Revelling in happiness
Today I was asked ‘How is Martha?’ Most days I am asked this questions and I stumble through an answer;
“Yeah, um, yeah she is ok, well, ah actually she isn’t, it’s been a bit shit lately, she is getting worse..”
But today at 7am when I was asked for the first time of the day, I could confidently say;
“She is great, she had a really good afternoon and evening yesterday and it’s good. When she is good, I’m good”
I had left Martha at 645am and dragged myself to the gym, each morning that I do this, I am filled with fear and guilt. Fear of so many things but mainly that whilst I am away at the gym Martha will leave the house. Guilt that I have left her alone, and that in my absence she will become frightened.
I force myself to put myself first, what do I need to keep going? What is the best thing for me? What is the best thing for Martha and I? This is the constant war that rages in my head. But on days like today, I don’t have that same fear or guilt. I am confident that Martha will be ok for the mere one hour where she is not being watched by me. I am confident that I am doing the best thing by both of us.
We move through our day fluidly, many more people ask, ‘How is Martha?’ I can smile, Martha is with me. We hold hands and share secrets. We communicate at a different level. Recently all I feel like I am doing is telling her off for anything and everything, or telling or to do something but as of late we have been able to have conversations. I have been able to learn from her again and we understand each other a little better. It has returned to how it was a few weeks ago where I could hold her hand and laugh with her, and whilst she is still chatting to herself I can calm her and reassure her. This got lost for a little while where we were frustrated by each other and unable to communicate properly. I was angry, my anger was not with Martha but with my situation. I was thinking too much about my life, about the sacrifices I have had to make, about the path I had to take. I was putting this onto Martha, when actually I needed to just focus on being present. Being grateful. Being happy.
She starts to participate in conversations again and can comment on things she is observing, she listens to other peoples conversations and she nods her head. She mumbles yes, yes.. She smiles and it reassures me that she is connected to this world. She is asking questions, like where are we? This might seem like a strange question but for Martha it is curiosity, something that alzheimers takes is your stability in your surroundings. She is present with me and needs to know where she physically is. She is no longer stuck with the voices inside her head but here in the present with me, she still slips into her world and that is ok, I can squeeze her hand and remind her I am here. That she is safe. I tell her I love her. She tells me she loves me too and I smile. Words I have not heard in a while, a parent telling me they love me.
In these moments I am a daughter.
I want to capture these moments and bottle them. These are the moments I live for. These are the moments that keep me going. This is the magic!
If you resist it, it’ll be cruel to you, if you let it in, it’ll be magic!