The loud clamor of information that we are bombarded with on a daily basis has made us, in my opinion, neurotic and more indecisive than ever before. I yearn for the days of Johnny Carson and David Letterman...not because they were necessarily sages of humor or intellect but because in my mind they represented the finality of the 24 hour day. At 1:30 AM TV shut down! Taps was played and the American Flag was lowered, or was it raised? and that was "sign off." No more shows, no more information overload, it was the end of the day. It was the Sabbath, loosely speaking. If you woke up in the middle of the night, you would go to the restroom and then go back to bed. There was no 24 hour Food Network or Facebook "Like" tally to check and ponder. If you found a hole in your bucket on Monday (so to speak), Tuesday you may call an uncle or a neighbor for advice on how to fix it. Heck you may even have gone to a library or a preacher and face to face used words and body language to express yourself and ask for advice. Now we maneuver with which emoji is most appropriate.
I say this as a reference point for anyone dealing with a loved one with dementia. You are dealing with someone who is "Old School." They grew up with 3 TV Networks not 300. The fridge was called the "icebox" and the work day probably never included a yoga class, sushi for lunch, or a call to a therapist for words of affirmation. They represent the last of a dying generation of people who truly "Did it themselves." They fixed the hole in the bucket. They didn't call it in or farm it out. Their heroes weren't internet sensations and they couldn't have cared less about (The Red Carpet and Who someone is wearing). They were probably tough, brash and matter of fact and were definitely not politically correct. Perspective is reality. Try and have this perspective as you walk the path that is in front you. If you are like me, and not a part of the day to day grind of care taking, it helps me to know that my dad was part of this "Old School Fabric." It also gives me pride knowing that my mom has been able to take care of my dad with that same grit and fortitude. We are the inheritors of this bloodline. We are the caretakers and the friends and the family of the caretakers. The person you are taking care of is special, above and beyond his/her personal achievements. They are veterans, and teachers, and farmers whose background music plays in perpetuity and allows us to stand on a foundation of doers. Let's be doers and not takers. Let's include some "Old School" in our own lives and for all of the Henrys out there...let's fix the hole for Liza without being told to. -Todd