The Grand Life

It is in the small things. The truly important things in life are in the small things. Just think about it for a minute. A smile from a passing stranger. Laughter amongst friends.  Sunshine on an overcast day. A butterfly in flight. Life is grand. I forget that sometimes. I forget that it takes work to be content. I forget to be in the moment.

I am trying to be better about the small things. I recently went back to WWs after a long (devil may care attitude that nearly cost me all I had worked so hard to accomplish) hiatus. It has been a struggle to get back into the swing of things but I can honestly say I am feeling much like my old happy self again. My heartburn is gone. My energy level is up and…my underpants are loose. Score one for me!!!

I like to think of my weight loss journey as a wall I am tearing down one stone at a time.  I built my wall (ME) on bad choices, broken promises, resentments and tears.  Life has a way of beating my best intentions out of me. True success begins with a little hope, forgiveness, some elbow grease and a belief in the power of self. It takes courage to change course and step away from the things that are not healthy but I am worth it. Aren’t you?


I love my Pops. Everyone who knows me knows how much I care about this man. People often say to me how strong I am or brave or what courage it takes to face his illness. I never know quite know how to respond to that. I know if the tables were turned and I was the one who was ill my Dad would be there. It is the character you build with the help of your parents that makes you the person you become. My parents had their faults, who doesn’t? They also tried very hard to instill certain values in us girls. Work hard, love with an open heart, be kind to people, listen, be understanding. Give of yourself not because it is expected of you but because want to share who you are with others. Nice counts.

My Dad never graduated high school. He was from an era in time when quitting school to seek a job to help your family was encouraged. I am sure my grandparents would have loved it if all of their children had stayed in school and jumped for their share of the American dream but dreams don’t put food on your table. My Dad has always had a strong sense of taking care of one’s own family. Do what needs to be done so they are provided for. He was a great provider. I can remember him having two part time jobs to help round out his full time job just to make ends meet. My mother was really unable to hold down a job for any significant amount of time. Her mental illness always got in her way. Crippling her ability to cope with every day duties of keeping the house and kids in line. Often my Dad had to be both parents.

My Dad never gave up on my mother and loved her devotedly until the day she died. Funny, he doesn’t remember her now. Sad for me; blessing for him? Who am I to say? I only know in my heart I am glad my mother did not live to see my Pops robbed of his memory. She nearly lost her mind after my sister passed away. I sometimes think that’s why her health declined so fast after Breny died ; she was broken. Both of my parents were clingy after her passing. My phone would ring off the hook. They would often call me to make sure I was Okay. Annoying then, but now I realize how hurt they were by her passing and how afraid they were for me and my other sister. Loss was not easy for either of them.

I deal with my Dad’s loss everyday. He is still here, yet he is not.  As the days go by I know my time being with him, laughing, living, crying and just being his kid are on the decline. He will not live forever despite my best efforts. I have become the parent to my parent. My parents taught me what to do. There is no bravery involved. Only love…and love can do anything. Love the people in your life while they are still here to share it. Dad/Trish

When the Sh*t Hits the Fan…

…it might be wise to have a back up plan. I am planning one now.

Fear. No one likes fear. Not what it can do to you or how it can make you feel small or weak. Recently I have not been feeling up to snuff. As this week moved along my uncold turned to a death knell. As most of my readers know I take care of my Dad, who suffers with dementia. I try to take care of myself, my manchild/husband and my Dad. Sometimes the craziness of my situation takes over and I am no longer in control of the important things, like my health. I haven’t been this ill in a very long time. I know it is my body’s way of telling me to fix things, to pay more attention to it. OK! Message received.

I am talking about fear because it has come in waves this week. Being ill has taken a toll on me. This cold zapped me of all of my energies. It stole my voice. It fogged over my mind. It made me helpless and weak. I struggled to draw breath. Mostly importantly it kept me from attending to the important things in my life that need daily attention. I was unable to get to my Dad for three days. He called the neighbors and begged for bread and milk. He had both but I am sure he thought (in his kaleidoscope reasoning) he needed to stock up in case I failed to return.

I was angry. Not at my Dad but at this COLD. This cold put my Dad into a potentially dangerous situation. His memory is gapped in several places and completely changed or erased in others. He has to be directed in every day tasks or he loses his place. He needs to be guided. I finally made it over there last night. He had peanut butter, jelly and Fluff, Hell, West and crooked. He had jelly in his hair, on his pants, across his face. He was in desperate need of a shower.

I love this pic of Dad and I. You can see how much we look alike.
I love this pic of Dad and I. You can see how much we look alike.

I cleaned up the kitchen as best as I could and then we moved to the task of getting Dad into the shower. I assure you not a fun task. Dad gets angry when it is shower time. In his mind he is certain he has taken a shower just that morning. I wish that were truth. If I left it to Dad he would rot in the outfit of his choice.

This cold taught me that Dad can longer be left on his own. I have avoided putting my Dad into a nursing home or other such living arrangements for as long as possible. I have had the paperwork for some time now. It is mostly filled out. I have spoken with his primary care doctor. We are both in agreement that he needs to be placed. How do I put aside my fear, my disappointment, my anger in order to find him a place? A safe place. I know no one will ever take care of him like I do. I have to find a way to get over my worries and do what has to be done. I love this man. I have to do what is best for him and for me.

It Takes Courage to Dream

Contemplate the possibility of doing something wonderful. Dare to dream. Question is do I have the spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. This is the definition for courage. Do I have what it takes? Am I courageous?

I think there is more to courage than just facing a fear. I think it takes an inner strength to break a fear down into something more manageable. Work on the elements that make your fear seem so large and insurmountable. Chip away a little at a time and soon that boulder is nothing more than a pile of sand.Someday I would like to be able to walk away from WWs and just live my life, without looking back, without regrets, without fear. I am certain I can.

This is my dream. Dreams take work, sacrifice, suffering, tears, anger, and the willingness of the participant to be tenacious and not let go just because it gets tough.

Until now I always let go, simply because I lost faith in my ability to be the best me. Until now. I want to be free. I WILL be free. I have the courage I need to make it to my finish line.