Posts Tagged ‘dementia



“By the time you’re eighty years old you’ve learned everything. You only have to remember it.” George Burns (1896-1996)

old dock-missing pieces-SwittersB


Caregiver Depression…

Some reports estimate that over 75% of elders with dementia are cared for in home usually by spouses and family members. Further, over a third of those caregivers will succumb to pronounced depression, exhaustion and anger. While the focus is on the elder with dementia and the sadness, frustration and realities this causes you, be mindful that the one spending all day, all night caring for that loved one….another loved one…may be suffering on many levels and keeps it from you with that stoic or smiling persona. Have a plan of care and support for the ‘patient’ and the caregiver. Somber times, harsh realities, not time to turn away. 




For Us (I will carry it on)

Heart wrenching. Have you been here in elder (loved one’s) care? I have. Read this beautifully written piece.

A Swift Current

A Swift Current For US (I will carry it on) Edouard Vuillard– 1891-1892– Private Collection

An hour often passed without their speaking. The shared quiet fell over them, binding them more tightly than any conversation could.

~  Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland

Twenty-four hours ago,

my mother did not know me.

Now we sit

side by side;

holding hands.

Our words

drift into the air;

a deep breath;

a slight smile.

Tengo hambre, she says,

surprising me

with the lost language of her childhood.

Our silence surprises me too;

luscious relief

after years of dementia’s

nonsensical tales;

bitter accusations;

angry recriminations.

Our silence;

a tender reminder of

long ago afternoons

home from school;

the two of us sitting

at the formica table;

Chips Ahoy and milk.

Day after day,

we sat in silence as

I tried to figure out

what the nuns expected;

what the other kids wanted;

why was I so scared.

She knew

not to say a word


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God Bless the Caregivers

I just this morning, received word of the passing of a beautiful man. I met him while he and his wife tended to our Aunt in hospice not so long ago. He was a man full of the social graces and etiquette that one does not come across much anymore. His passing, his family’s loss, just as he planned to retire reminds one, yet again, of how fleeting life is. He and his lovely wife guided us through the journey and helped us cope with dementia, exhaustion, the vigil and the passing. All the time, he maintained a loving, reassuring exterior toward us and families on the same path.

One notable memory was his love for his roses and how well tended to they were. He worked hard all day in a very demanding technical environment then came home and pulled another shift assisting his wife with the care of elders. He often tended to his roses during this time too. They were quite beautiful, like him.  Rest in peace Dorin. Thank you for the care you gave.

pink petals, rose, tribute, morning light, macro, photography, SwittersB


Every Day In May Challenge Final Topic: Achievement

Distant landmarks that stood off in the distance. The final gates off a ranch. They seemed so far away, but eventually through a circuitous route across the landscape I finally reached them. It felt wonderful and at the same time I hated to close them behind me and leave. Maybe I will go back.

“Achievement, exploit, feat are terms for a noteworthy act. Achievement connotes final accomplishments of something noteworthy, after much effort and often in spite of obstacles and discouragements…” (some dictionary)

Awards based on accomplishments; building things; completing giant tasks; successfully implementing new concepts; retiring from a long, notable career; helping raise wonderful children; mentoring others………  All the above are achievements. But, of late, there are four  notable ones, of which I am most humbly proud, in admittedly varying degrees of emotional intensity.

First, my oldest son and I spent the final hours with my father as he lay in a hospital bed dying. He had had a stroke days earlier. We assumed he would survive but be disabled. We didn’t know that the strokes were continuing and he was in the act of passing. As I entered the room and stared at my once invincible father I noticed that labored, gasping breathing. I didn’t understand really what I was looking at. A nurse walked up and said ‘you know what is going on don’t you? What I asked. Simply put, staring into my eyes, she said ‘he’s dying now’. She walked past me out of the room. As if I had been handed a script seconds before the curtain was to rise, there I stood on life’s stage. Ill prepared and stunned. I knelt beside him looking at his face. I held his hand, something I had never done before. I rubbed his forehead and hair, again something I had never done before. I told him I loved him. Need I say it. He passed on into that stillness. In the room you could only hear a ticking of the clock and the normal bustle in the hallway of a hospital, through the room’s closed door. My son and I stood there and took it in. My dad, the warrior, the rock was at peace. 

Second, I spent the better part of the last five years tending to my mom, who was tortured by cancer, hoarding, depression and finally spent the last five months of her life in our home dying of the cancer. I, not alone for sure, saw that through to the final breath. My sweet mom.

Thirdly, as my mom was dying, her sister and best friend was also ill. Dementia, reclusiveness, hoarding and heart disease brought my Aunt into my life as my mom died. There was no one else to care for my Aunt. My wife and I adopted my reclusive Aunt and spent over a year gaining her trust. We gained admission into her home, into a chair unearthed from her mountains of  stuff and finally we gained admission into her heart. In the end, we spent those final months as she slipped ever deeper into dementia. Again, I was there for the that final grinding, long, gasping ride to the quiet end. The clock ticking in the silent room.

I am proud of those three achievements because it was how it use to be long ago. It was a challenge and it was mentally exhausting. But, in the end, they passed with someone holding their hands. It was spiritual and challenging. I hope it is not morose or maudlin. It is intended to be the passage, the journey we all move through….eventually.


Lastly, the Every Day in May Challenge. It has been a very positive and enlightening experience. When Chadd VanZanten of How Small A Trout corresponded with me, I was immediately impressed by the topics list. Yes, much of it was fishing related and I relished the opportunity of giving up a little bit of me that others really don’t know under the cloak of SwittersB.

But, other factors became entwined whether Chadd knew this would result or not I don’t know. Life intervened for me. More strife, more stressors, more distractions. To make the daily posting and to be challenged to write outside the box and try for something different perhaps was challenging and I have to say rewarding for me. 

So, why the attachment of the seemingly heavy stuff above…the deaths of my loved ones. Well along the way of this Every Day In May Challenge quite a few topics and writing efforts renewed my faith in the spiritual value of the outdoors in healing, renewing, focusing the mind and heart. Being at one with self, nature, God, and the past. Peace of mind and of heart. It was a heck of a lot of fun too! 

Thanks to all the fine bloggers that participated and added energy and motion to this fun project. Hooray for us!!!

Well, Hooray for Me Too!


Every Day in May Challenge: ‘Current’

Every Day in May Challenge: Today’s topic ‘Current’

Current? Current Events? Current in a river? Well it dove tails in a way. Currently, I am coming out of a dutiful stint for the last five years of tending to my mom and aunt (both massive hoarders; cancer, dementia, hospice, death, hoarding cleanup, which will continue on into next year; surgeries). All this has taken a toll on my outdoor pursuits with the necessary sacrifices we all have to eventually make for those we love and care for.

Fly fishing has been a passion for decades and this is the longest phase of such infrequent outings. Outings that are often disjointed and jumbled. One does become quite proficient in all the skill sets if one gets to engage in the pursuit often. It is kind of like riding a bike. It comes back after awhile. But at times I feel like a bumbler while fishing, fumbling for gear, stumbling while wading. Fitness plays a role in this. Surgeries and the attendant decline in strength contributes to the klutzy movements. Distractions that can intrude upon the zone, ‘the moment’. But, I believe in a better tomorrow. 

Markers in the Wild

 The currents of the rivers and streams are forces that we read. Seams and competing forces that effect our presentations and success. Part of the puzzle that we attempt to solve: where is the lie? what insects live in that type of water? Imagery, imagination, karma. Currents and the structures beneath are like life. They must be read and understood if we are to be successful.

Current Events + Currents of the River. A blend that is life.

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

July 2020

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