Leaving Alzheimer’s Behind

I wish I had the chance to know you, but you were already trapped inside.

I wish that just once, I could have seen the color of your eyes.

I wish I could have made you laugh, maybe even sing.

I wish you could have told me about your life

and the man that gave you that ring.

I believe that you can hear me, though you can not talk.

I believe you know I moved you towards the sun

because you can no longer walk.

Did you like to dance? Was your life hard?

Did you look forward to the holidays?

Did children play in your yard?

So many things to talk about but the answers you can not find

they are no longer there, inside that ravaged mind.

I hope that you could tell that you were not alone

that I was here with you when Jesus took you home

and I can only smile while I watch you take your last breath

because I know you now know everything

in the moment of your death.

See ya later

Eddie

 

Posted in death and dying, end of life care giving, poems, religion | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

What About Love

In the wake of Valentines Day I felt the need to examine what is important in my life.

I live alone. I have no significant other. There is no one that I WANT to be with. I don’t even have a dog. Yet I feel completely fulfilled and whole. I feel complete as a person. I long for nothing or no one.

It’s not that I have a lingering bitterness or anger in anyway. I just do not feel that I need a companion or partner for what is left of my journey here on this earth. I receive all the emotional aspects of life through my work.

. I love and I feel loved at work. Even without the interactions with other people I do not feel like I am ever alone. I feel the essence of the spirits of all the people I have known and lost. I feel the spirit of the hawk and the strength of the mountains. They emanate through space and create the being that I have become.

Do I get lonely? Absolutely not.

What about giving or receiving love? Love…That’s a word that gets thrown around way to liberally yet it is such a common and daily emotion. I truly and literally love these mountains. It is a feeling that touches me to the core of my being every time I look at them.

I see love and appreciation every day in the eyes and smiles of people just when I smile at them or talk to them. I love in other places that make my spirit soar. Like an elderly couple in an embrace or exchanging a kiss. A child playing with a puppy. A goose and gander with their babies protecting them fiercely from anything that poses a threat…even from cars when they are crossing the road.

I could go on but what I am trying to say is you do not need anyone else in your life to experience love…it happens everyday …all around you. 

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February The 16TH

It has been awhile since I have written.

This is a very important day in my history. February 16. 1988 my wife got into the car with my 9 month old child and said she was going to the store. I thought nothing of it. As the hours passed I knew something was wrong. I went outside and sat on the porch watching the sun go down thinking I should call the police.

My sister pulled up and I knew something was wrong. She came up on the porch and sat beside me and asked how I was doing. I told her I was fine but I was beginning to worry because my wife and Trey should be home by now. That’s when she told me they were not coming back.

She could have cut me with a knife and I would not have been more shocked. I called my mother-in law to try to find out what was going on and was told I should get on with my life that I would never see either of them again. Thus began the most difficult and life changing period of my existence.

 

In the next thirty days I went from 218lbs. to 168lbs. I never slept. Trey’s room, with the crib and stuffed toys, was where I slept on the floor and spent most of the time when I was not working. I drove a truck at that time and all day long I thought of driving it into a tree or head on into another big truck.

My mother-in-law would only repeat the same mantra every day. “Get on with your life. They are not coming back,” as if she had taken my toaster instead of my child. Suicide seemed to be the only relief I could find that would stop the thoughts of never seeing my son again. I would cuss God every morning for not taking me during the night and every evening for not taking me during the day.

People trying to console me made me very angry. I was bombarded with phrases like, ” What about people that can’t have children? Think what they have lost!” I would respond,” They can’t lose something they never had!!” Or what about the parents that have buried their child?” I felt that at least they knew where their child is! They had the freedom to attempt to continue with their lives!

The police would not help. Their was no such thing as parental kidnapping at that time. The next time I saw my son he was nearly two years old. Walking and talking and had no idea who I was. By this time I was a completely different person. My entire personality had under gone a metamorphosis for the worse. I had developed a tremendous problem with anxiety that I had never had before and steal deal with today. I have a fear, even now, that I would lose my son again.

Fast forward to February 16, 1995. I was on a sells call with a customer when I had received a page from my ex mother-in-law. I called her immediately afraid something was wrong with Trey. What she told me had me so weak at the knees I thought I would collapse. She told me to come get my son, he would never go back to her daughters home again!

I was in shock again. I had been so aware that it was February the 16th that to receive this call EXACTLY seven years to the day had me in tremors. It has been me and my son since. Even though he is three thousand  miles away and I still have a tremendously difficult time living with anxiety, I consider myself the most fortunate man alive.

I thank God every day for my life and the blessings He has bestowed upon me. Though it has not been a life that anyone would choose for themselves it is mine and I have truly lived.

