“…a time to tear and a time to mend…”

When the doctor first told us Mom should get her cancer treated, she said it would only be like 4-5 treatments. Then the first cancer doctor, who referred us to a radiation oncologist, told us maybe 10 treatments. So when the radiation oncologist told us, “We are going to schedule your radiation treatments. They will be daily for 6 weeks.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. And tomorrow? Tomorrow is her last treatment. I can’t believe 6 weeks has gone by so fast. The above-photo is of the reception area of the cancer center. It is like our other home and I can’t believe we won’t be regularly there. We will be back for follow-ups, but not daily treatments. Time is rushing by us, again.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

(Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)

We have all these moments in life. We have times that are particularly trying, and times we just breeze through. I can assure you that recently, it has not been a time when I have been breezing through. LOL. I took my mom to get her hair trimmed today, and because we were having a lot of snow, there was no one there, and I was able to get my hair trimmed, too. My stylist’s station was next to my mom’s stylist. And that was a good thing because I was able to explain that my mom has Alzheimer’s, etc. But the gal who does my hair, she was just so kind to me. She kept telling me I was looking good, with how full my plate was. LOL. She is right. Over-flowing, when I add it all up. However, when we live our lives, we take things one at a time, and we exist day to day. We sometimes don’t notice our plates overflowing!

 

My dog, well, she is my son’s dog, is always happy to see me. When we are running around, trying to get out of the house, she gets all excited. Not because we are leaving, but because before we leave, she gets a treat! LOL. She gets excited to be alone! And each time someone comes home, even if it is within minutes of each other, she has to go outside to do her business. It has become an ingrained habit. And whenever she gets up in the morning, or we put her to bed at night, she is so happy. When we talk to her, she practically smiles. She sleeps on her back, legs askew, snoring. The life of a dog. But an important lesson is that she lives for the moments. She does’t stay mad or doesn’t resent our leaving her alone all day. She snuggles when she can, and pushes the “pretty pillows” off the couch and makes herself comfy. She has a pretty good life.

 

I try to learn from her. Cutie pie that she is, that each moment is its own thing. Alzheimer’s patients live in the moment. It is truly all they have. My mom is wearing two watches today. Why? Well, she thinks her new watch isn’t working, and she really likes her old watch. She keeps playing with the stem on her new watch, inadvertently turning off the battery. The face lights up and the numbers are large enough for her to see. Her old watch? The face is so scratched up, the numbers are so small, that she has to practically close her eyes, squinting so hard, to even see it. She has been sitting there for more than an hour, fussing with her watches and looking from one to the other. I offered to look at the new one for her, but she assured me she knew what she was doing, because after all, she raised me. And I bristled, but then I looked at my dog, splayed on the carpet, and I realized it was just a moment.

 

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)

 

Dealing with Alzheimer’s is something you learn to do by the moment. I was given all these books to read about being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. What a joke! There is no time to do that, once they are living with you. Try taking a 4-year-old and wrap her up in an 88-year-old-body. And all the attitude that goes along with a 4-year-old reaching their 88th birthday – only with no filters. The things that come out some days, well, it blows me away! That is Alzheimer’s! LOL! But inwardly, I am starting to smile more often and stress far less, because these moments; these times, they are fleeting and they are precious.

Even though mom is drinking her water and looking at those two watches (one on each arm) every few moments, she is also warm, full, happy, and laughing at Family Feud and Steve Harvey (she loves that guy). I’m not gonna worry about the watches. I will worry if she is angry or hurting or cold or hungry. I am slowly learning (she can still be taught! LOL!) that Alzheimer’s is a momentary disease…we go through it moment by moment. And I am starting to live like my dog…moment by moment. And my mom, sometimes she is in the moment, and sometimes she is in Alzheimer’s land.  And it’s all good.

 

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