Love And Kisses

A sixty-one year love affair, still going strong, maybe stronger than ever. We met on a blind date. Recently I told Howard I didn’t want to go out on that blind date, but my Mom insisted, in fact she pushed me out the door. He was flabbergasted, said he never heard that one in all these years.

I’m so thankful I went out with him. He arrived in a rental car, having had an accident that day with his own car. He was fortunate that his uncle owned a Ford agency and loaned him a car.

He took me to little Italy to a restaurant named Maria’s. They took us downstairs and seated us at a nice table for four, so we had plenty of room. Howard ordered a bottle of red wine (still my favorite) and we had a delicious dinner, lots of garlic bread, pasta and music as we were surrounded by the 3 men walking around the tables playing wonderful Italian music. I was delighted, not only that but I thought Howard was wonderful and a very special guy. He listened as I talked and I think I talked the whole night. I arrived home around 3 a.m. and went right to bed, I had to be up by 6 to go to work.

The next day my Mom asked if I had a good time, and I told her I did, and hopefully, Howard would call again. By the second date we both knew…we met in September, became engaged after Christmas, and married in June, 1952.

Later, I heard that his Mom asked him if he had a good time, that first date, and he told him Mom, she is a nice girl, but she talks too much. The next day she said, she heard him on the phone, and he said he was talking to me.

We never get tired of talking to each other and to this day we enjoy each other and our conversations. We did it all with Love and Kisses.

I get a love not every morning with my coffee.

I once said, on National T.V. that we were two halves of a whole, while each retaining our own identity.
Try it, it works, as does love and kisses.
Keep love and kisses in your life.

Right Brain Workshop Guided Imagery

This is from a Right Brain Imagery workshop done the first time my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
6/29/95
Oh my darling, on this journey we were together and together we will be. My journey took me to the beach, the water, so warm and soothing to my soul. I tried to keep walking out into the water, but you pulled me back, needing me, wanting me, loving me. Exhausted I lay in the hammock, gently rocking back and forth as the golden healing light entered my body, and you entered with it. Your essence became the healing light, touching, soothing, loving, kissing. Most of the light left my body, but you stayed. Thank you for that.

I flew, still lying on my back watching the clouds and when the rainbow appeared, I wrapped it around me like a cocoon. Both of us together wrapped in safety, warmth and love.

Coming back home, back to the island and the water, I opened the door to my writing room. All my books and kissing couples were there, along with a brand new teddy bear you bought me, sitting on my chair, waiting to give me a hug, waiting to help me get started writing. The computer was smiling, it missed me.
I looked around for my muse and I saw four people come inside.

A child name Innocence
A teenager name Enthusiasm
A women name Experience
An old woman name Wisdom

They all said they would help me brainstorm when ever I needed.
I know, my darling, my writing takes time away from you, but it’s also the rest of our beautiful life. This is our legacy to leave of Love and Kisses

I love you, forever and always.

A-Z Buzzwords About Alzheimer’s Disease

September 8, 2013
This is a repeat of 8/18/2009 blog. I thought it was important enough to rewrite. It says a whole lot about the life of a caregiver.

A-Z Feelings About Alzheimer’s Disease

When my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease I sat down and did an a-z buzzword page on my feelings. I want to share them with you so that you can help support caregivers. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you. Give a gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.

A=alone, agonizing, abandoned, affecting

B=burden, bereft, blessed

C=cope, cry, chronic fatigue, courage, compassion, community, cliches

D=depression, death sentence, dreams, dignity, denial

E=effort, exercise, eulogy, essence, excrutiating

F=family, face the fear, frustration, feelings,

G=good days, grateful, guts, God

H=hope, hopeless, helpless, heartwrenching, humor, hold me

I=I got us on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

J=job, journal, jeopodize

K=kisses, killer, knowledge, knife

L=love, letters to kids, label

M=movies, meds

N=notes every day, it’s not him, it’s the disease

O= obesity; we beat it, bankruptcy: we beat it

P=prisoner of the mind and soul, pity, pain, poignant, power of attorney

Q=quality of life

R=robs you of yourself, raw

S=secret, smile, slow death, spokesperson, soul, strong, spirit

T=time, Thanksgiving, thorough

U= ultimate,

V=victim, void, victory

W= where are you, I know you are in there, wallow in pity

X=x-rated, x ray

Y=yell, yearn, yoke yanked

Z=zombie, zap, zero

We were the lucky ones, they changed the diagnosis from Alzheimer’s Disease to Age Associated Memory Impairment, but those seven years were hell. And that’s why I published my book, Behind The Mask.

Now it’s 3013 and his diagnosis has returned.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Filed Under: Uncategorized Tagged With: a-z buzzwords on A.D., Behind The Mask by Helene Moore, love and kisses
caregivers, Alzheimer’s Disease,

Happy New Year

9/4/13  A very Happy and Healthy New year to all my Jewish friends. It is a wonderful holiday full of tradition and family, and of course food.

