Monday, June 26, 2017

I Will Not Forget You

In an effort to continue blogging my journey with Dementia - and Alzheimer's disease - I would like to re-post something I was inspired to write in April, 2016.

The actual post can be seen here on my old blog, Barbara's Blog.

But I am updating it to post on my new blog, Through the Hard Times...

I Will Not Forget You

Easy to say, isn't it?  "I will not forget you!"

But, what if circumstances beyond your control were to take that memory away from you?  What if you do forget?  What then?

Taking some time to relax this afternoon, I began to hear a program on TV about Glen Campbell and his final tour and concert.

Mr. Campbell has the dreaded disease, Alzheimer's.

He is not the man he once was.  His memory has taken away much of what he once knew.  He doesn't even know the names of his wife, children or other family and friends.  He can't name simple things that we use every day...a cup, or a toothbrush, or a comb.

But, what he does still have, lingering in the far reaches of his brain, is the memory of his music.  As he began to sing at what was to be his last concert, his memory allowed him to sing - somewhat - the songs from his awesome past.  Well, his memory and the tele-prompters that were installed within his sight to help him with the words!

Honestly, it wasn't the best of concerts; it was a "train wreck", as his daughter described later.  But, he did it!

Speaking of the reason for the documentary I was watching, Kim Campbell (his wife) said, "The more we learned about Alzheimer's disease, the more we wanted to shine a light on it and the more we became aware of the potential of this movie to be a catalyst for change."

Nobody wants to forget everything they know; nobody want to forget their loved ones or the things that had once made them happy.  Nobody wants to be reduced to being cared for by a loved one who they don't even know; a stranger for all they know!

This documentary had me in tears even before I sat down in front of the TV to watch it.  As I sat at the computer listening, I knew this was speaking to me!

I am a caregiver ...

Not something I asked to be!  I wanted to be a wife and a mother; I wanted to spend my life and my retirement with someone who would enjoy doing things with me.  Instead, this is the life we have; I am a caregiver and he is the receiver, though he would never admit to it!

Well, no more than Mr. Campbell chose to "catch" the dreaded disease, my husband did not plan to either.

The truth is, he hasn't actually been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  He was diagnosed years ago with Vascular Dementia that will not get worse unless he has more strokes.  The fact that he has been showing signs of his memory getting worse leads me to think it is getting worse.  So, when and where did these strokes happen?  Or, did they?  And, has "vascular dementia" suddenly become "Alzheimer's disease"?

Well, I know the next step for us is to get to the right doctor to have the tests done - again!  And have the diagnosis confirmed.  Then, perhaps we can find ways to move on along the journey that is ahead of us.

The last song Mr. Campbell recorded is called, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You."  Written with Julian Raymond, Mr. Campbell wrote this as a love letter to his wife, Kim.

You just cannot listen to this song without crying your eyes out; I know I couldn't hold them in.  I was glad my back was to my husband; he would not have understood the reason for the tears.

"I'm Not Going to Miss You"

These are the words:

"I'm Not Going to Miss You"

"I'm still here, but yet I'm gone
I don't play guitar or sing my songs
They never defined who I am
The man that loves you 'til the end
You're the last person I will love
You're the last face I will recall
And best of all, I'm not gonna miss you
Not gonna miss you.

I'm never gonna hold you like I did
Or say I love you to the kids
You're never gonna see it in my eyes
It's not gonna hurt me when you cry
I'm never gonna know what you go through
All the things I say or do
All the hurt and all the pain
One thing selfishly remains
I'm not gonna miss you
I'm not gonna miss you."

No, I don't think, in the end of it all, that he or my husband or anybody else afflicted with Alzheimer's disease will "miss you"...

Because they won't even remember you.

But, no matter what happens in the life of Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, or the life of Mr. and Mrs. London...

There is One who will always remember.

"I will not forget you.  I have written your name on the palms of my hands."  (Isaiah 49:15-16)

Ann Voskamp says it this way:

"Though we forget...You never forget us, You never abandon us, You never give up on us.  You have written us, our very names, on the palm of Your hands, written even me right into You - though we forget, You remember us."

Though we forget, though our loved ones may forget, God will always remember us.  He will not forget you or me.

My journey continues; my writing slows for inspiration to hit.

And, today, it did!

Thank you, Mr. Campbell and family, for your heart-felt documentary.  Thank you, God, for allowing it to enter my heart and soul, and give me that inspiration.

And, I pray that You will put these words in the hands of those who need them...

I write about our journey with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, not as an expert, but as a caregiver.

Living one day at a time, I continue learning how to do this each and every day.

Check out the website here for more information on the documentary, "Glen Campbell, I'll Be Me."

And, check out the resources used for my series, "31 Days of Dementia's Demands" here.  This and the other 30 posts written during October 2014 were for the "write31days" challenge.

