Friday, February 28, 2014

26 for Life

"You can't be 53. I'm only 27."

"I hear you're considering Accounting."

"Who are you?"

It is a comfortable spot. Elvis, the cat sits near me. The music is playing. I have an abundance of books, and some knitting beckoning me. The teenagers are downstairs, happy to be free for a while on a Friday night before an exciting, but hectic Saturday. Hubby has the big tv going in his kingdom. All is right with the world. But really it's not, as the world has been tilted on its axis for some time, and the end of the tilt is not in sight.

Yesterday, I read an article. Seth Rogen testified before members of Congress regarding Alzheimer's, and dementia. No disease has a barrier stopping at the wealthy or connected, and certainly Alzheimer's, and dementia are not exceptions. One quote stood out, "so few people share their personal stories". (Seth Rogen Testifies, ABC News)

Here are the conversations involving the quotes above:
Last weekend:
Daddy - "Who are you?"
Me - "I'm Evelyn, your daughter."
Daddy - "You're my daughter? How long have I known you?"
Me - "Well, I'm 53 so I would say all 53 of my years."
Daddy - "You can't be 53. I'm only 27."
Me - "OK. I'm 26."
Daddy - "That's better."
Me - "Works for me."

Daddy - " I hear you're thinking of East Carolina."
Me - "Sure, I'm thinking of East Carolina."
Daddy - "I hear you're considering Accounting."
Me - "Yes sir. I bet if I go to East Carolina, major in Accounting, and get a degree, I could make good money, meet the love of my life, have a couple of kids, and a nice house."
Daddy - "That sounds like a good life."
Me - "Yes, Daddy, it does, doesn't it?"
(Since I actually graduated from East Carolina University with an accounting degree in May of 1985, obviously I was in high school here.)

Every family touched by this has stories - some of faith, some of loss, some of blessings, and some of tragedy. We have been blessed that my brothers, and I have pulled together as a team. Some families are not able to work it out. Resources, and faith are strained, and relationships go with them. There simply has to be a way. As for me, I will continue to be whatever age Daddy needs me to be until he forgets me completely, and then I will pray, and cry even harder.

“Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they are all individuals and they are all unique. And they just need to be interacted with on a human level.”
- Carey Mulligan

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's a Gift - {Eyes Roll}

It's a gift. Maybe it's one our teenagers feel they could do without, but it's one I freely give - unlike time on video games which is only grudgingly granted.

I can take anything, anything, and turn it into an opportunity to lecture, err learn. We're driving down the road, and I point out another driver's flaws (trust me, I point out my own, theirs, and hubby's too - I may want to work on that side seat driving). A song comes on, and I can come up with a way to discuss the lyrics and what they really mean (except "Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones - I am NOT explaining to them that I didn't get that until I was in my 30's. I'm already in the stupid zone - they are teenagers.). And of course, you can't turn on the news or pick up a magazine or newspaper without the opportunities provided by Bieber, Cyrus, Kardashian, the Russians, politicians of any's a constant.

Methinks I may be overdoing it, but one is a sophomore, and the other one is a junior, and I feel like I'm racing an hourglass set at fast.

So here's an early commencement lecture, and maybe I'll try to relax today, and just enjoy them - which is my advice to me.

Don't stay stuck - I'm talking driving. People stack up in the left lane or in the right lane. Use a signal, move to the left to pass, and move back to the right. There are exceptions - understand them. Come to think of it - it does work on politics, too. Look at each issue individually, decide, and make the appropriate moves. Don't stay stuck, not when driving, or when thinking.

Never follow the maddening crowd. It's not necessary to have the same opinions to have a friendship, and if it is, then that's not a friendship.

Become addicted - to learning, to reading, to listening, to music. If you nurture an addiction to these, then you won't need an addiction to drink, drugs, food, smokes to handle the stress of life. Nothing handles stress better then to sit, and listen to nature, sit, and love a pet, and listen to their appreciation of you, and your time, sit, and listen to God, sit, and listen to the words written in a well-written book, sit and listen to an incredibly well-crafted piece of music. There is a peace, you can find it.

When in doubt, show kindness. Sometimes kindness is an act, and sometimes it's not acting in anger. You'll figure it out.

Never decide someone is beneath you. When you do, you've just placed yourself beneath them. The People of Wal-Mart website isn't funny. It's sad. The homeless are sad. We never know the circumstances of someone else's life. The wealthy person who has it all could have had the most horrific childhood. 

Never assume someone is better then you. You are you. Be the best you possible. Never let someone else's opinion of you determine your own opinion of you. 

Always remember - you are loved. Oh, and please use your turn-signal.