Spiritual and Holiday Issues with Dementia Symptoms

.This entry is written by Truthful Loving Kindness (yes, that is my full legal name) for publishing at  http://www.truthfulkindness.com , so PLEASE address any questions or comments to that website, regardless of which website shows these words.  This entry has pieces from previous blog entries, but also includes more current stuff.

 

Menorah2022//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

i created the digital painting above on iPad’s ProCreate App, mostly using default “Hair” brushes.  Finished “Menorah 2022” on 04Dec2022. (“Shammash” candle is in the center.)  This Hi-Res version available at my Flickr page https://flic.kr/p/2o43atu .

For ME, the Holiday Season is very wrapped up in Family memories, context in ancient scriptures, AND greater Family History.  … but mode of celebrating the holiday traditions have recently changed due to dementia symptoms.

 

i have a rich treasure of inherited holiday traditions.  With the exception of ancestors for my great-great grandparents who fled Ireland during the Potato Famine, most branches of my family tree are identified with ancestors thru the mid-1700s.  Lots of the branches are filled thru the 1600s, close to 2 dozen lines to the 1400s, and a few reliably stretch to the 1300s (Scotland MacBean clan chiefs, and English high-profile persons).  So i have a rich treasure of inherited holiday traditions, including a special “Tomte” decoration from my grandfather’s family who came from Sweden when he was an infant.

With context of several Mayflower ancestors, my holiday season begins in a strong ThanksGiving celebration, then Chanukah (for which i light the oil lantern we have … and keep it lit until the end of Chanukah), Christmas, New Year, and stretches thru to the “Twelfth Night” of January 6.  

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Holiday Tree
Since early childhood I very much enjoyed the tradition of finishing the extended family ThanksGiving celebration at grandparent’s rural log cabin.  Then several of us would tramp thru local woods with the family the next day, searching for the perfect tree, … and the sharp scent of fir, spruce, or pine would fill the house. 

After my years spent on “Systematic Theology”, “Biblical Criticism”, and “Spiritual Roots”,
then involvement with the local Shul,
for more than 10 years we had no inside tree at our house. 
But as dementia symptoms increased, i could not remember the rationale for discontinuing such an enjoyable piece of my family history. 

Husband helped me for a few years,
repeatedly answering my questions for WHY i decided against a tree.
… but now i dont ask why NOT, because WE have decided to enjoying those holiday traditions again. 

It is important that no one is trying to proselytize me to a different spiritual or political position; it is of no benefit to either of us, because I no longer have the ability to make those kinds of decisions..  I have made my decisions and I remember that they were extremely well thought-out.  … but i can also make the decision to release those behaviors that i no longer understand, and return to my childhood traditions.

Candle-lit “Christmas Tree” was a German tradition brought to America in the 1800s, so my tree is in honor of my German grandmother, Florence Michaelis. Her family came to America in the mid-1800s.  Since she used an artificial tree in later years, my grandmother always kept her Christmas decorations up until Twelfth Night in the beginning of January, or Candlemass on February 2, which was not surprising given both her parents were of German descent.   Then she sometimes switched ornaments and tree was full of Valentines for February. One year, the first day of March she replaced the Valentines with stuffed birds set inside nests she found during prior years, and did not put her tree away until the end of April, before she left for the summer, LOL.

I especially enjoy the memory of decorating the tree on the one year my workaholic father was home for that event. i was 11 years old, it was shortly before his Lung cancer diagnosis, and he was too sick to work. We sang Carols as he lay on the couch, looking into the eyes of each one of us individually as he handed us each ornament we added to the tree. … So a decorated tree stands large in my emotional context of family memories, and I decided to resume it despite my theological “reasons” for quitting the tradition.

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There is no need to confine “Holiday” celebration to just December.  We went without “Christmas Tree” for over 10 years, but Glass, Fabric, and Porcelain ornaments hang suspended at various places in our home throughout the year.  My artificial tree now stands on the porch, but with all of our windows it is visible from most everywhere in kitchen and living room.  The tree has multi-colored Lights in December.  January it reflects blue lights and decorative icicles.  February it has red lights and hearts, etc thru every month of the year.  

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Sometimes, a day arrives when it is okay to let go of self-expectations and behaviors that we had chosen with our fully-reasoning brain;
returning to traditions from younger, less complicated time of life without guilt of should-do and should-be.

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. LINKS:

“My Spiritual Journey in Context of Dementia Symptoms” by Truthful Kindness (in Dec 2015) at https://truthfulkindness.com/2015/12/15/spiritual-journey-dementia-symptoms/

History of Christmas Trees” at https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas-trees ;

… and from other folks living with dementia symptoms:

Laurie Scherrer: https://dementiadaze.com/2016/11/29/dementia-christmas-tree-analogy/ ;

Kathleen Anduze: https://vimeo.com/193966991 ;

George Rook: https://georgerook51.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/boing-boing-boing/

George Huba: https://hubaisms.com/2015/11/24/dementia-and-big-family-holidays-mindmaps-on-the-enjoyment-of-all/

Judy: https://www.facebook.com/208968049513072/photos/a.209532316123312.1073741828.208968049513072/216031178806759/?type=3 ;

Jean Lyon: https://www.facebook.com/truthful.kindness/posts/10205052286285391

Myself: https://truthfulkindness.com/2015/12/22/drt-background-noise-2015-12/

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re CHANUKAH:

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Personal PS:  With my progressing dementia symptoms i am having difficulty with some of the more complicated academic lessons. Even tho i have many years in study of  scripture language and details, my short-term memory symptoms interfere; i cannot remember Hebrew terms so exegesis is difficult and i am easily scrambled with quicker categorical studies (where it FEELS like we jump all over in terms of historical era, geographical placement, and Torah Books involved). Those things are exactly what SHOULD happen in detailed study, but detailed study is beyond my current abilities.

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* Admin issues:

SHARE dementia awareness thru buttons below. Subscribe “FOLLOW” button is at the very bottom of the page, with “Category” Links, “Recent Posts” and “Archive”.  If you put your eMail address there you should get an eMail each time i write a blog entry.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of comments, but please filter your comments with truthful loving kindness to all concerned. … *** …  If there is an advertisement below, I have no control over what is shown. My own full legal name is Truthful Loving Kindness. My current diagnosis is still Mild Cognitive Impairment, but i have cerebrovascular disease and Lewy Body Dementia symptoms very slowly advancing.  Current theory for cause of dementia symptoms is now over 30 years untreated Lyme and Babesia — plus probable nocturnal seizures.  … ******* …   Text Copyright © Truthful L. Kindness on 18Dec2022. “Menorah 2022” art project was done on iPad ProCreate, mostly using default “hair” brush. Finished on 04Dec2022.  … ******* …  i dont mind re-posting of things i write, but if you re-post then i expect you to make it clear this is NOT written by you. My authorship as Truthful Kindness (my legal name) must be clearly identified, and provide very prominent Link to my website so that questions and comments can be addressed to ME personally at http://www.truthfulkindness.com . .
Tags: alzheimers, dementia, holiday, person with dementia, PLwD, strategy, symptoms,  .  S&S categ: holiday .

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3 thoughts on “Spiritual and Holiday Issues with Dementia Symptoms

  1. Pingback: Holiday Quotes and Pages | Truthful Loving Kindness

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