma. Giving and receiving gifts simply because it's the thing to do seems like a waste of money and energy by both givers and receivers, this year I totalled up the money I would normally spend buying gifts no one wants or needs and gave it to two local deserving charities.
It's certainly not that I don't appreciate the things people give me, whenever someone takes the time to think about you it's appreciated. But if the true meaning of the holiday is about peace on earth, goodwill to mankind, then my giving or receiving another scarf or bottle of wine will not go to promote those sentiments.
This has gone over with varying degrees of success this year. I had one or two people truly understand the gesture and a few that probably think I did it simply to get out of shopping (well, yes, of course that was a terrific by product) and some that probably didn't quite understand the concept. But, I feel pretty OK with this and for the first time in ages, the gifts I gave truly made me feel good about the process of giving.
untryside Conservancy's Don't Buy Food From Strangers campaign and One of a Kind Pets Rescue Clinic and Adoption Center.