I am currently in the moderate phase of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. I have been forgetting many things like meds, appointments, events, and anything with numbers pretty much feels like it’s fried my brain. I am a weeper. I cry when I’m happy. I cry when I’m surprised. I cry at Christmas. I cry over cards and gifts. I cry when I’m sad and the tears are unabated at this point. I am reminded that joy comes in the morning, so I know all these tears are just a one-night stand and this too shall pass.
I cannot help but think, sometimes to the point of dwelling, on two simple facts. My long-term memory is still in tact. My short-term is quite compromised. Long-term. Short-term. Is there a timeline I can set out so I know what to expect and when? Is long-term ten years or more? Twenty? Thirty? Five? Two? And how short is short-term? I forget things that happened two weeks ago and convos I had a week ago have gaps in them.
I have become a total fanatic about taking notes and we have set reminders on Alexa so my husband gets the reminders on his phone, too, and can check to see if I remembered something important. We have back-up reminders and alarms on my phone and watch. I have pages of notes on my phone to refer to daily to help me remember. I go through my photos on my phone and on fb daily.
The things most precious to me are simple things. These simple things are the memories I am desperate to hold on to with both hands, feet, arms and teeth, if need be. Ferociously trying to keep them from slipping away. When my hubby walks in the door from work and I see that look of peace come over his face. His phone call at lunch just to say he loves me. His precious kisses. The quirk of his eyebrow when I say something off the wall. How he smiles when our children or grandchildren walk into our home. The way he tilts his head when he touches my hand. How easily and peacefully he lays his head to rest at night.
My oldest son’s smile. That look he gets when someone says something he’s pretty sure is not right. His happiness when he’s with family. The way he laughs and enjoys some back-in-the-day stories. The flashing of his dimples when he wants something from his Ma. How he tugs at his shirt hem or readjusts his sleeves when he’s sharing something with me, almost as though he wants to look his best in that moment. The way he plays it close to the vest.
My youngest son’s way of caring for me. His tenderness. His righteous indignation. That smile melts my heart. The way he always comes for a kiss on the cheek before he leaves. The generous spirit that always asks for a list of things I would like done that I can no longer complete. How he runs his hand back through his hair. His love for Mexican food and trail running. His respect and honor for us.
My baby girl’s requests for Girl’s Day Out with her Mama. Her smile and the way she throws her head back and laughs with abandon. How hard she works for her family’s future. How she reassures me and keeps me focused. How she uses her dimples to persuade me to her way of thinking. Her love of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise jewelry. The way she shares her babies with me.
My husband keeps reminding me that we are going to take things one day at a time, one step at a time. A few scriptures come to mind:
“This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6
Let me focus on this day and not what is to come. I will keep the Lord’s Word ever before my eyes and hidden in my heart. Thanking God for today!