I always brace myself for what may come up emotionally when I see a movie or documentary on Alzheimer’s. I initially panicked when we left for the theatre and I realized that I had not stuffed my purse full of tissues to wipe my tears. There were definitely a few scenes that made my heart sink, but oddly enough once the film was over I was not impacted as much as I had expected. Why? I think because what I was seeing on the screen was a direct reflection of my life and it has become the new normal. It was not easy for Gary to see the film, but he also had a similar reaction. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Neither, it is purely how it is. We have accepted this. Does this mean that our lives are smooth sailing? Are you kidding? However, our lives have become easier and more peaceful…for now. Certainly our lives have not turned out like anything that we thought the “prime of our lives” would be, but this is our reality, each and every day. Like Alice, my husband may not like what his future holds, but he is accepting it with amazing grace. Gary and I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we do have today. All we have is the present moment and the opportunity to rise above the fray; to be loving and kind to those around us. Living in the present moment is our new normal and the lesson at hand. It can be very challenging for someone like me who naturally thinks forward. Coupled with being a care partner, I must use my leadership skills to ensure that I provide in all ways for today and what the future may bring tomorrow. I am painfully aware that when I catch myself going out too far into the future I can render myself pretty much useless. When that happens I lose the richness of this precious time that we do have. I have noticed that the more I accept and practice being in the present moment, allowing myself to experience the stillness of my soul, the greater my intuition and my capacity for love grows.
If you have not yet seen the movie, “Still Alice”, Gary and I strongly encourage you to see it. Please join us in support to raise awareness and education for this disease. This disease knows no demographic or economic boundaries and this movie is only the tip of the iceberg for what is happening in rapidly growing numbers of families in this nation and around the world. -LB