A Tribute to My Namesake

I have been frustrated for quite some time by the blank page of the first blog post.  How do you start a blog.  What do you say?

So this is the first post…A tribute.

On April 10th in the early morning, the man which inspired the blogs name passed away.  The sadness that fills my heart is still very present.  This I know will pass, it has already gotten much better in the month that has passed since I began this post.

I have know C. for about 30 years, but it has been in the last 10 years that he changed my life.  As I have told many of my friends, there are events in your life that change “who” you are.  C. changed who I am.

For the last 29 years C. had been my father in law.  My inlaws were fine.  Lived in a different state, saw them once or twice a year, called every other week.  Then about 10 years ago they decided they were getting older and wanted to be close to us and their grandchildren so they moved here, about 1 mile away from us.  It was fine.  Saw them most days and developed a good relationship with them.  Then we found out that C. had, and it had been a while, dementia.  It was never really diagnosed as Alzheimer’s but it is a lot easier to say that because people understand what that means.

As time passed, my mother in law passed and then the fun and games began.  Watching a man with dementia reestablish a relationship with a woman from his past, pushing his children and grandchildren away.  All for the illusion of stability with this former love.  By this time C. could not be left alone.  He was like a child, but an angry child.  This relationship lasted about 2 years before I found him walking alone down his street and found a note saying that she would come back and get him in a few days.  Well No….you don’t leave a totally dependent man alone for days without supervision, but she did!

My husband and I took him to live at our house.  Let me make it clear….Dementia is no way to live.

C. lived with us for just over a year.  His days and nights were mixed up. There were daily outbursts of anger because of his lack of understanding.  He would stop eating, because everything on his plate was “burned”, he refused to eat anything that was brown.  He would have to be in the same room as me, or he would walk around the house yelling “where are you”.  It was a lot like having a toddler but without having any of the joy that surrounds a child.  It was when my husband and I could no longer care for his physical needs that the painful decision was made to put him in a nursing home.  He lived there for the last year and a half.

Needless to say, I now have very strong opinions on just about every issue surrounding the care of adults with dementia and the death and dying process.

It was during this time of my life that I met the most inspirational women I know.  These women are the women of the Fort Collins Modern Quilt Guild.  Although we started the guild with only three of us, we have steadily grown over the last few years, and each new addition adds to the group.

It was during one of these meetings that I said flippantly that I didn’t have a blog, but if I did it would be SewDemented, it was truly how I felt at that time.  Although I have many friends, and had been really involved in leadership at the church, much of that went away during the time that C. lived with us.  It was these women who gave me a lifeline.  They didn’t expect anything from me, made me laugh, and gave me a supportive place to go and a chance to “get out” once a month. Not to mention inspired some great sewing!

So here it is. The first blog post, and I really hope the last post of this kind.