Simple Woman's Daybook - June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017

Looking Out My Window:
It is a beautiful day outside; not sure of the temp at this 10:00 am hour.

But, the usual Monday morning...mowers and blowers and all the routine of lawn care!

And, it's summer, as well as hurricane season!  No getting away from the showers that came along at 4:30 pm!

I Am Thinking:
Trying to decide what projects to work on this Saturday at an all-day scrapping event.  With two retreats coming up, I also need to decide what to take to these as well.

Decisions, decisions!!

I Am Thankful:
For days when I have absolutely no place to go!  Unless I want to!

When I have nothing in particular that I have to do!!  Unless I want to!

Well, the usual weekly chores; laundry, etc.  but, nothing else unless that's what I want to do.

Lazy?  Perhaps!  But, I like to think of it as "retired; and doing what I want to do"!!

One of My Favorite Things:
Making decisions to do the last moment!  Changing plans around because that's how it has ended up working out!

This may not happen very often; but it happens more often now that I am retired.

I Am Creating:
Actually, I am at the end of a project where I made three sets of birthday cards; 10 or more of three different "designs".

This project is for a swap, and I will receive 9 different cards for each set; the additional - over 10 - are just to have extras!

Here they are!
Flip Flop Birthday Cards

Party Girl Birthday Cards

Washi Tape Birthday Cards

I Am Wearing:
A pair of pink flowered pajamas with brown lace at the neckline, and a pair of pink and black slipper socks.

It's a "pj's kind of day"!

I Am Reading:
On the way out of the used book store the other day, I picked up a book because it said something about "a mystery"...

Started reading "A Noble Radiance" by Donna Leon.  As I said, I just grabbed it as I was leaving the shelves in the back of the store.  What caught my eye was the cover...Venice and one of those boats with the guy standing at the back paddling...and the beautiful purples of the book...and the fact that it was "an intriguing mystery..."

I've never read any books by this author; so far, it is OK.

I Am Hoping:
Hoping and Praying that our minister, her husband and another youth director, along with eight of our youth, have a safe trip to Louisiana for a mission trip in Baton Rouge.  They will be helping other youth groups from around the U.S. in cleaning up after the floods that occurred there recently.

I Am Learning:
To take life slow and easy; to rest when I need to; to keep busy and active, but not to the point of exhaustion...

Though some exhaustion is well worth it! Like, when you go to a park and walk and enjoy the grandkids.  Or spend all day and part of the night scrapbooking with a group of other crafters.

But, I am learning when to stop and rest a bit before moving onto the next fun event!

In My Kitchen: 
I put off unloading the dishes; and loading the dishwasher again!  I wanted to get my computer work done so I could concentrate on organizing and putting away the craft stuff.

But, towels are in the washer, almost ready to be dried.

And, I haven't even thought about dinner.  Maybe some of those frozen chicken strips?  They won't be that difficult to pull out and fix something to go with them...

Post Script:
Here is what I'll be doing this Thursday evening with my friend:

Karen Kingsbury Love Story Tour

We will be attending at a tour location right here in my town!  Excited to hear her speak in person!

Shared Quote:
Today, I'm sharing a paragraph - quote - from a story I read in Guideposts Magazine.  It was written by Janice Thompson from Texas in the section called "Caregivers."

The title is:  "Respite Journey", and reads:

"It was hard enough to lose my mom to Alzheimer's.  I couldn't lose myself too.  I couldn't be a good caregiver if I didn't take care of myself.  I needed breaks.  Adventure.  Time to write.  And to do that, I needed to trust other people to look after her.  Trust that the Lord was taking care of us both."

Boy!  Did that ever hit home!  I may not be dealing with my "mom", as the story indicates.  And, I may not be as "in deep" with Alzheimer's as the author; but it sure did hit home a lot!

A Moment From My Day:
This happened the other day, and I had to share on my Facebook status:

"Mom busy at the computer and son comes in with a bunch of wildflowers for her!  Sweet!

Image may contain: plant and flower"Is it the same effect if wife is at the computer and husband, who has dementia and can sometimes act like a kid (and not at heart), comes in with a bunch of wildflowers for her?!  "Here, I picked these for you," he said; and I took them with tears in my eyes.

"I'd have to say...YES!!  It is the same effect!

Made my day a little brighter; and I think I can do more day; and then one day at a time!!

And another week of Simple Woman's Daybook has been written!

Join me again next week for a look into this simple woman's day...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Five Minute Friday - STEADY

Five Minute Friday

The Five Minute Friday community has a new look!  And, I am working on a new look for my weekly posts for FMF too.

I am also hoping to link up more often as I try to begin writing again!

For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out the five minute friday community on Facebook.  And, after writing your own post, share it on the weekly five minute friday link-up.

