Turn The Other Cheek

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When someone does you wrong – Do you want to get even?  Or . . . Do you turn the other cheek?  I use to have a hard time turning the other cheek, but as I age I am more tolerant of others.

Matthew 5:39 KJV  But, I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:43-44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

When my brother’s female business partner used my brother’s dementia against him and stole all his assets . . . I had to learn to turn the other cheek.  This woman did not ask my brother or me to forgive her.  God ask me to forgive her.  I pray that she will repent, so God can forgive her and save her soul.

It actually helps the person who does not have hate in their mind or soul.  Forgiveness makes you a better person.  It makes you pleasing to God.

I will never recover any of my brother’s earthly goods, but that does not matter.  What matters is posessing love, compassion and forgiveness for your fellow man. It certainly would make this world a better place to live.

Luke 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Love your enemies, it will give you peace of mind.  God is kind to everyone, including the unthankful and the evil. If God is kind to the evil, I guess I can be kind also.  Sometimes by being kind, you can make your enemy your friend.

Dementia – Love Me ‘Til My Life Is Done

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Sometimes those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia will wake in the middle of the night, upset and in a rage, wanting to go home.  One gentelman’s wife with dementia did this now and then.  He was so patient, he would dress her, go for a short drive, and return home.  He would take her back to her bedroom, and she was content to be home.

Dealing with dementia patients is not like dealing with an ill person.  For an ill  person you do something “to” and “for” them.  For a dementia person you do something “with” them. (socializing)

Caregivers feel helpless and emotionally drained.  But do not give up on your loved one.  Read this poem written by an unknown author, and have compassion for those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.

  • Don’t ask me to remember,
  • Don’t try to make me understand,
  • Let me rest and know your’re with me,
  • Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.
  • I’m confused beyond your concept.
  • I am sad and sick and lost,
  • All I know is that I need you,
  • To be with me at all cost.
  • Do not lose your patience with me,
  • Do not scold or curse or cry,
  • I can’t help the way I’m acting,
  • Can’t be different though I try.
  • Just remember that I need you,
  • That the best of me is gone,
  • Please don’t fail to stand beside me.
  • Love me ’til my life is done.

Scientists studying dementia ask us to focus on what our loved ones can do.  Do not focus on the skills they have lost.  Normally long-term-memory and reading skills are less effected.  Even when a dementia patient can’t speak, they can still read if the print size is large enough. Spoken words. ” go in one ear and out the other.”  Those with dementia cannot store the spoken word in their memory.  Give them notes to read and they will not ask again and again where they or going or where something they want is stored.  Scientists know notes work, because they witness that dementia patients reading notes, will smile, and make pleasant sounds.  Those with dementia will stroke photos of loved ones with captions, because they read and then know the person in the photo.

I used baby monitors throughout my home dealing with my brother.  I learned this from a nurse who was caring for her mother with dementia. If I noticed or heard him, on my monitor screen, in a  certain room having problems, I went to help him find or complete a task he was trying to accomplish.  I used drive way alarms pointed at doors to know when he left or entered the house.  I had the receiving units for these alarms in my locked bedroom, but could hear them throughout my home.  These were aides to help me deal with an extreme dementia wanderer.

I know how hard being a caregiver is and that those with dementia do not know how to function correctly. So, just remember that they need you and love them until their life is done.

 

 

Gone From My Sight

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This picture of my brother J.R. was taken a few years ago before he was diagnosed with dementia.  My husband, J.R., and I were on vacation in the Pacific Northwest U.S.  We were camping in J.R.’s motorhome in Hells Canyon on the Snake River which borders Oregon and Idaho.  Two weeks of fun and relaxation.  He called this his, “Indiana Jones” hat.

My brother J.R. is, “Gone From My Sight,” now.  Dementia took him away from me in November 2015.  I will never forget J.R., he was my closest, dearest, sibling

J.R. had a twinkle of mischief in his eyes most of the time.  An over abundance of humor.  He loved to pester me, which I returned in full. He had a hugh smile on his face when he was happy or excited.  He loved people and he greeted everyone with a hearty hello.

