Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to Make the Best of Things


“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

Art Linkletter


I picked my demented mother up Wednesday for her usual outing with me.
Her brain’s wiring is all screwed up. The lichen in the photo above makes me think of the plaque that my therapist tells me builds up in the diseased brain. This plaque screws with the synapses, the neurotransmitters, whatever, of the brain.

I’m learning to go with the flow with her, even when thoughts are not flowing well in her head. Since I’ve been practicing acceptance, I have a new peace about her condition. Sometimes peace morphs into hilarity. Sometimes I do a double take.

Today’s Alzheimer’s Poetry:
“What is that pink tree?”
“I think it’s a fruitless mulberry, Mom.”
“Well, yes, I thought it bore a resemblance, but then she went the other way.”

“She wasn’t much of a talker, but …..oh, well.

“Sometimes I miss those two boys, the ones who… the ones who…”
“Your boys, my brothers?” I ask.
“No, the ones that ride the bicycle.”

“Cataracts? I hear that’s going around.”

Here’s my point: I’m trying very hard to remember what Mom says, because I want to study her thought patterns and see if I can understand what part of her brain is affected. I’m trying to remember also because some of the things she puts together are so off the wall funny that I crack up.

My Mom-isms are a way of making the best out of the way things turn out. I’m learning how to banter with her, how to carry on a one-sided conversation with wacky things thrown out into the mix by my Mom. I’m learning slowly to laugh instead of cry about her situation.

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. How have you had to make the best of things lately?

*******

24 comments:

Shadow said...

a sense of humour goes a long way... together with acceptance. as for me, knowing that nothing lasts forever tends to work.

the walking man said...

That to me appears the best way Chris.

Secretia said...

I am familiar with the ravages of this disease, it is the saddest thing there is. You are right to spend time with her while she is still herself a little bit, knowing that it will suddenly change, and she won't know you or even herself. She'll love you all the way...

Secretia

Karen said...

I've always thought that we can't choose our circumstance, but we can choose our reaction to it. Your choice seems to have led you to a more peaceful presence. I'm glad about that.

Brian Miller said...

was smiling as i read...my woes seem trivial...we'll just say i buck up as needed...

Beth said...

I love the comments your mother has made! Great job in finding the humor in this tough, tough situation.

The other weekend, when we went to visit my demented MIL, she told me she had just gotten through shopping at the mall and now she was going to be late for her ballet class. This from the woman who can't walk or even sit up on her own.

Realliveman said...

Most of our problem are generated through us worring about things. We have to teach ourselves that worrying is the largest contributer to out mental state. There is a quote from a master named Osa that I think you should consider.

"There is no reason to worry about the things we CAN'T change because if we can't change them, why worry about them and there is no reason to worry about the things we CAN change becasue if we can change them, why worry about them. There goes everything we could every worry about".

The day you free yourself from worry is the day you solve most, if not all of your problems.

Look up Dr Wayne Dyer. He has been a huge help in making my life something I enjoy doing.

I make the best of things by seeing the best in everything. Everything is a lesson that I can learn from :)

Susan said...

I can't think of a specific example. However, I always smile or laugh whenever I can. It keeps me sane. This was another nice life reminder!

Collette said...

This is beautiful! Sometimes it is better to just laugh when you want to cry. Maybe she isn't the same, but she's still mom:) (((HUGS)))

Nessa said...

This works with critical comments too. They have less impact when you look for the humor in them and laugh.

Sean the Vampire

God Whispers In The Wind said...

Oh dear one it pains me to read how your mother is suffering, as well as you. My heart goes out to you both.

sarah said...

you sound like such an incredible daughter...the way you care for your mom....you inspire me....

Prayer Girl said...

You are a beautiful spirit indeed and you have been given such a wonderful gift - to be able to find ways of making those lemons into lemonade. That is a blessing.

PG

Steve E said...

This is the BESTEST piece I have read on caring for an Alzheimer Peep EVER--including by renowned writers with credentials up the wazoooo.

God certainly had a hand in today's post of yours, my girl. This illness touches the lives of so many of us, and it is time we don't say--everytime the topic arises-- "Ohhh! (shudder) how horrible!"

But know that in ALL things, God is in charge. ALL things.

And may God bless YOU!
PEACE!

TechnoBabe said...

Your Mom-isms. Cool. Learning new behavior and adjusting to a situation that is not welcome. By applying your skills to the situation, you are helping yourself concentrate on an area of study and that helps you stay somewhat detached and not fall apart when you are around your mother. Enjoy the lemonade, my friend. Rejoice in the fact that there are still lemons to squeeze.

Syd said...

I like your way of dealing with your mother and it is a good guide for life--to have a sense of humor and to live with optimism. I think that optimism is important in order to make the best of things. There is always hope.

Magpie said...

Oh, becoming the parent of our parents is a hard thing...it's good to look for the humor and laugh whenever you can.

As for me, I've always looked for a silver lining - no matter how small. Something positive to focus on.

Terra said...

That is very good that you and your mom go on outings together. I imagine that she benefits from them. This is a terrifying disease and you are handling it well.

Kim A. said...

You are walking down a path I might walk too. My mother has years of alcohol abuse behind her and even though sober, she has changed. I HAVE to remember to laugh or I will lose my thick skin and be back at step 1. I do not want to go backwards that far :-D Breathe..pray..laugh..cry..pray..breath...

namaste

Lou said...

I have to believe there are moments when your mom looks at you, and sees a little girl standing in her crib. She catches a glimpse of the past, and I hope it warms her heart. It's been my experience there are lucid moments. Bless you for not making her feel like a burden.

Thank you Chris for your kind comment. We are all connected.

C.M. Jackson said...

you make her day even though it may not be able to communicate it clearly--she is very lucky to have you by her side

e said...

You could certainly teach others what you are learning on this path. I wish peace and humour for you both.

Susan said...

I absolutely have had to make the best of things lately. I spent the better part of about 10 days with my dad who has Alzheimer's while my mom was gone and I wish I had had a tape recorder because a lot of things he says are kind of funny. The kind where I have to laugh or I could cry all day about the losses he is experiencing. You read my 55 and your mom's been dealt the same hand, so I know you know.

Larry said...

I hate saying this but mom is getting so mean and hateful hasn't your mother done that also? Don't all of the Alzheimer’s patients go through that? How do you keep from getting so pissed that you start getting mean yourself? She says so many mean hateful words it rips my heart out, I love her but I don't really know if I can keep that love going because she hurts me so much. I even feel guilty writing this Chris. My heart Goes out to you Chris I pray for you and for your mom. I'm up just follow the link below.


Three word Wednesday


thanks Larry

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