I gave my writing group a writing assignment this week: Write about the meaning of your life. Just a stream of consciousness, could be an outline of your life, yesterday, today or tomorrow, your legacy, one moment in time, any age and so on. Just let those words flow. Do this for one time, or several times during the week. Next week, we will do it again for one day, and so on until the end of the month. At which time, we will all reread what we have written during the month, and either discuss it or not, and possibly continue this till the end of the year.. Should be an interesting project. I suggest you try it out yourself. Consider leaving a comment about how it’s working out. I will update the outcome at the beginning of next month and let you know how we made out with this assignment.

If I have learned anything this year, it’s take one beautiful day at a time, even one hour at a time. Life is short, and you never know when it’s the end, so enjoy every minute. Keep people around you that you are comfortable with, who lift you up, and not put you down. Get those negative people away from you.

I’ve learned so much about myself and my writing this year. I finally feel like a writer. My writing group here at Coventry Court is wonderful and we have great times learning together. Also, I took an online writing course, Story Cartel, which boosted me up and taught me so many thing. In fact it was so much to learn that I might have to take this course again. I highly recommend it.

Another thing that is helping me personally and in my writing  is Meditation. I try to do it everyday. Just about every time I do this practice, I find my muse (writing) is hovering about giving me insight into something I’m trying to write. Or, I just fall asleep  and that is okay too.

I’m trying to follow a healthier lifestyle. Eating better, trying to walk a little bit and not spending all my time trying to catch up. I know me, and I will never catch up, it’s who I am. I say I am slowing down, and then I buy 3 books in a row, or download several books to review. I am just me.

I’m determined to start a new book about me and how Alzheimer’s Disease is affecting my husband. This time the book will be more of a tribute to him.

Last time Behind The Mask was all about me and my feelings because it had to be kept a secret, that was twenty years ago when he got his first diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. That was really hard. And of course, it never happened. This time, it’s a fact, but we understand and we are ready to do whatever is necessary. I will learn when I have to, to live in his reality.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

A Right Brain Journey: Keeping Everything Inside

The last time my husband was diagnosed 20 years ago with Alzheimer’s Disease, I went to  a writing conference. Not knowing where I belonged I joined a Right Brain Group. I think I thought I’d find myself and what I wanted to write, but this is what came out of me that day:

It began with a journey into a quiet room, and out to the beach. Completely relaxed, warm, safe, opened up to colors, outside in the sand, opened up places , kept inside to make room for opening up to people, ideas, creativity, to write experiences about. To get rid of the part of me that thought Silence Was Golden to the point of closing off myself, my feelings. Started because I thought I had no choice about it, but it stayed to become almost like a sickness. My thoughts and feelings didn’t matter so I didn’t share them. It came out in my writing. Short spare sentences with no flavor, color, description; just bare bones. Emotion locked inside me.

Has this ever happened to you?

How did you handle it?

Did it change part of your life?

It changed my life until I was much older. By that time I realized that other people, bullies who pushed me around, they  had power over me, and I enabled  them. How stupid I felt, how locked up inside.

Was I damaged beyond repair?

What changed?

I put aside those negative people and they are no longer in my life. They have no power over me anymore.  I learned that Silence Isn’t Golden, like my mother told me when I was a child.

My husband’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease a couple of months ago got me thinking. Time is of the essence, I need to make wonderful memories  every day of our life together. I know it’s not going to be easy. But this time, I will let those locked up feelings inside me come out. I am grateful for every day of my life, and I will take good care of my husband during this life changing illness.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

 

 

The Rival

The Rival is short flash fiction. People who know me, or have known me, know that I once owned a collection of themed art: kissing.

I wrote this during that time, and I hope you enjoy it. You can always comment by clicking on the title of this piece.

THE RIVAL

     The silence in the living room was broken by the sounds of wrapping paper sliding to the floor. Everyone sat up straighter. Immediately awake and terrified someone new was going to usurp their hard earned territory.

     Who was this intruder? How large was he, how expensive? Was he going to take up too much room, too much conversation? Buzzing nosily amongst themselves they craned their necks looking over or under each other trying to see this new intruder. Why was this happening? Weren’t they exceptional enough to stand alone without anyone invading their space?

     Their mingled conversations grew louder sounding like a drum roll in a symphony. The sounds splintered, bouncing off the walls intense and angry. Sobbing sounds intruded into the room, as they heard the corrugated carton ripping open providing them with new fears about their future.

     They held their breath, each offering prayers they wouldn’t be the one relegated to a less prestigious location.

     The bronzes leaned heavily into their pedestals. The oil paintings flattened themselves into the walls. The glass and porcelain daintily hid their eyes. The etchings felt gray and blah, sure they would be the ones removed. The lithographs looked at one another, wondering if there were too many of them. The commissioned ones looked haughty, sure they had a home for life.

     As they looked around fully aware how crammed all the walls in the house were, they feared for their lives.

     Wait, hold on, he’s coming out of the box. Who is it? The voices once again became shrill, then silent as they held their breath anticipating that first glimpse.

