Earlier this month, I took a three-day, Dementia/Alzheimer’s training course, and not only was it educational, but a very eye opening experience. It taught me a lot about this heartbreaking, and mysterious illness, and honestly, I wished it’d been longer because I was an eager little sponge. Wanting to learn more.
One of the activities we did, was to write down the important things in our lives, namely it was focused on our home. Whether they were people or physical objects. I wrote down our dog, Gizmo, my spouse and our son, laptop/Writing Cave, and my couch/blanket. We wrote these down and then were asked what made these things, people, objects, so special to us. It put us in the shoes of a person moving to a nursing home, thereby, necessitating the need to leave, most, if not all, these things behind.
When we first began this activity, I didn’t know what the instructor had in mind. Then as student after student began telling their stories about these things, I felt an overwhelming sadness grip, and take hold of me. My turn hadn’t yet arrived to talk about my list, but then I thought about it…being told you can’t have a pet, your family can visit, bring your blanket but you can’t lug the couch. Or you can take your laptop, but the “feeling” of the Cave will need to somehow be recreated. Picturing having to leave my house, my family, and all the things it holds dear to me, broke my heart. I can’t imagine not waking up in my own bed, with my spouse beside me, and our son asleep down the hall. To think of not being able to bring along our dog, Gizmo, who although is old and oftentimes a pain in the ass, I love very dearly. My writing cave. A room where I escape to dream up, and create stories. It’s my happy place, where I’m surrounded by books, photos, Elvis posters, and other things that makes that room special to me.
After a long hard day at work, my couch is another retreat for me. I love snuggling up on that old, dated, but comfy thing. It’s a tan, floral print couch probably from the 1980s that was handed down by my husband’s aunt and uncle. It may not be the prettiest couch you’ll ever see, but it’s sturdy, in great condition, and comfortable. I enjoy curling up with a blanket, taking a nap. Or having a light snack and watching a movie. Snuggling up next to my sweetie or my son. The people, and items, that compromise my list, are precious. And I can’t imagine giving any of them up.
My list only represented a very small fraction of the important things in our home. Other items like my Grandmother’s crocheted yellow & white pillows, family photographs, my Mom’s antique necklace, our garden. The list could go on and on. Important things that make our house a home, are things I will no longer take for granted. This class, this exercise, now makes me fully appreciate the beauty, and blessings, that surround me everyday.
Dear Reader, what are your favorite things? What would you take with you if you needed to move into an assisted living, or nursing home?
Author of Spicy Contemporary Romance
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