Happy New Year! While this has been a tough year with my parents, this past week has been a good one. I have said this so many times before, but I truly believe that life with my alcoholic better prepared me for dealing with my aging parents. Each lives in their own reality and I can do nothing to show them the truth. My parents were happy and relaxed this week, a state that has not been in place since the end of October. I am thankful that we were able to spend the holidays together and they were in good moods and could enjoy our activities together.
Dad's Alzheimer's seems to come and go. There are good days/hours and there are rough patches. Sometimes he's more tired than others, and that causes additional confusion. This Christmas my dad still got worried when he didn't know where his car was (it was turned back into the dealership months ago) and he was wondering where their suitcases were when we took my brother to the airport for his flight back (Dad thought he was going back, too).
Mom was still focused on money—she has an obsession with knowing how much they have at any given moment. Her dementia was not as bad this week and she was able to relax and enjoy being around her grandchildren, my brother, and me. She has started to talk about the possibility of living in an assisted care facility. This conversation alone is a huge step in the right direction, even if a move to such a facility doesn't take place until the summer. At least this week she's been open to the discussion.
Mom, Dad, the kids and me
Our alcoholic continues to live in a self-absorbed world, calling my kids briefly on Christmas Day (2 months since the last time there was a call). My daughter continues to be angry over the fact that her birthday was forgotten and now Christmas seems to be all but forgotten, too. Our alcoholic is rarely a part of our world and whenever the alcoholic crops up and decides to contact them, they are able to deal with it and move on rather than letting the contact disturb them.
Relationships take time and energy. They are about being there in mind, body, and spirit, and not just texting or emailing. My children have learned this lesson at a very young age. Life is not about *things* it's about the people you choose to spend time with, whether they be blood relatives or the friends around you who have grown to be family. I'm not about reflecting on the past. I choose to live in the present and take life one day at a time. But tonight we will celebrate with those who have become family to us over the last 13 years. We're grateful for those who are here and celebrate the lives of those who are gone.
Spread Your Wings!