     The sobbing stopped. The voices quieted and in awe they reflected on the beauty of this new piece of art. Surely they all belonged together in this house of lovers. No one would have to leave their home. Settling down they wondered where this new elegant piece of art would be placed. Hopefully somewhere near them.

Adopt A Caregiver

I always talk about Adopt A Caregiver. I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I wish that everyone would do it. At least try it.

It’s so simple, I am sure all of you know someone in your own community that is a caregiver. Doesn’t matter what kind of care-giving the person does. Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, anything.

All you have to do is email this person, tell them you are trying to understand what they are going through. Since you cannot stand in their shoes, perhaps you can get that person to talk to you, to vent, to help you ‘see’ what they see. Just listen, do not  judge just be there as a friend, an understanding friend.

Twenty years ago when I was a caregiver, I wrote something that I never put into my book, Behind The Mask. I though it was too harsh. It went something like this:

Where were you when I needed  you? When I was crying my eyes out alone and scared. You all called and asked how my husband was doing, no one asked me how I was doing.

I’d like to think all that has changed, that people are more tuned in, and are more aware of the needs of caregivers.

Now that my husband is diagnosed again, it starts all over again for me.

I’d like to think we are better prepared this time around.
The one thing I do remember, and know to be true. I will have to live in his reality, when the time comes.

Please go out and Adopt A Caregiver.  Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Reflections Of Me: Me and Alzheimer’s Disease

Hard to take in this diagnosis, even the second time around. The difference is I’m not looking for the next thing to happen.

Instead I focus on each day, making loving memories, savoring my love notes every morning and all the kisses I get every day. It’s getting to be too many to count. I love them.

We’ve made peace with Alzheimer’s Disease. We have made our decisions, and our wishes known to the family and hope it’s a long time in the future for any further actions.

Alzheimer’s Disease is something that makes me sad for Howard. He is smart enough to know when he is losing it.

Last time, twenty years ago, he said his mind was like a sieve, pieces just fell through the openings. Sometimes just a blank page.

Thank goodness we have a great support group, they are very protective of us. Thank you all.

How many of you know someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease two times??? I wonder, as I think the percentage is higher than I thought.

Meditation and journal writing for me is a tremendous help, as are all my friends and family and writing buddies.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that keeps on giving, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

The Last Dance/Writing Practice

The Last Dance
Diana knew this would be an extraordinary night. She took a leisurely bath, filling the tub with scented oils. Vanilla and sweet almond oil mixed with lavender surrounded her with lazy luxury. It had been a long time since she felt so calm.
Lying back in the tub, she went over the plans for the coming evening. When she was finished bathing, she stepped out of the tub. Diana knew she was ready.
When she was dry, she powdered her body with a silken scent, then threw a short silk shirt over her naked body. She didn’t tie it, just let the robe flap around her as she walked across the soft carpet into the bedroom. There, on the bed, was her husband, her best friend and lover for forty wonderful years.
Diana climbed into the bed. Tenderly she touched Stuart’s face. His eyes blinked once, she nodded in response. Reaching up, she kissed his eyelids, her hands moving down his still body. She rubbed her breasts along his stomach and reached downward and felt his erection. She looked into his eyes and once again, he blinked at her, this time very slowly.
One last dance, she thought as she put him inside her body. One last dance, bittersweet, loving and sensual. One last dance, she’d make it beautiful for both of them.
Later, when her heartbeat returned to normal, she looked again into Stuart’s eyes. He blinked. It was time.
Diana lifted the silken pillow, gently placing it over her beloved’s face.
Please God, let it be quick.
She lay across his heart, holding the pillow tight. His agony was over. She let her tears fall across his chest.
The last dance was over.

 

I wrote that sometime during my husband’s first diagnosis. Significant, not sure. This will be one of many writing practices I will put on my blog. I hope you come back to read them sometimes.

Keep love and kisses in your life.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing.

My World, Your World

Is my world so different that your world on this Thursday, August 22, 2013?

So, if you read my other post you know that my husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease for the second time in twenty years. Are there any other people you know who have gone through this? What do they have to say about it? I don’t even know what I should say about it, except that the diagnosis, or course, was wrong the first time.

The numbness is wearing off, and the feeling is returning to my mind and my body. I am meditating for my mind, but boy does my body hurt, as Fibromyalgia is alive and well. Momentum is building up; what’s next?

I’m very blessed and very lucky that I have a great support system all around me. My family lives close and remains close to us, and have already started to feel very protective towards us.

My writing group here at our senior center is going well. Although there only about 210 apartments, we have a core group of 7 who come every week. We keep it interesting and fun at the same time.

Everyone is asking me if I’m going to start another book about Howard and Alzheimer’s Disease. I might, although it’s a little early to have too much to write at this time. Although the Neurologist has already started talking about doing a study. I, for one, have so many questions about that. Have any of us gone through a study, and how did you feel about it at the beginning, and then at the end? Would love to hear from you about it.

Remember to Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Keep love and kisses in your life.