This is how we sail through the journey of Dementia. We help where we can, we take care of ourselves, and we're realistic. There's a story behind making this video. What a perfect song, really. It threads together so many life stories. We are not alone. And on top of the dementia adventure, other life things happen at the same time.
Indulge me while I tell you a tale. Not two weeks before my wife, Gaydona, died from Early Onset Alzheimer's disease, a dear care partner friend drove a couple hours to my house and brought a bounty of groceries and other things since I was unable to leave my house. She got to meet my wife. Gaydona was so tired that day, and she was trying so hard to be okay. That bounty brought to us saved my butt after she died. I was penniless and broken myself.
A couple months passed and I was recharging after a stay in the hospital. I went on a road trip with a friend named Fannie. I knew her through other intersecting circles in my life but nonetheless, she was concerned about the possibility of having dementia touch her family, too.
Let me tell you, Fannie was a powerhouse of energy. She had her own demons. She never stood still. I'd known her for years online and we met for the first time on this road trip that covered North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and other assorted spots along the way to visit her mom and then she dropped me off at a midpoint so I could meet up with another dear care partner friend of mine.
Now you've got to understand a little something about me. Yes, I was an exhausted energizer bunny zombie being that this trip was just a couple months after my wife died and I'd spent the past 6 or so years 24/7 caregiving in the strangest place one could ever hope to not visit. That said, I'm a whirlwind of energy myself, just naturally. Some people have trouble keeping up with me because my mind flits around a lot at the speed of light. Fannie made me look completely mellow and maybe even slow! lol! It was an amazing trip, a once-in-a-lifetime type deal.
Not two years after that trip, Fannie was pointlessly murdered. She was shot execution style in the head for some money. The guy who did it had been released from prison a couple of months earlier after already being convicted of stabbing a relative dozens of times, killing her.
Weird and shocking things happen in life. So far, it's taught me to be kind and spread happiness where I can. At the end of the day, that's what matters. We walk each other through. We share the weight so the load is ultimately lightened. Pay it forward with gladness of heart knowing it was not a random waste. We never know whose lives we touch or how long we get to share our ripples. Make them good ones, even in the face of seeming pointlessness. I know others are sailing through these murky waters and I understand. I lived to tell the tale.