Tag Archives: Tree

AGING, Alzheimer’ s and Angels

There is a major truth about life and that is, we all die. That being said, the process can be a painful especially when faced with a debilitating disease. This process is a reality to many people and a real life come to Jesus for those of us who are the ones forgotten. Well maybe not forgotten just….not remembered.

Everyday begins a repetitive exercise in futility…..not for the precious soul we have lost but for the caregivers. The chronic disease of Alzheimer s is the dark curse of the aged. It is an overwhelmingly diligent disease that never ceases, but only gains strength as the days pass. Those left to cope are nearly as lost, not knowing how to deal with the new person in front of them.

Aging is a part of life. This is played out before us all in nature as an example. A tree starts out a small sapling and grows into a mighty Oak with high branches and long roots. Trees can survive the passing of time unless lightening strikes or a hurricane wind causes destruction. We marvel at the results from the spectacle of ….…“an act of God!” But what about a disease, there is nothing to marvel at there.

The cruelest of diseases is the slow moving root rot or disease that moves in, undetected for a while. Not until a hollow trunk reveals the bitter truth. All is lost, time to cut down. This is the story of Alzheimer s. It is a sly, sneaky bitter disease that is hard to realize at first, but comes on like gangbusters when it’s revealed. The hollow shell of a person is the real result of this dark curse. This “rabbit hole” is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Why does this happen…..how could it be prevented….what did we do wrong? No answer will suffice. There are no answers….only questions. It is like a  depletion of marrow from the bones and not only the precious soul who has the disease but also for the caregivers. It is one of the hardest days on earth to hug your Mother and her politely smile and say “Welcome!”…as if you are a stranger….because you are.

The hollow eyes of our elderly parent are a somber realization of the frailty of life. It is a first person, in your face ……{dramatic pause}…who’s next? When confronted with that question it becomes more real than any of us want to know. This person who birthed me, raised me, has fought the good fight only to be left clueless. Sometimes I think she is the lucky one, not knowing, selfishly knowing is unsettling…..but this is life and aging.

imageMy Mom was never a overly sweet person. She was kind and pleasant and with a big beautiful smile, very personable, but not sugary sweet. That was ok, she was tough, she had to be. Most people liked her, she worked in the public her whole life, she was beautiful and a force. Since her disease has changed her, she is precious, sweet and kind with a bigger personality than before, but she still has a wit, one-liners that always crack me up. As we have watched her downward spiral into this hollowness I see her more like a Angel. Her hair is a beautiful white now, her eyes are weak but seem to stare straight into my soul.

Not being a big fan of the big Angel pseudo worship world, not loving all the figurines and paraphernalia, I still can’t help but see her in this light, a childlike innocence that enjoys every visit, every hug, every holding of her hand. She wasn’t overtly affectionate either, but now she is. I hug her every chance I get….I hug her and breathe in…. her soul into mine.

I wish she knew me, I wish I could lay my head in her lap and feel comforted, but this AGING process is just that, a process. She has aged, she has Alzheimer’ s and she is a Angel to be with. This road has been long and painful, my prayers are for mercy for her and to be honest for us, her three girls, who look after her now, with the help of a great group of caregivers at a beautiful home, where we are comforted she is getting the best care possible. This is not done without help and no one has sacrificed more than my sister she had lived with for eleven years. We all would have done the same for her, but she will and has been blessed for the time spent caring for this woman who impacted us all so much.

Sweet Marie has three young girls(as she calls us now), and  just today she told me she misses and  loves “them”, then she said “I know they love me!” It was music to my ears and joy for my heart. It is sweet to hear her talk about us in such a way, keeping back the tears is the hard part. She had warm and fuzzy feelings for us back in the day, I know that now, a gift to me, a blessing for this youngest daughter. The answer to a question I have asked God many times, such a sweet gift for which I am thankful.cropped-408838_3013208655831_1430990521_33175807_236533728_n.jpg

Who will be next, will it be me? I don’t know and with my memory I seem to be a good bet, but if it is me, I pray my soft side…..(I really do have one y’all! ….Really!!!) shows up and allows me to age with the dignity of this strong southern woman.

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Oh Christmas Tree!

As I settle in to an evening of watching my Christmas tree twinkle, I can’t help but think back to the days as a little girl. As with most children, the excitement that comes with putting up a tree each year is the biggest day of the season…well, the first in a row of biggest days, actually. Not to diminish the start of Christmas vacation from school and the biggest day, Christmas morning to say the least!
That day was special as my dad or brother would go and cut down a big old cedar tree on the farm that we lived. None of those big city trees for us, nope…no way. And boy was I glad…that tree smelled so good, better than the others, literally fresh-cut! The tree was always huge, perfect and ours. My mamma had these beautiful decorations that she got from Germany when my family lived there during the Korean War.
My daddy was in the Army and she went there to live with him. Bless her heart, she traveled on an Army transport airplane with two young children in tow. She recently told me about this trip, (these days she tells me a lot of stories from way back when, she remembers those better than what has happened today, bless her heart) when she went far away from home with these little ones all alone on a big “non luxury” plane that took her to my daddy, which made it all worth it. This was back when they were happy and even had a third child in Germany. Those were the best of times. I can only imagine the life she had there. Those decorations were beautiful glass balls and I had always loved what they stood for, beauty and adventure and a life that seemed so far away from what is was now.
We also had the huge light bulbs all strung up in the primary and secondary colors, stark and bright! Cedar trees aren’t exactly known for their sturdy branches so needless to say it was an effort in fortitude to get those decorations to stay and not droop. We also had the bubble lites which were my favorite…always were a mystery! The tinsel was silver and like aluminum foil all crinkled up on a string and the finishing touch was icicles. At different years(when we were older and could do it ourselves) we would make ribbon chains for garland too and had painted wooden ornaments. Our trees were the prettiest of any ones….no ones ever could compare, I am pretty much a snob about that, unashamed so. I have no apologies to give because rarely do I profess so much surety about something about me.
Even now as an adult, I will tell you if you ask me that I have the prettiest tree of anyone. A few things I know for sure and this is one of them, even though I no longer have a cedar tree, I am a city girl now and loving that fact. My sweetart husband did cut me one for our first christmas together…how cute was that? The second thing I know for sure, that man loves me, after that it is stuff like I know all four of my babies think the world of me, not bragging on me but them, they all have a tender heart and especially toward their mamma ( and dad!( I say they love me more..ha!))but We never doubt that one and I know I make the best potato salad….
bar none!!!
Do I presume too much? I think not! This time of year brings out the brag in me and that is because I have so much to brag about…My GOD is so good to me….He has given me more than I could have ever asked for so I am only telling of HIS great love. This is my testimony of him. I am pretty sure he likes my Christmas trees the best too!
Posted by Rosemary Mcknight Fritts at 7:18 PM
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