Thursday, January 10, 2008

My humble thanks

On Christmas morning I opened a much anticipated present form ETK. I knew it was a book and I was anxious to see just which one it was. The picture on the paper cover was of an older house; white siding with lots of windows. You could see a light on through one of the many windows. The title; an uncertain inheritance-writers on caring for family. Hummm, I thought. This should be interesting. Lovee grabbed it later on that evening. Before I had a chance to even open it he had read the first story. He looked at me and told me a few interesting facts. Such as " in the United States, there are nearly thirty million informal caregivers. He had a look on his face that said..'Babe, we're not alone in this'. It was a sad look though.

He only read the first story though, I think. I retrieved the book from his nightstand and started reading. Of course, that meant that the 3 other books I was attempting to read would have to be put on hold. That's ok I told myself. This book will give me a lot of insight into this new world I've entered. The 'entertaining' books will wait.

This morning I finished the 10th story. It's called 'Death in slow motion'. During my readings of this book, I've taken to hi-lighting interesting passages, in case I want to reread them or just because I found them to be hitting me square in the nose. This last story was hi-lighted on most pages. It's about Dementia and Alzheimer's. It's a story that I'm afraid I will be able to add my own chapters to and at the same time I pray that I won't. One sentence in the story goes""You realize that your mother is suffering from dementia, don't you?' he said without sympathy. "Uh,yes,"I said, but of course I had no notion at all then of the real meaning of the ugly word."

That's a hi-lighted sentence for me. It's true. I have no notion of the real meaning...yet. I'm certain I will. But I'm not going to like it one bit.

This is quite possibly the best gift anyone has given me. It's a hard read, in that, I cry, buckets at times, over the heartache that's told. But I can not stop reading it. I have to put as much information in to my grape as I can. Not that I'll remember all of it or even a fraction of it. I doubt if I'll ever be able to recall important facts which may help me in the future. But, what I do hope is that, the information I glean from this will somehow float around in my grape and find a safe nook to rest, until needed. And then maybe little tidbits of information will escape ( be squished from the grape as I like to say) and give me some 'Aha' moments. Moments that will remind me that what I'm doing is a good thing, no matter what the circumstances. No matter how ugly or dark my mood gets over any given situation. Tidbits that will reinforce the decisions that we make and have made, about care for my folks. That I will oneday look at their house and see a light on through the window and know that everything, will eventually, be ok. That Sisterlittle and I and Lovee will walk a wee bit straighter knowing that.

So, I will say Thank You to my precious ETK for giving me the gift of this book. I will say it here, because I know if I try to say it to her over the phone I'll cry. And that's not what I want to convey. Yes, I'm sad at the prospect of what may happen but ever so grateful for the knowledge that, even though I knew it before reading this book, I'm not and will never be alone in my journey. And that....lifts my spirits.

My journey is in it's much more will come. Gracious, what a ride it's going to be.


Allison Horner said...

Awww. That was very thoughtful of her to buy that book for you. I bet it will immensely helpful through your journey. ETK is so wonderful, isn't she? I wish she knew how wonderful she is. :)

ETK said...

S'long as you know how much I love you. Seriously, after my mom died I read the book Motherless Daughters - I think I had the same experience I thought or hoped you would have with this book.

I think you are having it. I hope it helps and provides comfort. That's the most important thing.

'Cause I love you awful!

Now stop - you are both making me blush. In the Real World of our life - I'm the funny bitchy one not the nice one. :)