Time Flies

It’s been such a long time since I have written. So let’s see what has been happening. First of all, I’m good. I attribute a lot of that to my Meditating every day. When I don’t do it, I miss it.

Also keeping up better with everyday paper work, except for my blog. What does that say about me? I wonder?

My writing group is still going great. We did free writing today, and it went so well, we are going to do it every day for the month of April. Will be very interesting to see what pops up.

Howard is doing so well that he failed participating in the new drug trial for Alzheimer’s Disease for mild to moderate dementia.. He failed because he is
‘too highly functional’ isn’t that wonderful news. It was for us. Especially since I wasn’t so happy with some of the possible side effects.

I also participate in computer classes, Meditation classes and Mah Jongg. At almost 83, that is enough.

For those of you who have Sjogren’s Disease, please note that you must take care of your dry eyes. My eye doctor informed me today that when my eyelid closes on my left eye, it is scratching my cornea. I really didn’t want to hear that. I have to go back in a month. In the meantime I need to use my Bio Tears 4 times a day (4 pills) and use my Restasis every day. Plus eye drops. Often! Any of you have any more ideas for me? Feel free to comment. Would love to hear from you.

Keep love and kisses in your life.
Remember that Alzheimer’s Disease is not contagious!

Writing and Reading Today

Today is my writing meeting here at the Senior Community where I live. I am the facilitator, I give the homework, and guess what, I didn’t do my homework for today. So now I have to do last week’s homework and this week’s homework. I already started on next week’s homework..and I will be prepared. While in class, we wrote what I call a Shimmering Image story. (I didn’t make up the name Shimmering Image, someone else did) It’s part of a memoir piece that stands out vividly in our minds. Mine was about getting my foot operated on, and my son, who was six at that time, brought me home a gift. He had wrapped it in newspaper, and gave it to me while I sat in the living room, on a kind of lazy boy chair. He was so proud, but when I opened it, it comtained a smelly dead fish! I thanked him, and told him to go up and do his homework. As soon as he went up the stairs, I got my crutches and threw the foul smelling fish in the garbage disposal. Whew, what a smwll. I hoped it wouldn’t perfume the whole house. Now that was a shimmering image, how could I ever forget that day.

As for reading, we hav started a book club. Different in that we all would be reading our own choice of books, and bringing in a detailed synopsis to read to the group. We meet once a month, and our first meeting will be the 25th of February. Should be an interesting meeting. I was going to do the book I read a long time ago, Mitigated Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, because I thought the book had much we could discuss. Instead, I just started reading In MY Hands, the story of Irena Gut, the lady who saved all those Jews in Poland. We have all heard about how she did that in stories of her and in movies, but this book starts at her very young age of fourteen. I am mesmerized by her ability to think and act the hero, without a thought to her own safety. She is my hero, and I would hope in a case of emergancy that I could react with the same king of courage. I salute her.

On a quite different tack, my four year old great granddaughter, was going to take a bath. She always dresses and undresses herself, this is one kids who doesn’t want any help, she can do it herself. Well, she couldn’t get her shirt off, so she said, “F…k it, I’m frustrated.” My granddaughter burst out laughing until she was crying and asked, “Why did you say that?” And her answer, so simple, “Well, when Daddy gets frustrated, that’s what he says. In fact he said it four times yesterday while he was trying to fix the lights on the kitchen ceiling.” Out of the mouths of babes, they see all and hear all.
I can’t top that.

The rest of my week is easy, Meditation, Mah Jongg and the knitting instructor. My sweater I’m knitting is in big trouble, and I need to hear what my knitting lady tells me. I have the back finished, the sleeves finished, and the front up to the armholes. The problem is I had to buy more yarn online, and although they said it was the same dye lot, it isn’t. And it shows. Could you send me some luck? I probably will ahve to scrap this whole sweater. Bummer.

Hope you all have a nice week planned. Talk to you soon.
Remember to keep love and kisses in your life.

Update for 2014

In case you haven’t heard my husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease for the second time in twenty years. So far he is fine, and we take it one day at a time. At 82 and 83 we are fortunate to have each other. We are blessed with family around us and four great grandchildren, ages 4,3,2,and 1.
As you know that can keep us busy, and we love it, even though we tire easily.

I am still learning how to write, and still have my writing group in the Senior Community where we live. I also am a part of the book club, Meditation, and Maj Jongg groups. That keep my mind active and busy. Better than three doctor appointments in one week, which is also something that happens once in a while.

