Getting old. Woot! Well, I don’t mind getting old. Husband always says “it beats the alternative”. I can’t argue that.
I’ve seen my share of people in the aging process. I see it every day in the mirror. And when I see other faces looking back at me, a little further along in their path than I…. I can’t help but compare where they are with where I am. And where I am with where they are.
I wonder about their stories and how they got to where they are and how the family developed in to the group that they are. Acting the way they act. What did they do, to get to here.
There are so many things about life that seem so ….crappy.
Among these crappy things, is dementia.
And quite honestly, dementia sucks.
There’s no better way to say it. Maybe a classier and even technically better way to say it. But you can’t pretty it up. You can’t lessen the impact it has on so many lives.
You can’t stop it.
You can’t reverse it.
You can’t fix it.
I’ve heard wonderful and even humorous stories from families who live with dementia. I’ve heard stories of fear. Stories of denial. Stories of abandonment. Stories where dementia has robbed a family of a wonderful, kind and generous spirit. To replace that spirit with a crotchedy and argumentative grump butt. Stories where a cantankerous parent who never hugged or joyfully spent time with their kids-now beams with glee when this person-their child who they don’t know as their child-shows up daily with a treat. A smile. A hug. And a child desperate for love from a parent, has finally been granted their wish.
I’ve seen and read so much about it. I have noticed something, though, that does seem to make a difference. Dementia can tear you up. It can be harder than hell to bear. But there are some who seem to do something different. And it seems that those who do “this” seem to have a happier and more fulfilling and still good life with their family member who has dementia. They don’t have extra money to hire people to deal with their problems. They don’t have magic cures. They have something that we can each have. It’s all about finding a a new way to love someone old to your existane. They are aging, and changing. Dementia may seem like the loss of a person you love(d). Accepting this change that they have no control over, seems key. Accepting it, and finding a new way to love this same person may be a challenge. But what better way to truly love someone, than to find a way to love them when it is difficult for you, but desperately needed by them. A new way to love someone you’ve known forever.
Not to mention, the way you model love who may be harder to love?
Your kids will see that and know how to treat you when you need them to do the same thing.