Last night and this morning were very sad times for all of us in Snowbirdland. Dennis and I are enroute back to Kentucky. Everything about my innermost feelings can be described in the category of ‘Weird’.
I have NEVER experienced ANY of this before or anything like it. That sentence is so packed full of meaning I will have to defer to a later writing. Later, I will expand on how weird it is to be away from everything in your life for TWO plus months for the 1st time EVER! I have never been away from my Hubby OR my Son OR my Grandchildren OR my Sheltie Lizzy OR my Home OR anything I have always called My Life. It feels weird being away and now going BACK. I am not sure I will know how to ACT!! As this unfolds, I will write more!
For now though, I was amazed when I spoke to mom at about noon that Pawpaw remembered our names! Dennis made sure we got up early, like he was going to work, so we could drive all 15 hours in one day. We left Buttonwood Bay, my winter Snowbird home for these past two months, at about 8 AM and Pawpaw was still asleep. We fully expected him to question mom about me and maybe Dennis being gone when he woke this morning and for many days to come actually. We did not expect him to use our names in his sentences!
During my 68 days with them, Pawpaw has thought I was his wife, his sister, a cousin, a neighbor, a good friend of Mom’s, and sometimes Sue, Wilma’s daughter. Usually he has not been able to call me by name and when he was completely lucid, knowing I was Sue, he would ask, “what is your husband’s name? I am sorry I just can not remember.” we are accustomed to Pawpaw not being able to call us by name.
It is ironic and sad that on the day we leave, after we are gone, that he clearly and distinctly remembers who we are and called us by name. Mom said the first thing he asked when he woke up this morning was, “Are Sue & Dennis gone?”
Through her tears, mom answered, “Yes, Hun, Sue and Dennis are gone.”
Yes, we are gone but gone does not mean ‘out of sight, out if mind.’ I will be checking in very regularly to make sure both are doing okay. I will continue to share our Alzheimers story.
Many of you are reading because you care. To each of you, please continue to pray for mom the 24-7 caregiver, for Pawpaw for he says himself in dismay, “I must be losing my mind” and for everyone involved with this terrible disease.
Many of you are reading to learn because you too face this disease in one of it’s seven stages either as a victim, caregiver or family member. Please know I write these stories mostly for you!
As a former science teacher and NASA educator, sharing knowledge and understanding has always been an important purpose in my life. I once replied to the sudden and unexpected question, “What is your philosophy of living?” in my NASA interview for the NASA Teacher in Space Program, “my philosophy of living is to serve God and mankind.” Writing and sharing to benefit others allows my life’s philosophy and purpose to continue even though I am technically ‘retired’.
I hope and pray that our stories written and shared here, help you, help mankind, and serve God as we, His people, come together to live this life as best we can under the circumstances we face.
Yes Pawpaw, Sue and Dennis are gone from your physical presence but that us the ONLY way we are gone! We are still here for you in every other way possible. We will stay in touch every day and my writings in honor of you, to help others, will continue.