"Don't run away from awkward situations, you never know what they can bring."
During our life we get confronted with situations beyond our control. Situations that we didn’t ask for. Things that happen to our loved ones and that effect our lives emotionally as well. The easiest way would be to run away and ignore those situations. But hey, that’s not how it works!
This is the third time that I am confronted with a similar situation … First my grandad, than my grandma and now a dear friend … Alzheimer …
At first you notice that they start to forget small stuff. Then they confuse you with someone else. And they can get aggressive, as they know what’s going on. They start writing things down, just in case they would forget about it. It’s a way they ‘handle’ the situation. It’s a good thing to do so, as it keeps them alert. But things get worse. You just can’t stop the disease. Once they get in the final stage, they keep repeating themselves. They live in the past tense and it’s hard to see them deteriorate.
My friend is very straight forward and can be hard, as she’s well aware of the situation. You can tell that she’s focussed from the very first minute we are together and after a while you see that her attention is slipping away, it is tiring her down. I adore her you know.
Last weekend we got to spend together, two days in a row. I know she loves me as well, I’m sure of it! She just loves the moments she gets to spend with us. She really does. I know she loves me for who I am, as I try to make the best out of it every time we meet. We don’t get to see each other every week, but when we do we have pure quality time. She knows who we are, she enjoys every second of it and we make it count!
After lunch we went to a shop to buy her a present as it’s her birthday in a few days. I wanted her to choose her own perfume. We spend quite some time in the shop smelling all kinds of fragrances. Finally she made her choice. I went to the counter to pay for it and asked the lady to wrap it up as a present.
When I dropped her off in the evening, she asked me with a tender voice - as it was obvious that she felt a little embarrassed - when she could open up her present. I said it was totally up to her to decide. She then replied that she was so curious to find out what was in it … She just couldn’t remember …
You know me. Instead of feeling bad about her forgetting about it, I just made that switch from negative to positive: The present we bought made her twice happy in just one day! It was heart-warming to see.
The most important message I want to share right now is: Do not avoid the person if you don’t know how to connect. Just go and act as if you understand every little twist in their mind. Enjoy those moments together and try to have as much fun as you can.
We constantly tease each other. We have great laughs and it makes those moments even more important for the both of us. I adore her as much as I adored my granddad and grandma.
Give your beloved ones who are confronted with this disease as much attention as you can, and enjoy every moment you still can connect.
Dare to laugh and dare to love.
© Vicky Drappier