February 2015 Excerpts from my friend Laurie Scherrer
Last night I wept. I wept with an uncontrollable cry that consumed my throat, my heart and my gut. Wrenching from me the feelings of guilt, loss and fear that have been held inside and stripping away every ounce of joy and hope. I wept for the loss of my plans and dreams for life. I wept because I know I am no longer what or who I was and am afraid of not being able to control the evolving me. I wept for loosing my freedom to get into the car and go & do whatever/whenever. I wept for the lost memories that now are only photographs to me. I wept for the financial burdens this has brought. I wept for my family and the changes they will have to make and the challenges they will have to endure.
There was no consoling me for there was no comfort for the overwhelming grief of what was and what is to come. I wept until my shaking body gave in to exhaustion and I drifted to sleep.
Dementia (Alzheimer’s, FTD, LBD, etc.) doesn’t just happen over night. It slowly robs us of our past, our present and our future. Bit by bit taking away the person we were as it slowly eats away our brain. I can longer be the Laurie I was. It has robbed me of the ability to have a successful career, entertain large groups, enjoy parties, drive to see friends or relatives, or even keep up with household tasks.
It would have been easier, if I didn’t have the transition of knowing what is happening to me. It is difficult seeing myself become less responsible and more dependent. It is frustrating when confusion takes over my ability to reason, think, communicate and comprehend. I am still Laurie, however I know by the way people treat me and by way I react, I am different – I am changing. And at times I am afraid. And at times, I weep.
Today, I rejoice. The weeping is over, the day is new and I am so thankful for all the things I can still share and accomplish. I’m thankful I can laugh with Aunt Joyce while getting a manicure, and laugh with Roy over the beautiful colors of the huge bruise on my butt (fell on ice), and laugh with Becky over the ridiculously difficult puzzle I gave her. I’m thankful there is joy in the little things.
I’m sure my emotions will once again invade my happy space and require some grieving time, but not today. Today, I am going to laugh and enjoy all the beauty in my life. Know any good jokes? By Laurie Scherrer
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