This week's word is:


Life can get a little crazy sometimes, knocking us off balance.  Unexpected medical issues; auto or home repairs not planned...

Any number of things that throw us off our steady lives.

In these moments, we need something - someone? - to help us get our balance back.

Maybe it's just a simple gesture; a message or comment on Facebook or our blog.  Or maybe it's a phone call - a voice on the other end to reassure us everything will be alright!

Better yet...

In today's technology...FACE TIME!

Maybe it's something even more personal; one on one...

Like a HUG perhaps!

Whatever it takes for that crazy moment to pass; to get our balance back and steady us once again.  So we can move on 'til the next bit of craziness!

Sometimes all it takes is a song, or perhaps a beautiful dance to a beautiful song!  Allowing us to take another breath as tears flow steadily down our face.

A moment to breathe and know life will go on.  Our next breath will put us back on track, slowly and steadily moving forward once again.

Sharing a bit of music and dance to steady you even more by the brother/sister team of Derek and Julianne Hough, "Unsteady"; you may need to have tissues with you as you watch this video:

This still brings tears to my eyes even months after first seeing them perform it on the show, Dancing with the Stars.

Praying you have those people in your life that can help steady you when life gets a little crazy!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook - June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

Looking Out My Window:
The mowers are out in full force!  That is what I am hearing!

The weather looks nice; not too hot or too cold...predicted temps at around 77 at 11:00 am, and going up to the low 80's.

I can handle that as long as it's not too hot and humid!  I get so worn out with temps so hot you can't breathe!!

I Am Thinking:
What am I thinking today?  Perhaps about getting busy and cleaning this apartment?

Or, making some things for a craft fair in December?

Or, just relaxing and not doing anything!

{That was Monday; the best laid week took a totally different turn, with an unplanned visit to the doctor and to the emergency room for an outpatient ultrasound on my leg...

more later when I get more info.}

I Am Thankful:
For the encouragement and support I get from my friends...

Some are my local scrappin' friend.

But, many are my online crafting and/or blogging friends.

One of My Favorite Things:
Chatting with my friends online!  It's amazing what we can find to "talk" about when we are typing out our conversation!

Thanks to my online friends, I can vent or cry or celebrate!  Whatever the need, they are there for me!

{And this morning...well, Thursday friend and I figured out how to do Face Time and had an actual conversation!  It was awesome to use this technology and show each other our "dis-organized" craft spaces!!}

I Am Creating:
Finished all of my swaps for June; waiting to see what the Challenge will be.
Birthday Theme Memory Dex Card

Wedding Theme Pocket Art/Letter

Close-up of Pocket Art Title

American Indian Theme Tag
(criteria was to use a different size and shape)

Close-up of Indian Girl

I Am Wearing:
Well, since I didn't get this completed earlier this week, tonight (Thursday) I am wearing a pink night shirt with little dogs all over it; a pair of black pj bottoms; and a pair of socks.

I Am Reading:
I just finished reading John Grisham's "The Appeal"; took me about a week to get the whole book read!  That's a record because I'm usually doing so many other things and don't get to read much...

Picked up another book at the used book store the other day and will start it the next time I get ready to sit down and read!

I Am Hoping:
This rain lets up soon!  I know...we need the rain; but enough is enough!!

But, it is Hurricane Season and already seeing some of those weather issues out in the waters...

Just hoping, and praying, none are major this year!

I Am Learning:
Am I?  Some days I feel like I am failing the test; like I haven't learned anything from all these days and days of dealing with someone with dementia and hearing loss.

Every day is a new day; and usually a new set of things to learn.

So, I am learning; and the learning never stops!

In My Kitchen: 
All dirty dishes in the dishwasher and ready to start just before I head to bed.

Post Script:
No real P.S. this week!  Maybe I'll browse the 'net before next week's post!

Shared Quote:
Rather than a quote, today I will be sharing a piece I came across while writing my Write31Days post for October 28, 2014.

During this 30-day challenge, I wrote on the theme:  "31 Days of Dementia's Demands".  (This series can be found on my old blog, Barbara's Blog under the tab "31 Days".)


Dementia – I hate you!
I hate what you’ve robbed from me
I hate that you dictate my day
I hate that you’ve made me a stranger
I hate that you’ve made me the enemy
I hate that you’ve made me cry
I hate that you’ve made me laugh
I hate you!

Dementia - you enrage me!
You make me lose my temper
You make me feel out of control
You make me want to scream
You make me want to punch
You make me want to kick
You make me want to fight
You enrage me!

Dementia – you terrify me!
I’m terrified of the future
I’m terrified who’ll be next
I’m terrified I will be next
I’m terrified I will forget my children
I’m terrified my children may forget also
I’m terrified there’ll never be a cure
You terrify me!

Dementia – you cause me despair!
You took my innocence
When you took my Grandma
You took my strength
When you took my Father
You’re taking my heart
As you steal her away
You cause me despair.

