Update on Al
Alis doing pretty good on being home five out of seven days now. I think he likes not being tossed…
Al is doing pretty good on being home five out of seven days now. I think he likes not being tossed around on the bus and isn’t quite as tired. Although if he had his way he would go to Day Program five days per week.
His crying has leveled off quite a bit. The doctor took him off one of the medications and I think that was the culprit that made his tears so much worse. His appetite has been big lately. I guess he makes up for the days he doesn’t eat.
He got a Christmas card from a lady who also is in the M.S.A group. He really likes it and holds it quite a bit as it sparkles when you turn it in different directions. If anyone wants to send him a Christmas card, please email me at email@example.com for his address.
Although we have had our tree up for sometime Al has begun his ritual of now not being able to talk about Christmas. He doesn’t speak about Christmas that he and I share. His memories go back to when he lived at home and Mom and Dad were still here.
I heard him telling someone that he hated the holidays and yet he likes the Christmas tree lit up and the white lights in his bedroom. So I guess the point is he misses our parents so much and he longs for Christmas to be the way it used to. Deep down inside, so do I. I just don’t talk about it.
He has been complaining of burning feet the past two days. I have researched it and find that many M.S.A. patients have this issue. It is sort of like Neuropathy I think, caused from the disease. I give him pain medications but like his other symptoms the medication takes the edge off but doesn’t fix it enough.
Al and I had an interview with a young lady today who wants to work the weekends. Al started talking to her almost immediately. Filling her in on his coca cola and cars. She jumped right in and helped turn him and was dabbing his slobber.
I have to admit I was really impressed. She is strong too. She had no problem rolling him over. She said she wanted the job so I am hoping she will or can start this weekend. She will mostly be with him but I spoke to her about dusting his room and feeding him. Cleaning up the dishes. I think it is fair, don’t you?
I told her there would be no medications to give as I do that. I explained that her major job would be making him feel special, she agreed.
I haven’t really done much today. Goofed off, what ever my mind decided on. No real schedule. Took…
I haven’t really done much today. Goofed off, what ever my mind decided on. No real schedule. Took care of Al and then spent my time in my surroundings. I like the feel of comfort. A little old-fashion, lots of white lights, trinkets of antique pieces. Yes this is who I am and what brings me peace within my section of the house.
Here is a little area I put together to add a touch more of Christmas. When I finished I stood back and looked at it. I liked it, then I thought, maybe my friends will like it too. I don’t have much ability of accepting compliments, but I will say that almost every person who has ever walked into our home says the same words, it is always so warm and cozy in here, who does your decorating?
Of course I smile and say me and they say I should go into business. I love hearing good things about myself but I don’t think I am good enough to go into business.
Well anyways here is a piece of what I did.
Will you give thanks on Thanksgiving? Do you give thanks any other day of the year? What about Christmas? Is your spirit heightened? Do you lose it after the holiday when the tree comes down and reality is back with us once again?
I find it sadly amazing and yet I am smiling when I see the great kindness that is shared between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The elderly are suddenly thought of and a visit is made. A gift of home-made cookies or a beautiful card.
Shut-ins have more visitors in this time frame than an entire year put together. Friends contacting friends. Families who haven’t spoken suddenly appear and we are amazed at the changes we see.
So many programs are burst open and children who may never see a complete meal now have an opportunity to go to bed at night with a full tummy. The people living in boxes under the bridge are offered a warm room and a hot meal.
There are so many programs that are in full force that no child has to get up Christmas morning without one gift to open. Monies being collected to help put a coat on a shivering body, gloves on their hands.
Food shelters take in more food at this time of year than any other. We look at life different at the holidays than any other time. Those that participate get more joy from the gifts they give than receiving anything else.
Than you wander into the midst of the stores during the hype of the season and that calm demeanor is stripped from us but only temporarily. Finding gifts that are in the right price range that look like they are worthy of spending our hard-earned money is a challenge in itself.
I am always amazed at the prices that slowly start to rise and then go through the roof once the time comes for holiday lay-a-ways. It darn near makes it impossible to go shopping and keep that healthy smile on our face.
Shoving adults, kids running through the stores. Finding assistance through store employees is scarce. Christmas music bellowing in our ears trying to make us spend more money than we have. Easy open charge cards guaranteed to charge no interest until 90 days after the holidays.
I used to go to Black Friday but the madhouse took the fun out of it. It is like roller derby skaters without wheels. I have never seen adults act more like greedy children than on Black Friday.
Now I can’t sit here and say that if you want some fantastic U-tube videos or free entertainment, and, you don’t have anything special to purchase; going to view these midnight shoppers can be quite fun.
For me, I would rather go to the regular sales. For this year I don’t know for sure how I am going to get any shopping done. Maybe online, maybe less expensive gifts. The chances of me getting to go to the big mall is pretty much out of the question.
