Friday, November 15, 2013

thanksgiving #5...comin' out of the closet

January forced an issue I tried to hide for months...many months.  And my children did the same.  Wanting to hide the facts from me.  PJM put gas in his diesel truck, again. He had to be at a business meeting, so Ams navigated him over the phone via google maps.  His Jr. would take him for rides in the work truck allowing me moments of breathing space.   Our CPA would walk with him while I took sweet brown eyes to soccer on Tuesdays.  But all the covering became smothering for us {perhaps even him}.  The sick was stealing life from our entire family.

Ash Beckham says it so well. We all will experience living in a closet.  Yet, the coming out needs to be done.  Those horrifying and loathsome conversations must be given life.  
hello.  my name is chris.  my husband has dementia.

You see, last December was crazy {perhaps even bat shit crazy...} in our home.  I could no longer manage pjm's behavior, yet did not want to disappoint or admit to others, but most importantly myself, how sick he was.  What would his parents think?  moving their golden son out of the very home he built for me.  What would his children think?  but you promised "till death do us part" mom & now you're say taking care of him is just too hard.  What would our friends think?  he was always eccentric-you might be exaggerating a tad.  What would God think?  you girl of little faith, I can heal him.  And it felt safe sitting in the closet of dementia because if i "came out" it would force hard conversations.  I wasn't built for hard words, especially when I knew they would disappoint others.  And ultimately, how would I knit the words together to explain to pjm that I couldn't manage it all anymore. Our family can't lose me in the middle of losing you.

And, yes, this is a season of challenge for our family in learning to let go of pjm & our dreams.  Dementia is brutal.  A family literally watches their loved one's life dry up before their very eyes leaving a shell of what you once knew.  But our challenge isn't any greater than another's.  The wife who finds her husband sleeping with another woman, the parents who are informed their child is incarcerated, the employee who loses a job due to downsizing, the family who loses from their home due to bankruptcy, the child who receives the denial letter from his top college choice.  Challenge isn't measured on a gauge of varying degrees.  It's more like a switch-its "on" or its "off". It's challenging or it's not.  And if you aren't in the middle of a season of challenge, bask in that!

dear ash.
thanks{giving} to you for being so very brave.
no, my closet was not papered in rainbows,
it was graffitied in words-memories-emotions swirled around in my vita-mix.
it was dark & scary but i was too afraid to open the door.
like the flood gates to hell would bust opened and wash our entire family away if i were to admit.
sitting in the dark of dementia felt more manageable, less uncomfortable.  at least in my head.
but a closet is no place for me to live.
fellow closet dweller

dear ams
you forced me out of the closet.
i cannot imagine your internal conflict between protecting me-dad-sweet brown eyes.
thanks{giving}for your bravery. the one who makes us amazing.
your mama bird

dear God.
thanks{giving} for placing lovies in my life that are the hands & feet of You
speaking the God honest truth into my heart.
thanks{giving} for hard, yet honest, conversations.
You were there, with me in the dark of the closet,
but living & growing can't occur in the dark of my closet.
out-of-the-closet me

dear pjm.
thanks for lining that closet with cedar!
it still rocks.

1 comment:

  1. So, so beautiful my friend and really freeing, right? God never intended for you, the family and Peter to be suffering for so long alone in that closet. But as with everything it had to be in His time frame before you opened that darn door!