Saturday, August 29, 2015

Praying for the End of Time

Meat Loaf's song "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" has been keeping me awake at night lately. Tom Cruise did such a great lip synch job of it on Jimmy Fallon's show, and now it just seems to run on and on in my mind like a broken record at 3 a.m. (Here it is, in case you missed it...about minute 5.)

But that isn't actually the subject of this post. Some time ago, one of my "dear readers" posted some terribly discouraging words to me. I won't repeat them here, but you can read all about it in the comments section of this post, His True Self. Those words have also been playing in my mind over and over, ominously. I'm sure the person was simply writing out of personal pain, and I was just going to delete the comment. But then I saw my daughter's reply. It was stellar and so true.

I am writing these posts partly as a diary for me, but also as an encouragement (or at least as information) for others. I am selective about what I share, and I don't post every negative thing that happens. I'm trying to find something positive to say in each situation, so I usually wait until I'm able to see that before posting. That's why you don't always hear from me regularly. I'm waiting.

Lately, my husband obsesses about "his" things even more than he used to, especially when he's frustrated and confused. Naturally, that's happening more and more. When he gets in one of these "moods," this is "his" house. Not the home we've both lived in for almost 33 years, but his house that he's lived in since long before I came into the picture. He angrily asks me what I think I'm doing here. When I explain that it's my house, too, and that I've lived here with him the whole time, he is no longer calmed by the information. This conversation happens every day, multiple times a day.

Today, for the first time, he told me to leave, get out, and "Get the f***" out of his house. I don't care who you are or what you're going through, those are some hard words to hear. I didn't react well. I haven't yet reached the point where I'm teflon and words don't stick or hurt. I'm just doing the best I can, and sometimes that just doesn't seem to be good enough.

If there's anything I'm learning as we walk this rocky path called Alzheimer's, it's that giving up sometimes looks pretty good. An "escape plan" is enticing. If you're walking this road too, I want you to know you're not alone. Don't give up.

And so, "dear reader" from months ago, if you are still reading my blog and not just a troll, I pray that your pain is less and your grief is eased. I hope you will also pray for me as I travel this lonely and heartbreaking road. The rude awakening you mentioned happened long before you wrote to me. In fact, it's been happening every day for a very long time.

For the rest of you, I'm sorry that this hasn't been the usual half-laughing, half-crying stuff you're used to reading from me. But sometimes, I'm just "praying for the end of time to hurry up and arrive."


  1. Chris, I have liked Heather since the day I met her, and before they were married when I got to see how she and Tim put together a monitor for a speech I was giving to Paula's teaching sorority, I had the chance to see how well they worked together as a team, which really pleased me. But there was one little moment at their wedding when I knew I was really really happy that Tim was marrying into your family.

    It was after the ceremony, when photographs were being taken at the church before heading over to the reception. Bride and groom were having their picture taken with the bride's family. Harry experienced a "little glitch", made an odd little sound and swayed, then righted himself and smiled for the camera. When he made that sound, I saw you and all three of your children quickly, independently and simultaneously step forward, check on Harry, and seeing that he was fine, step back into formation and smile for the camera.

    It was just a tiny moment. There was a lot going on in the church and I doubt that many people even noticed it. But in that moment I saw a family filled with love, concern, caring, respect, resilience and strength. And in that moment I realized how happy I was that Tim was marrying into such a wonderful family.

    My mother-in-law had Alzheimer's, so I know firsthand what a heartbreaking road this can be. But I know that your children have inherited your strength and resilience, and that they will be with you and support you every step of the way. You're all in my prayers.

    Best regards,

    1. Carla, thank you so much for those encouraging words. They say true character is what comes out when you don't realize anyone is watching. Our children are indeed a great gift!

  2. Chris, my heart and prayers go out to you. Honestly, I dont know what to write. You know I understand a little of what your going through. And instead of just reading and passing by, I wanted to leave a note saying how much I love you. Just a little comment so the process doesnt feel as lonely. Much love, Jessica.

    1. Thanks so much, Jessica! I can feel the love all the way from Southeast Asia. Miss you and Mark!