For this year I have two goals. I would like to take Al out on a drive to see Christmas lights, but it will depend on his health and the weather. For two I hope that Christmas in our house brings nothing less than good memories to think about in the cold days of January.
My prayer is that we take a few of those dollars and help keep the food pantries filled. We make the effort to smile at least five times per day, each day to strangers and friends. We buy one extra can of food and drop it in the food box. We stop in for a moment of a loved neighbor or make a call to a family member other than at holiday time.
That we try hard to take those clothes we don’t like anymore or have grown out of and put them in a Goodwill box, instead of the trash.
How much better would our world be if we kept a little bit of the holiday spirit all year-long? Think about it.
Last night Al finally went to sleep later in the evening to only wake up at half past midnight. I could not hold my eyes open anymore so when he slept, I laid on the couch. I think my mind shut down immediately.
When he woke up at a much shorter time than my body was hoping for I took care of his needs and then wrote a prompt for Alastair. By then I wasn’t tired, but I went to bed. I don’t know what I watched but I flipped the TV on and saw Hallmark is now letting us view Christmas movies.
Oh Christmas, the word can cause such stress for me. How can that be? Christmas was always a wonderful, sparkly word. Full of thoughts of snowflakes. A time for family to get together and feast on the best foods of all. A time for Christmas dazzles, pretty lights and trees.
And then something happens. We get no notice, it just slips in underneath of us and once we realize what happened, the sorrow sets in. I don’t know if it has ever slipped in on you too, but I know it has for me.
I look at all my wonderful memories of the photos above and I rub my chin and squint my eyes and I ask myself, what happened? where did everyone go? where is the laughter?
I feel this way very much this year. There is no Christmas spirit in my house, but our tree is up. There is no snowflakes yet, but my white lights are up. Isn’t it awesome how snowflakes bounce off the reflection of the white lights?
Oh this brings me so much joy, the scenery played out at the holidays. There are no presents under the tree as of yet. My gift I ask for this year has to come from God; to bring peace to the inside of this home. To continue to bring understanding, lots of love, and plenty of compassion. To relieve Al from his suffering and to thank God for sending Jesus into my life. This is my one and only gift and yet no one can buy it for me.
As I sit here waiting for Al to get up I let my mind wander back in time. I listen carefully and I can hear Dad laughing and Mom yelling because the food is not perfect. I can see my Grandfather starting up the 1954 Ford tractor. He is getting ready to pull us behind it on an old truck hood.
I can smell yeast rolls baking and see a big bird cooling on the stove. There are pies at the square folding table. I hear giggles from all of my cousins as they race through the house full of excitement of opening presents later.
I see me in my best Christmas dress; all frilly red with white anklets, black patent leather shoes, and my hand muff, all fluffy white. I can hear Grandfather telling everyone at the table to hold hands and I can remember his words of grace.
I can hear the laughter around the table and glasses clicking, utensils digging into mounds of food and I cry now. I cry for the joy of being able to remember. I cry for what Al and I will not have anymore, and I cry for what is about to happen to our lives.
God is good, God has the perfect plan. I don’t always like it, but I have to follow it because I know he is right. As I sit here wondering about Christmas this year at my house, I know one child that will be here, one child that won’t be here and the other child I won’t know until it gets closer to Christmas.
I realize I am never alone. I have you and God and my children, my health and my memories, and of course today, I still have Al. It is important that I stand tall and brace life knowing I will hit bumps. So in closing I will light my candles, and while waiting for Al to get up, I will play my ultimate favorite Christmas song. Together this will cause a smile to come on my face and I will walk into my brother’s room ready to tackle yet one more day.
Christmas At Our House
In bringing Christmas to Al I have spent a lot of time in his room today since he is home. Pulling…
In bringing Christmas to Al I have spent a lot of time in his room today since he is home. Pulling out boxes and bags, looking for Coca Cola Christmas items. He was so engrossed with what I was bringing out the tears stopped.
When I first started bringing him things he cried. Each new piece, brought more tears. Then I started pulling out items he has not seen since he has been home from the Nursing Home. The tears slowed. I decorated his room with greenery and before the afternoon was over I had completely transformed his room into Christmas. Reds and Christmas music floated around him.
Holiday Snoopy, Charlie Brown stuffed animal that plays Merry Christmas, a musical globe with the traditional Christmas colors all lightened his spirit. I told him that since he didn’t think he would be here for Christmas I was going to prove to him that he was here for Christmas by bringing it to him.
Mickey Mouse is playing his horn. The ramp I push Al down in the mornings and afternoons are all decorated with silver tinsel and red bows. I found Christmas music on U Tube and our house has turned from death to gaiety.
It is sort of odd. The house is quiet from family and kids and yet there is a peace that is flowing through our house as Al smiled at me as he looks at his collections of red, greens and sparkles in his room with music playing softly in the background. It is truly Christmas inside our house and Al isn’t missing a thing.