Sunday, October 20, 2019

I Have A Story To Tell - Part III - Frustration

We have had some fantastic fall weather so far.  Many sunny days, with brilliant blue cloudless skies and an occasional gray rainy day here or there.  Today is going to be one of the dreary and misty days.
If the rest of our life turns out to be like this fall's weather, I would be more than okay with that.

In September Ross was diagnosed with Alzheimers. Ross is still going through diagnostic testing which he should finish up this week.  Perhaps we will soon have more definitive answers.

I made a decision, with Ross' approval,  to write, in serial format, about our journey.  It will not be a daily journal, but more like on a need to write basis.

This post is the third in the series.

Today I need to write about frustration.

A little background information might help explain.  Ross is highly intelligent.  Just like his life, Ross' educational background was widely varied.  He proudly attended the Naval Academy.
After his second term, he realized the disciplined and structured demand of the military was not the life he wanted to live.
He went on to graduate from the University of Toledo in Ohio with a master's degree in math and computer science degree.
He found his calling in teaching high school students.  He had a special relationship with his students, who often confided in him, knowing he would be understanding and supportive, no matter what.

Ross and I have similar even tempered dispositions.   Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we both are the eldest of our siblings.  We had to learn early in our life to adapt, listen, and make room in our life for others. 
I believe because of our mild manners, we mostly continue to live an even keeled and calm life.
Of course we are facing something now that might probably be the most challenging of our lives.

Although our frustrations come from different challenges, and may happen on a daily basis, we seem to be able to work through our feelings by communicating in a calm and reasonable way.    Mostly.

Yesterday, we had an incident.

It began with a trip to one of the big box stores.  The kind where you need to show a membership card to get through the door.  Ross easily found his card, but could not find his credit card.   Since I had mine, it wasn't going to be an issue.

We did our shopping and went on home.   When we got home, Ross found his credit card in his way too small and crowded wallet. He then decided to sort and organize all of the items.  He started to make piles of the different items.  He put credit cards together, id cards together, insurance cards together, etc.

After that, he tried to count the various cards and items, over 20 I would imagine.

When he began to struggle with simply counting, his frustration began to build quite quickly.  In an unusual emotional display of what I perceived as anger, he insisted that I stop what I was doing (which was making lunch for us) to help him.

After a long week of many appointments and sleepless nights, I reacted in a not so calm way.

After a cooling down period, as we usual do, we came together to talk about what happened.

He explained how hurtful it was to realize that after a thirty-plus successful career as a mathematician he was struggling with simply counting.

I tearfully expressed the frustration I felt trying to remain even tempered and patient all of the time.

Today on this dreary, misty Sunday, I understand that we both need extra help with all kinds of things. But at this point when IT is still new,  I am freezing cold, in a state of shock immobility.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Rambling Through Monday

I feel like writing today.  Mostly, I feel like rambling.

Lately, I have started to wonder if I have any more stories left in me. 

Monday is change the bedding and laundry day.  We have several "not fun" appointments this month.  But, today is a free day.   I am thinking that I might try to record my knitting podcast today. (Joey's Scarf) That requires a lot of planning though.

Scary thing happened to me the other day.  I got a "ransom" note from a computer hacker.   What was upsetting to me was that the hacker knew my password.  Of course I ignored his demands and my computer didn't blow up.   I wanted to report it, but didn't know where to send my complaint.
I changed my passwords all over the place.  But wondered if the hacker knew my password, would changing my password prevent "hacker" from gaining all of my new ones?

I find I am more peaceful when I don't watch/listen/read "the news".  But, then won't I be uninformed?
Will I have to rely on small talk about the weather or idle chatter at the next cocktail party?
By the way, I haven't been to a cocktail party in years, so I guess I don't have to worry about that.

I woke up this morning before daybreak.  I turned over and heard Ross stir.   He reached over to find my hand.   Although at times he may not remember my name,  I believe he feels soothed by my comforting touch, just as I do by his.

I finished knitting a sweater I have been working on for months.  I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride that I had finished it.   I am not happy with the fit.  But, boy did it come out nice.

Ross and I completed a 750 piece jigsaw puzzle.  Jigsaw puzzles are interesting.  As soon as it was finished I took great pleasure in decomposing it.  Oh, I took a pic first.

I don't want to do another jigsaw puzzle in forever!

These days,  I have time to contemplate the clouds via the sunroom windows.   Today the glimpses of blue give me the smallest glimmer of hope.

     She felt bone weary.  When she was a girl, her dear grandmother would say those words, and then sigh deeply.   At the time it made her think of a bent over skeleton,  gingerly walking with a cane.  As she watched her grandmother bustle about getting dinner ready for her flock, her grandma hardly looked like her imagined skeleton.
    She now wondered what had made her grandmother bone weary. 

A story...perhaps?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Finding Happy Pink Moments

Today is a gray day.   Which is actually nice.  Yesterday, October 2, it was sunny and 93F degrees in New Jersey.  Today we might not get out of the 60's.  Which is also, actually nice.  The air is heavy today.  That's not so nice.

The heaviness of the air makes me feel like I can't catch my breath.  I've been feeling that way a lot lately, though.  Now that I think of it, weather conditions probably have little to do with that.

Can't catch a break, can't catch my breath.

You know how when you log into Facebook for the first time that day and FB tells you that you have "On this day" memories to look at?

And you know how when you look at those memories from all the different years, you sigh and nostalgically smile and go "Aww, ahh and ooh?"

That's because most FB memories are smiley ones.   I think that's a nice FB thing.

This morning my "On This Day" FB memories went all the way back to 11 years ago.  Photos of my mother's 85th birthday party.   I sighed and smiled and oohed and ahhed.

I haven't felt like doing much of that lately.

On a day like this gray heavy air day, it sometimes helps me to reflect on moments during the day when I have been mindful of happy or peaceful feelings.

Feelings of happiness and peacefulness make me think of the color Pink. 

Here are some of what I'm calling my:

"On This Day "Pink Moments

  • Feeling exchanged-smiles love.
  • Ross hugs.  He gives the best hugs.  They make me feel safe.
  • Rushing to get ready to leave, to be on time, suddenly slowing to stillness to silently study fluttering wings on the feeder.
  • Seeing a favorite caller-ID name displayed on my phone.
  • A Balanced check book.
  • Finding all the proper fitting lids for every lid-needing container.
  • Watching, (yes watching) a dozen pair of hand knit socks dry.
  • Finding the last piece to complete the outer frame of a jig saw puzzle.
  • The peacefulness of clicking and clacking my knitting needles.
  • TV binge immersion.
  • When a headache leaves.
  • The weightlessness of climbing into bed at the end of a weighty day.

Writing helps me to recognize there is still pink in my life.

What color are your "happy moments"?  Tell me about one of them.