Thursday, August 13, 2009

Alzheimers and Attitude

Sitting across from my dad, you would simply think he’s a quiet old man. Quietly dreaming, lost in his own thought. Sometime he cusses and gets ornery. He’ll track with you when you’re talking and make an appropriate joke. Then he’ll ask you (for the 12th time in thirty minutes) if you want something to drink.

My dad has Alzheimer’s, whatever that means. I think it means different things to different people depending upon their experience. I suspect, for instance, that even if my dads’ health was normative that he’d be ornery. Perhaps at Eighty-one, he’d do nothing but sit and rest even if his mind were more alert.

The wife of my father is heading out for a short five day vacation, and I’ll be heading into town to hang out with him. It’s not with great anticipation I do this, nor with anxiety or angst. I am just not looking forward to it.

I dread the long periods of time with my father. I see them as empty and boring. I’m uncomfortable in his house. I’ll have no access to all of my stuff, my computer especially. I’ll be hemmed in-freedom restricted, life curtailed.

Mired in this mindset, a thought flickered in my mind-What does this say about me? It’s four days-out of my comfort zone, granted, but also off work, time to rest, pray and think. Time with my dad.

Time to readjust my attitude and my thinking and make a choice. I have a magnet from Newlife ministries ( on my fridge that says “Healing is a Choice,” followed by 10 tenets, all positive, all life affirming. Choice number 6 is “The choice to embrace your life.” So I head out today, embracing the weekend with positive expectation; albeit teeter-tottering with dread and pessimism.

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