Grazie! Prego! Scusa!

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Right now, an American couple is walking down a cobblestone alley in Rome trying to find their hotel.  The sky is clear and the air is crisp. The husband is confidently walking closer and closer towards the Colosseum attempting to locate their hotel.  He doesn’t want his wife to know that he doesn’t know where he is going.  She knows, buddy.  She knows.  She doesn’t care though, because they’re in Rome…and BAM!  There is the Colosseum, a structure she has only seen in movies and pictures.  I know this is happening right now because it is a beautiful cycle the Romans know too well-and it was us about a week and a half ago.  I wonder how often Romans get a “Scusa, do you know how to get to…”.  Daily?  At least weekly I am sure of it.  We were so grateful for all the kindness of the Italian  people.  Not one of them ignored us or turned us away.  Somehow, the couple always finds their way back to the hotel. Continue reading

How To Visit Your Confused Loved One-A Follow Up Post With Makenna

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Wow, you guys.  I’ve gotten a lot of feed back from my last post, Why You Should Visit Your Confused Loved One-Even If It Makes You Sad.  Thank you for sharing 261 times!  If it makes just one person decide to go visit their loved one, I will be ecstatic.  So, a few people have brought up some questions about HOW to visit your confused one.  They’re ready to put on their thoughtful pants and visit, but they aren’t sure what to do once they get there.  My friend Makenna Buffington lost her father to Alzheimer’s.  She knows first hand how important it is to visit and through her experiences, has given me some great pointers on how to visit someone who is confused.  How do you visit?  What do you say?  What do you not say?  How do you connect?  What about the awkwardness?  Makenna and I have put together some helpful tips through our own personal visits with our family members, while it is aimed towards moderate to severe dementia, these words can serve as a guide for any stage: Continue reading

I’m Not All Rainbows and Puppy Farts

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Every time I write a blog, I get comments about how thoughtful I am or how wise I am for my years.  When I post something on Facebook, I get comments like, “Oh, you guys are so much fun!”  “Never a dull moment with you!”  “Beautiful family!”.  The one that makes me most insecure is “Well said” or “Perfectly worded.”  Obviously, these things make me feel GREAT!  However, they also make me look a little closer at myself and wonder if people see me as a little wiser and considerate than I actually am.  Any thing I ever write comes from experiences, and I enjoy looking back on them and finding something meaningful.  The thing is, to get to the point where I can evaluate my own behavior to the world around me, I have to mess up-ALOT-first.  As my mother can confirm, I am definitely a “learn the hard way” kind of person. Continue reading

Why You Should Visit Your Confused Loved One-Even If It Makes You Sad

Betty, full of grace.

I visited my Grandbetty’s old house last week and it brought back a flood of memories (no pun intended).  I wrote a blog about my Grandbetty after Alzheimer’s, but most of my memories are of her before.  When she knew my name.  When she wanted to take a thousand pictures of me by her azalea bushes.  When she wanted to feed me, even when I wasn’t hungry.  I was with her when she died.  I sat with her several times a week for the two years she didn’t know me anymore.  She was still the same person, just confused.  Sometimes, she would get angry.  Not often, but sometimes.  If she got angry with me, I would leave the room and collect myself.  I wasn’t mad at her, but I was hurt.  It didn’t matter that she didn’t know what she was saying.  Words hurt.  I had to cry a little and then I had to come back-because this was the only time in her entire life when she REALLY needed me.   Continue reading

I Went Inside My Grandparents’ Old House And Only Cried Once

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So, remember a week or so ago when I told you about my weird day leading me to my grandparents’ old house and then to their graves?  And remember when the really nice people who own it now, Tami and Patrick, invited me to come see it?  Well, today was the day!  My dad and I, along with my mom and stepdad swung by the old place today where we were graciously welcomed by the “new” homeowners.  They’ve actually owned the house for three years now, so while it isn’t new for them anymore, being there without my grandparents was very, very new.  The main word that comes to mind when I think of our visit today is closure.  I was worried I’d leave their home with sad memories, but instead I felt overjoyed.  Let me tell you why…. Continue reading

How My Weird Day Led Me To My Grandparents’ Graves

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Today was so weird, ya’ll.  I was traveling for work and just wasn’t in the mood.  I’d been driving in the middle of nowhere for hours with no cell phone service and limited radio options.  Just when I decided to just go home and give up on today, I saw a sign: Americus 10 miles.  The town that I practically grew up in.  The town where my grandparents used to live.  Just ten little miles?  I had to go drive by the old house. Continue reading

Right On The Line

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It’s that time again.  Every other year or so, I get back to that scary little area between “normal” and “overweight”.  I am short only .2 points from being overweight.  Some people’s immediate response to this is, “If you’re overweight then what am I?!”  Well…the answer is that you’re probably also overweight.  Duh.  It’s not my fault.  I didn’t make the rules.  Usually, I weigh myself weekly.  If I’ve gained a few I try to eat right for a few weeks and go back to where I was, but this year.  Oh man, ya’ll.  This year, I just walk right by that scale on my way to a bubble bath thinking, “I’ll check on that later.  I don’t have time.” Continue reading