J.R. was a wonderful Church of Christ preacher for several decades.  He was a very good locksmith. It upset me when I had to put him in the nursing home after 2 1/2 years as his caregiver. He gave the staff at the nursing home fits, taking their keys and disesembling doorknobs (without tools!?!).

No, J.R. was not perfect, but then who is perfect.  He got depressed or down when tragic things happened in his life.  Several major tragedies happend in his life, that left deep scars of pain and sorrow on his heart and soul.  What others did to him left imprints on my heart and mind.

I was raised with 3 siblings, but I really only had J.R. and he only had me. Funny how some of your siblings drift away and cease to be a part of your life.  I loved my brother J.R. so much and I knew that love was returned. I’ll think of him, get misty eyed from grief and loss.  I will hold his memory in my heart forever.

This new year – 2016 – will be lonely without you J.R.  So, I blow a kiss into the sky, to say a temporary goodbye.  God willing, I hope to see you again one day in Heaven.

God bless all of you who lost loved ones in 2015.

Life Seems Confusing

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Could it be that life is confusing? Of course, that must be the answer to being unable to accomplish a simple task. When you try everything to get your internet company to change information on your account, it blows their minds.  Through phone calls, websites, your account site- they fail to recognize you, or your email, or your password. Makes you wonder, “Why have Internet?”  Lets all do it through cards and letters like we did in the old days.  So, I am writing a letter, the old fashion way to solve a minor problem of paying my bill through my new bank for my sattelite provider. Now why didn’t I think of that before I spent 2 days trying to solve this problem and totally stressing myself out?

Gads, not one thing I have done in my life these last 3 1/2 years has been easy. Perhaps someone put a curse on me.  Perhaps someone is sticking pins in a voo doo doll that looks like me.  Hmmmmm

Hope all of you do not get as discouraged dealing with solving problems on line as I do.  If you do, my sympathy goes out to you.  Frustration!

World Violence

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I was listening to the news this morning about the recent violence and killings in California .  Planned Parenhood, 14 dead, 17 wounded.  On Good Morning America, psychiatrist Janet Saltz said we were becoming desensitized to shootings and violence.  This made me quite angry, I am not desentized to anything that takes another’s life.  I shake my head, I pray to God, and I shed tears for all the innocent people who are killed daily in this world.  How can we as individuals end this hate and violence? Martin Luther King said it very well – we can eliminate violence with love.

If each of us fills our heart with love instead of hate perhaps we will slowly begin to overcome the hate and violence in this world.

Titus 3:3-4  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared.

If God loves us, why can’t we love each other?

When The Sun Goes Down

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I took this picture of the sunset last night.  The song, “Mississippi Mud,” ran through my mind.  The first verse goes – “When the sun goes down the tide goes out.  The people gather round and they all begin to shout,  Hey, hey Uncle Dud it’s a treat to beat your feet on the Mississippi Mud.”  That song has been sung over the years by famous people like Dinah Shore, Dean Martin, and Ray Charles just to mention a few.  I have been to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and stuck my feet in that Mississippi Mud.

I suppose I was trying to cheer myself up looking at this beautiful sunset and thinking of a happier time.  DHS is giving me so much trouble with renewing my brother’s long-term-care Medicaid to pay for nursing home care that I have been stressed past my limit of endurance.  These last 3 years of dealing with my brother’s problems have taken a toll on my health.  Sometimes it seems as if everything good I have tried to achieve in my life has taken a hard uphill battle.  I really think future generations are going to have a much harder time dealing with life’s challenges.  That fills my mind with extremely sad thoughts.

Maybe someday I can go back to Mississippi and stick my feet in that nice soothing Mississippi Mud again. Ah, that is a nice thought!  I wonder if a facial mud pack with Mississippi Mud helps wrinkles?  Hmmmmmm

Sorrow (Dementia)

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There are so many fellow bloggers out there who are caregivers for loved ones with dementia.  My heart goes out to all of you, I have been there.  These cows are in the field next to my house.  I think of my brother J.R. when he was living here, how much he loved the cows, the rabbits, the birds, the flowers and everything to do with nature.  All of those feelings he once had for nature are lost in the fog of dementia.