Posted in family, life | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Letting Go

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I know that to the casual observer seeing this picture above they must think, ” What a sweet man!” They would have no idea of how true a statement they have made. What they would not, or could not, know is the wheel chair is for him. The picture above is of my father and mother taken at the river walk this past summer. Who would have thought at that time they would both be dead in a few months.

As anyone who has read my blog would know my father had Parkinson’s for twenty-six years before his passing on January the fifth of this year. His passing from this world into the next was a beautiful and joyous event and it will be celebrated as such. It will be celebrated as a birthday as far as I’m concerned, because that is exactly what it was.

For on that day he was born into a healthy beautiful body and if there are streets of gold in heaven you can bet he is running down them covered in sweat with his head thrown back and that euphoric smile on his face and look  in his eyes that he got when he hit the seven or eight mile mark of his run. The sound and rhythm of his feet hitting the streets is echoing throughout heaven….p..pat..p..pat..p..pat….

Sitting here writing this, looking out the window at the mountains he loved so much I can almost hear the sound of him running past the lake coming home. This vision of him running is what will carry me through the day and the night. On this day one year ago my mother, my siblings and myself gathered. We didn’t gather to celebrate New Years. We had gathered so I could tell them it was time to let Daddy go.

Vocalizing that thought was the hardest thing to not only do at the time but to shoulder that decision as a man. I know he will thank me the next time I see him and it is not something I have dwelled on through the year but tonight I will sit by the fire and pour two glasses of whiskey… one I will drink…the other…I don’t know yet.

Posted in end of life care giving | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

from me to You

I wanted to take this time to thank You. I want to thank You for this life You have given me.

I want thank You for the cool fresh air that fills my lungs.

I want to thank You for the trees I use to warm my home.

I want to thank You for the sweet water that I drink.

I want to thank You for the beast of the field and the fish of lake that satisfy my hunger.

I want to thank You for the stars in the night sky and a moon so bright it cast shadows on earth.

I want to thank You for the mistakes I made in the past so I can see that it was You who brought to this place of peace in the present and hope for the future.

I want to thank You for the struggles and failures in my life so I can appreciate the blessings and purpose filled life that awaits me.

I want to thank You for the hurt and the pain I have felt before so that I can fully appreciate how precious the absence of it is in my life.

I want to thank You for the parents You gave me and I want to thank You for calling them home to You so that their the aging bodies would hinder them no more.

 

I want to thank You for the love and patience you have shown for us sinners and the outcast of the world and the knowledge that it was for us that You came…and that You ” Did not come to save the righteous”…
Thank You

Posted in family, life, religion | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

… In His Hands….

Before you read another word PLEASE, PLEASE watch these two short videos. They are just about five minutes each.

http://youtu.be/CrZXz10FcVM

http://youtu.be/NKDXuCE7LeQ

If you have been reading my blog for a while you are aware of the power that music plays in my life. I could write my life in song. I’m sure most everybody must feel the same way.

These videos are not just about music. They are also about the debt we, as a society, owe the aged. Some people believe that sometimes people just out live there usefulness or their ability to contribute to society in any way has come and gone.

These tend to be people who are so caught up in their own lives that they would truly rather not be bothered. I’m not saying that everyone should quit work and make an unreasonable commitment that would lead to financial ruin. What I’m saying is that there are so many of us who cannot give those few hours a week or a weekend to be a part of the lives to the people that help make us the people we are today.

And if you want to believe that they can contribute nothing to society then stop and examine…deeply… the emotions you felt while watching those two videos. If you can honestly tell me you didn’t want to clap and give a big WooHoo for Gladys and you didn’t want to sing with Henry then I can honestly tell you that you are dead on the inside and there is nothing REAL that you can contribute to society or that you are a true sociopath.

…He’s got the whole world…

Posted in end of life care giving | 6 Comments

Sunday Morning

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Sunday mornings seem to carry a certain aura for me. I don’t know why, or how, they just do. The world seems to be at peace with itself on Sunday morning. Some of it is for obvious reasons. There is not as much traffic noise because most of the people do not have to work. But it goes beyond that to me.

The geese seem content. There is not the raucous ” laughter ” of the ducks. I don’t here the dogs barking up on the mountain. Even the wind seems to take the day off. The screech of the hawk doesn’t greet me when I walk out the door and the caw of the crow is silent.

It is similar to being in church. I feel that if I were to say a word it would be disruptive to the quiet reflection the entire world is enjoying at this moment. It is a time for thanks and the realization of how truly great He is. There is a saying around here that the reason mountain folk are so spiritual is because they are a little ” closer ” to God.

I don’t know how much truth is in that statement but what I do know is that I can’t look out my window, or walk down the street, without being in complete awe of His majesty. I hope that wherever you may live that you are blessed with the same emotion everyday…and especially on Sunday morning.

Posted in life, religion | Tagged , , | 9 Comments