by: Bill Bennett PhD
June 1 2013
Copyright: do not reprint without express written permission
I DIDN'T REALIZE......
I did not think there was any more hurt or tears left inside me, but I found out tonight there still is. I am now writing this, mainly to myself, just to clear my mind, and sharing these thoughts with my friends on Facebook, Twitter, and the Facebook MS group I created "The MS Stumble & Fall Society."
As everyone who knows me is aware. I began writing a book which I titled "THE DAY THE DEER (Dear) WENT AWAY." It is a story about my wife of 20 years being diagnosed with ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE (Vascular Dementia) and the attitudes of medical people in their treatment of those suffering with this killer of the mind, the soul, and finally the spirit and body, and the devastating effects on the victim and the family.
As I said, I am talking to myself to try and clear my mind as well as make it another hour, another day, a week, a month, or however long I must endure watching my wife slowly leave me, and trying to undersand why. I have seen those with Alzheimer's and have laughed at the jokes told by people who do not really intend to hurt anyone, least of all those who are suffering with just trying to accept what is happening to them, but not knowing why. I myself, never understood how much of a trial this really would turn out to be; I just didn't realize.
Tonight, once more, I was smacked in the face with the reality of life when it happened again. It truly causes me to fear the future and question my strength and ability to cope. I know all people of faith (of which I am one) say "GOD will only give you what he knows you can handle." Even though I am an ordained priest, this time, I really have to question what his intent is. This time, he gave me a mountain, and it is a hard one to even think of climbing.
There is a line in the second stanza of the song, "I Was Born Under A Wandering Star" from the movie "Paint Your Wagon," that states, "Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry." Until tonight I never knew how true that is.
Tonight, just prior to getting Mona (my wife) ready for bed, she had me help her up from her recliner and give her her cane. It was then I noticed she was crying. I asked her what was wrong, and then I got hit with reality, right between the eyes. She looked at me with a look I've never seen before and I realized, "TONIGHT THE DEAR WENT AWAY," if only for a few seconds. In between her sobs she whispered, "They have stole our bathrooms, and I have to pee very bad. Where can I go? Why did they steal our bathrooms?" Then she put her arms around me and began to sob harder. She looked into my face and I knew she had come back, at least for a little while.
It was then she said "I am so scared, I don't know what is happening to me, I don't understand what is going on. Please help me, Please Please help me." I held her tight, then helped her into the bathroom. I also had to help remove her clothes and sit down, and then, help her up. I managed to get her into bed and covered her up. Poop-a-doop and Baby-boss (two of our cats) knew something was different and they immediately cuddled up around her. They began to nuzzle and purr against her, to give her comfort. I turned out the lights, told her good night, kissed her and said "I love you" and had to get out of the bedroom as quick as I could, before I broke down. That would have really frightend her, seeing how afraid I really was.
Just like in the song "Mud can make you prisoner, the plains can bake you dry. SNOW CAN BURN YOUR EYES, BUT ONLY PEOPLE MAKE YOU CRY. 6