When you deal with a loved one with dementia, there is oppressive pain and unbearable suffering, because your loved one does not know who you are anymore.  That vital, close, intimate relationship has disappeared.  It’s so unbearable it is beyond comprehension.  You are miserable when you dwell on what once was and can never be again.

Dementia is a terrible, painful disease to watch a loved one endure.  Dementia is actually harder on the caregiver than the one with the disease.

Is there an answer to how to deal with the dilemma of Dementia?  What is distressing or painful about this dilemma is you have to make choices you do not want to make.  There is no clear answer on how to deal with our emotions.  What have I done personally? Back in May of this year I wrote a post, “An Early Goodbye to Someone You Love.”  I realized the person my brother once was had disappeared.  I decided at that point to make sure J.R. had a safe place to dwell and receive proper care.  I placed him in a nursing home for many personal reasons.  Do you feel guilty when you place someone in a nursing home?  Yes, you definitely do feel guilt.  For all those out there that judge you for the nursing home decision, I say, “Have you been a caregiver, have you walked in their shoes?”  Not everyone is strong enough to endure to the end of the Dementia Journey. Each caregiver has different abilities on how well they handle the tremendous stress involved with caring for someone with dementia.  Each dementia patient has different problems and actions involved with the disease.  Some people with dementia are extremely hard to handle due to insomnia, anger, wandering, attitude, and the list continues.  So Caregivers, who totally give up their own lives and their own health issues, my heart goes out to you.  God bless all caregivers, and never let others judge you when you have done your very best.

 

Expressive Farewells

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I recently watched an older movie, “Uncommon Valor” filmed in 1983, starring Gene Hackman as a retired colonel.  The plot of the movie – discharged military personnel going into Viet Nam to rescue American soldiers who had been left behind.  Soldiers who became POWs in Laos, for 10 years, after the Viet Nam war had ended.

The scene before they entered into battle, to rescue these POWs, involved Gene Hackman and his intriguing farewell.  He quoted a scene from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar.  Act 5, scene 1, Brutus and his brother-in-law Cassius were parting to go into battle.   Quote:  Brutus – And whether we shall meet again I know not.  Therefore our everlasting farewell take.  Forever and forever farewell, Cassius.  If we do meet again, why, we shall smile.  If not, why then this parting was well made.  Cassius – Forever and forever farewell, Brutus.  If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed. If not, ’tis true this parting was well made.  Brutus – Why then lead on.  Oh, that a man might know the end of this day’s business ere it come!  But if sufficeth that the day will end, and then the end is known.

This parting quote effected me quite profoundly.  No matter the reason for parting, one cannot predict if they will meet again in this lifetime.  I thought about family members and friends who have passed away.  I remember my insufficient goodbyes to some of them. My regret for not expressing my love toward them.  Oh, that we could turn back the hands of time and say those goodbyes again!  Most of us realize, as we get older, how life is unpredictable.  For that reason my goodbyes have become more expressive, sincere, and affectionate.

We can learn so much by watching the actions of children.  My granddaughter’s farewells have always involved hugs and the words I love you.  I believe my granddaughter has learned an important lesson in life earlier than many adults.  Never let anger or any other emotion or circumstance keep you from expressing your love.  Do not pass up that opportunity to passionately show your love and concern for others as you tell them farewell.

“Oh, that a man might know the end of this day’s business ere it come.”

Not All Illness Can Be Seen

How bad would you feel if you were truly ill, suffering tremendously in this life and were being judged by those around you?  What if people were suggesting you were just acting ill to acquire sympathy, that you really did not have a problem at all.  That people were telling you that you could straighten up if you tried.  I have been very ill several times in my life and have been treated exactly that way. I have read many blog posts of fellow bloggers lately and sorrow and concern have entered my heart.  For those of you that have that serious medical problem that others make fun of because they cannot see that there is a problem, my compassion, understanding and love go out to you.  I know how you feel.

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If you are suffering and need that hug, that help, that understanding, surround yourself with those that know your worth. Seek out those that love you, know your life, know your ups and your downs, those that truly carry you in their heart.