Monday, November 26, 2012

It Looks Like A Cat

(Disclaimer - When I was in school, and a poetry assignment was given, I had my older sister write the poems for me.  I know that was a bad thing to do, but she is excellent at poetry.  After reading this blog, you will understand more fully why I made that decision.)

It isn’t a fox

He has on no sox

It looks like a cat

A cat in a box

He just wants to rest

To be at his best

It looks like a cat

Put this box to the test

He sat oh so still

Just resting until

It looks like a cat

Had quite the fill

A lesson to heed

From a cat who can’t read

It looks like a cat

Taught a lesson, indeed

Take time to rest

To be at your best

It looks like a cat

Aced that big test

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dementia - Going The Extra Mile

Ninety minutes there.  Ninety minutes back.  Sit and wait between the two events.  That is what my husband, Michael, does whenever Momma and I need a trip to our local outlet mall.  He says he doesn’t mind, especially if there is food involved somewhere in the process.  But, really, who wants to do all that driving  just to sit and wait on someone?

Michael is a sweetheart, and no one knows this better than me.  My mother would argue that statement.  She thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread, and he truly is her “son-in-love”, as a one of my reader’s referred to her son-in-law.  Michael takes extra effort to help me care for Momma.  If Momma wants it, you can bet Michael will make sure Momma gets it.  Whatever “it” is has little bearing on things.

Momma has Alzheimer’s, and Michael is determined we will enjoy our time with Momma.  If she gets to the point she doesn’t recognize us, we will know we maximized our time together.  How many son-in-laws go to this kind of effort?  I would guess there are not too many.  A son-in-love, on the other hand, would look at the situation differently.

Alzheimer’s can be challenging.  Having a strong hand on your back can mean the difference between success and failure as a caregiver.  Who can you support today?  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.

Monday, November 12, 2012

World War II Veterans Honored

World War II Veterans Honored

Nov 11, 2012

November 7th, 2012 was a day Clint Andrews will always remember.  That was the day he joined 100 World War II Veterans, flying out of Columbia, South Carolina, on an Honor Flight bound for Washington, DC.  Clint was picked up in the wee hours of the morning, driven to Columbia, and escorted the entire day.  The veterans visited the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Clint is a young 94 years old, and he was joined by veterans from age 85 to 97.  To date, over 81,000 soldiers have taken advantage of this privilege.  I am proud of Clint.  He is a man that stands above most men you will ever meet.  He is a man of honor, integrity, courage, and love.  I am sure these traits are true of most all the men who joined him on November 7th, but, to me, Clint stands taller.

Upon returning to Columbia for each veteran to begin their trek home, the celebration continued.  This was in stark contrast to their return from war in 1945.  During those days, the brave men were met by a relative or two, but no fan fare greeted them.  However, on November 7th, 2012, these 100 men returned to the airport in Columbia, SC to a throng of people with police escort!  Clint said, “It was like returning from the war!”

WAY TO GO, CLINT!  You so deserve the special acclaim you received that day.  By the way, you are still one more good looking solider.  Thank you for making America a place I can call home!  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dementia - I Don't Remember You

I love Chinese Food.  I especially enjoy sushi rolls.   Fortune cookies, on the other hand, are disgusting.  Most of the time, the fortune inside of them says something that isn' a fortune at all.  For example, it might say “You have character”.  That is NOT a fortune.  If it said, “You have character that will lead to great success,” THAT would be a fortune.

Recently, my fortune said, “You will soon be receiving some good written advice.”  I have high hopes that written advice will look something like this.  “Dear Mrs. Howell, we are pleased to announce you have won a gazillion dollars in the ‘Win A Bunch’ sweepstakes.”  Yes, oh yes!  That would be some “good written advice”.  In the meantime, I have decided to use that fortune and this blog to bring you, my reader, some good written advice.

I recently watched the movie “1,000 Words”, with Eddie Murphy.  He portrays a character who, among other things, visits his mother with dementia.  She thinks he is her husband, and he continues to insist he is Jack, her son.  This, of course, does not settle well with her, confuses her, and causes the visit to be less than what Jack had hoped it would be.

When visiting with someone who is not living in the here and now, allow them to set the tone and character of the conversation.  If they believe you to be someone other than who you are, go with the moment.  Dust off your acting skills, smile, and be whomever they seem to think you resemble.  The process may not seem like fun, at first, but watching your loved one smile, liven up, and have a few moments of happiness is really what your visit should be about, anyway.

Eddie Murphy’s character, Jack, had some education ahead of him before he figured out this technique.  You, on the other hand, have just been the beneficiary of the fortune from my recent Chinese food experience.  Please put this “good written advice” to work.  Hope that gives you Something To Ponder.