For most Halloween like many other things, this year are different, of course, some people will insist that they have Halloween just like any other, others will be creative and inventive. It makes me stop and think about all the people who in the past didn’t even have time to worry about whether Christmas or Halloween or birthday parties or any other of our multitude of holidays we celebrate would even happen.
I think about the people like my mom who grew up during the Second World War in Germany, with bombs dropping on her house, about them fleeing for their lives, about them scrounging and yes even stealing food so they wouldn’t starve. I think about all she endured during the Great Depression. the sacrifices she made fleeing to England and then Canada.
So I don’t believe that I have the right to complain or feel sorry for myself because I am a little inconvenienced, by wearing a mask, by changing how we do or don’t do a holiday or celebration.
It’s not that I don’t want to see everyone doing all those things that they love, but somehow we, (myself included), have somehow become a society that feels entitled. We have yet to endure real true hardships in comparison to our parents and grandparents, although our homeless population that continues to grow is feeling those hardships. the other day I had a lady say to me that she doesn’t care where they put the homeless as long as its not her neighborhood, that statement haunts me, have we truly become that kind of society, we don’t care who else it impacts as long as it’s not us? There is very little that causes me anxiety, but when I think about things like that it does. It makes me afraid of what is coming.
We have become unable to cope, overstressed, and yet the important things, like having a roof over our heads and the ability to go to the store and buy groceries for our families are taken for granted and we are mad and angry that we are inconvenienced.
Yet the very people who came to this country, to give us better lives, that made this country great, they are the ones really impacted and feeling the worst parts of this pandemic, because we have locked them up in institutions, human warehouses, that we call Long Term Care Homes, absolutely nothing homey about them, nothing that provides real quality of life and we justified it, we made it ok because we can’t and won’t sacrifice to look after our own. So they are the ones truly paying the price of this pandemic, in fact, they are paying the ultimate price, DEATH.
Seems harsh I know, but it is how I feel about things. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, it’s my opinion and my feelings. It is a very real and frightening reality for me, my health is declining, I have dementia. We have and know that those with Dementia in care are the ones who have and are enduring the worst of what the pandemic is showcasing. So I have a right to how I feel, as we each do, for me it’s all sitting close to home given my health challenges. For me, it’s all too real. I was in the hospital again last week, then called back, then last night Halloween night, at 630 pm, the phone rings, its a doctor at the hospital, concerned about one of the tests they ran, and they want me to go right away and get a prescription, it can’t wait, and my doctor will follow up, my whole system is struggling, I have vascular Dementia, my vascular system is creating many issues within my body. when Doctors are phoning on a Saturday night, you pay attention.
I do all I can to help myself and help them help me and I am so grateful for how hard they try. But that still leaves me having to think about all those things like where and what happens when I need more help, that’s something that I’m facing more each day, and then there’s the whole reality of people living with dementia who end up in care, and the lack of small homes within communities, versus institutions. People look at me as it looks as though in others’ eyes “I’m doing great”, the reality is things are changing just not in ways most could see. So yes how people are responding and behaving during these ” difficult times”, impacts me in many ways.
The other thing that impacts me at this time of year is the time change, falling behind an hour. I change my clocks or most of them before I go to bed, I wake up though and I think did I change my clocks, is this the right time, it confuses me, it creates stress I have to figure out where I actually am, in reference to, day and time.
It also impacts my sleep patterns which is already a struggle, so I wish, I wish, they would just leave the time alone, spring ahead this spring, and leave it alone from there on in, my body clock adapts to seasons and differences in daylight, etc on its own. Leaving time alone is one small thing that can make a big impact on life for people with Dementia.