(by Traci Story for Lewy Body Dementia Association  )

A Moment From My Day:
My day is always flexible; no day is really routine, though I attempt it to be.  Especially on Mondays when I usually get the laundry and some cleaning done.

But, it's flexible and I can do those things on another day.

This week, on Monday I went to spend some time with my daughter, son and grandson.  We played board games and just hung out together for a while before I headed back home.
And that ends another week of Simple Woman's Daybook!

Join me once again next week for a look inside this simple woman's day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tears of Hope and Joy

Dry eyes!  That's what the eye doctor told me the other day.

My eyes are dry and these allergies don't help; or the medicine I take for the allergies doesn't help the dryness.

My eyes are dry; my tears have dried up and no longer shed.

But, I'm an emotional person and I do cry!  I do shed tears...quite often!

The truth is, sometimes it is when I am alone that I shed the tears that have been held back.

I don't want to be seen as vulnerable.

I don't want him to know that I am crying.

My tears flow in private.

A few years ago I wrote a poem titled, "Where the Tears."  It was written for a friend who had shared with me that cancer had been found in her thyroid.

At first, unable to cry, I wrote the beginnings of the poem.

Later during a church service we were both participating in, the tears were found and flowed freely.

"You messed up my poem!"  I told her...and finished writing it later that night.

Today, I dedicate this poem to my friend, whom, thank God, is still with us!  And to many others who have lost that fight.

"Where the Tears?"

Emotions - deep within my soul -
Sorrow, joy, fear, happiness, hurt.
Sharing, caring; emotions out of control;
But ... where the tears?

My heart aches, cries out,
"Why God, why?"
Life is so unfair.
Why has this happened?
Surely the tears will flow;
But, where the tears?

Deep inside tears fill my soul
Yearning to be shed.
Emotions - deep within my soul.
I look you in the eyes with love and concern.
But, dry-eyed I wonder,
"Where the tears?"

Then without a word;
With just a look of love 
from friend to friend,
Words are choked
back beneath the flood,
As slowly, freely
The tears begin to fall.

While the words for this post were running through my head, I also heard the song, "That's Why God Made Tears" sung by Matt Hammitt.

Listen now to the words:

As I've said before, my word for this year is "Hope".  Yet, I am still wondering where the "Joy" is, just as I wondered where the tears were!

I believe that Joy is found in the Hope we have in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

I believe that Hope is found in our Joy.

May you find both in your journey through life!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook - June 12, 2017

June 12, 2017

Looking Out My Window:
Today, it's Tuesday and the weather was a bit overcast.  We did have a little rain and thunderstorms; but it didn't help the was in the mid 80's!

I Am Thinking:
About the obligations that I have and how burned out and overwhelmed I am right now.

I Am Thankful:
For friends I can discuss things with; like, how frustrated I am in the way things are going with certain positions.

Or, how overwhelmed and upset I get with my husband and health issues.

Or, just to share our creative projects with each other.

One of My Favorite Things:
Taking on a challenge and coming up with an idea...

Then, creating what is in my mind.

I Am Creating:
This month's tag swap - which has been a real challenge - is an American Indian theme.  The criteria was to create a tag a "different size and shape" than a regular 4 1/2 x 8 inch tag...

So, I am attempting to make a dream catcher!  Photos later...

I Am Wearing:
It is Tuesday evening, just before taking my shower and getting ready for bed.  So, I am wearing a green-ish shirt and a pair of tan shorts with my black bedroom slippers.

I Am Reading:
Close to the end of "Tangled Vines" by Janet Dailey; quite a good book!

Hoping to do a lot of reading this summer; but also a lot of crafting!

I Am Hoping:
...and praying that all goes well this Friday with my husband's surgery to remove skin cancer on his face, near his nose.  Not worrying over it; just keeping him from getting worried and upset over it...

I Am Learning:
Perhaps I am finally learning how to act/react to the outbursts my husband has?

Well, I can only hope and pray that I am...

In My Kitchen: 
Leftovers for dinner; kitchen has been cleaned up...

And, I think I'd better go get the clothes out of the dryer!!

Post Script:
That's about all for this week; no P.S. or other site to share at this time...

Perhaps next week?!

Shared Quote:
I am working on a project with the theme American Indian.  While browsing Pinterest and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I came across this quote:

A Moment From My Day:
There are not very often little moments of "intimacy" between my husband and I; but sometimes just the smallest touch is enough.

Today, he came into the room while I was on the computer and started lightly rubbing my back; more like scratching the itch I had!

It was sweet and I kept urging him on...

Nothing major; but the little things are major when dealing with someone who has dementia!

So, that's all for this week's Simple Woman's Daybook.

This is a very busy week; and I have already shared some of what is happening.  Prayers are always appreciated!