Howard is starting a new drug trial for Alzheimer’s Disease on March 11th. According to our instructions we will have to be there that day for seven hours. Will keep you updated on how that works out. I’m hoping if I bring my Ipad, I will have some time to read and or write. Or maybe not, the people at the drug trial might have other things in mind for both of us. Does anyone have an opinion on drug trials?

Our book club will work a little differently, since we will be reading our own choices of books, and then bringing in a significant synopsis of said book. We are meeting once a month, which gives everyone plenty of time to read the book of their choice. The reason we did this is because we are a diverse group with different ideas of which book to read. I also think this works since we won’t have to go to the library and have them order the amount of books we need, and then to go back to the library and bring back the books. It also introduces us to new books that we probably would never think of reading. Do you think this is a good idea?

Keep love and kisses in your life.

10/23/13
Dearest Shellee,
It’s amazing how fast time flies. I remember the day you were born: Grandpa came in from New York to Baltimore and stayed with us for several weeks, while he waited with us for you to be born. That Friday afternoon, Grandpa said he had a stomach ache and he went downstairs to our finished basement. I had lunch with Nanny, said I needed to clean up the apartment where we lived upstairs in a separate apartment.

I cleaned out the fridge, and I scrubbed our small kitchen floor with rubber based tiles and then took a bath and shaved my legs and underarms. By this time, I was having contractions. I told Nanny, and by 8 p.m. I called Daddy to come and get me. He drove home and brought his parents with him. We all went to the hospital, driving a good 30 minutes or so. It seemed forever to me.

So, now we waited. Unlike today, the pains came and when they got bad, they gave me drugs and before I knew it (even though it was hours later) they woke me up and said I had a daughter. In those days we never knew the sex of the child until she was born. How happy we all were.

I think the hospital stay in those long ago days was about five days. When I came home, I had a nurse for a full week, who showed me everything I needed to know. She was a funny lady, telling me that you could walk, and showed me that while bathing you. She held you up at your stomach, while your feet were churning down in the bath basin. We actually took pictures of this and told everyone you could walk before you were a week old.

How those days flew by. You grew up, our beautiful daughter, going to school. I can still see you trudging up the hill with your legs crossed and you came into the house and raced for the bathroom.

I remember first grade when you went to the closet to make sure all your new pencils and paper and whatever book you might have had. You checked this throughout the night. Maybe at 4 am. And then again at 6. I made you take off your starched dress and come and get me when the clock said 7a m.

You loved to play, and run, but your Asthma stopped you from doing a lot of things you wanted to do. You grew up, you finished high school, and went to college. You became a teacher and we were so proud of you.

You married and had two beautiful children, Allison and Kevin. I won’t even repeat some of the things Kevin said, I’m sure you remember them as well as I do. Allison was our favorite of the 4 grandchildren, and she still is.

You never made us anything but proud of you and all your accomplishments. Even at the age of 60, I can remember all the phases of your life, and we can still say, we are so proud of you. I love the woman you have become. You are so much and more, it’s hard to put into words.

We wish you every joy, all the peace, and joys of being a grandma, a young grandma. You will have such joy with Madison.
Hard to put into words, the words, We love you. It just has to come naturally, all the time.
This is your birthday card. Love and Kisses Mom and Dad.

http://helenemoore.com/1209/

A Thankful List

I know it’s not Thanksgiving yet, but I have been thinking of all the people in my life who have helped me get to this wonderful, happy place in my life.

Yes, my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, but he is still highly functional and helps me in so many ways. I owe him my self esteem, my laughter, my ability to cope. Ours is a 61 year love affair that is still going strong.

My writing life, is finally a reality, because I have these helpful people in my life.
My writing group, my little mini cartel people, even my husband who encourages me to write on my blog.

I’m so grateful for all those people in my life, and I probably don’t tell them often enough.

My family who is so supportive and protective of both of us, especially now. So far we are doing fine, but we all know that time will come when we will need to ask for help, and we know they are there waiting in the wings.

I wrote this little poem a long time ago, but it seems to be appropriate for this blog post.

HOLD MY HAND
Hold my hand
I need your help
Guide me to the right path
To people and friends I care about

Hold my hand
I want to know you are with me
Sharing my day, my existence
Hold my hand
I want peace and serenity in my life

Hold my hand
I love feeling your hand in mine.

by
Helene Moore

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.