© photo by michelle bryant
on her 50th birthday
as a CNA, i care for an 80-year old dementia lady who is phenomenal in so many ways and yet struggles not only with the disease itself but in her own personal effort of doing what she “thinks” she can do and what she truly is “capable” of doing. that in itself is horrific to watch as a caregiver.
in my fifties now i struggle myself with bouts of “where did i put my keys” and small memory lapses and i wonder what my own mental status will be like when i am an 80-year old woman. and since my mind never sleeps, even when it sleeps, this got mi thinking and reflecting on her as well. in composing MY list i found it ironic how our paths are so similar and how our needs, dreams, desires, wants and frustrations are as well. perhaps that is why i know i am right where i need to be in this job. no, the money isn’t the greatest and the hours are not the best but the rewards are tremendous.
i can only hope that when i am her age someone will also take the time, care, patience and compassion to truly understand not only the disease but the “person” that struggles to still reside within it….
for my caregiver when im older:
i may be losing my mind but im not losing my memory.
each day i remember things i used to do and love
and so to help us both remember who i still am i share these refelections:
i am creative in many ways and so i don’t like to sit idly much, i prefer to stay busy.
i like to be outside. i don’t have to walk or dig in the garden (although i do enjoy that) but i do enjoy just sitting and listening to nature- perhaps you will take a moment and sit with mi?
i don’t watch television, much prefer a good book or a sketch pad or journal.
i love to take pictures and really “see” God’s canvas that is all around mi and capture that.
i am a social person and enjoy those interactions with others.
i need to be needed.
i love to cook.
i am passionate about many things and need a purpose to get up every morning.
i love to laugh and need it often.
i have a story to tell and a heart full of love and tenderness.
my confusion is as frustrating now as losing the car keys once was.
please be patient with mi in every way. life is too short to rush through any way. try to remember that it’s difficult for mi also, to relinquish every aspect of my life to another when i have always been so independent.
grow with mi. enjoy the journey. learn from it, for one day it may be yours and you will also be making a list of all the things you love and who you are.
© michelle bryant