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Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Living well with Dementia Silver Linings

It’s A Wrap

Wow, I have made it through another year and know I start my 62 second year. My second birthday that’s arrived during a global pandemic, in the midst of being locked down. I don’t remember last years birthday at all, I am not even sure if I was actually able to be out of bed at that time, the last year beginning in March of last was when I became very ill, and that battle continued for over a year. The silver lining was and is that I’ve made it, it should as all birthdays should be celebrated, for it is a gift when we are given more time. For many they think it’s “ just another year”, but living with dementia ( which is a progressive and terminal illness), I understand that each day is precious, and getting to add another year to my tally of years on planet earth truly is a blessing.
I have felt a lot of changes over the last year, cognitively, and physically, but I can and do try to enjoy each and every good day I am given. It’s been challenging with the pandemic, it’s likely going to be challenging through the rest of 2021, but I am determined to see myself out the other side of this pandemic.
I want to see what kind of shape the world will take on after the pandemic, will people be kinder and gentler, will we actually do the things that will help ensure a better quality of life, will people take better care of planet earth. Will our advocacy finally see some changes made, tangible improvements for people living with Dementia. Will we finally see collaboration.
I am so blessed to have had some many lovely messages from my friends that I have been blessed to get to know and form these wonderful friendships with, so although I will be spending my birthday solo, I don’t feel as though I’ve been alone and I truly thank all of them for the gift of friendship. I’m excited for this evening because some of them have decided to a birthday celebration and all enjoy a meal together via zoom, a totally new experience and way to celebrate this day, it’s kind, it’s thoughtful, another blessing another silver lining provided by friends who didn’t want me to be alone on my birthday. So although it’s a rainy drizzly day outside, it’s a bright sunny day in my heart.
I don’t know what is in store as I move into this new year of my life, I know longer plan for the future, the future is here right know in this moment, and although I do not plan for a future, I do still think about things that I hope I will stay standing long enough to take part in, like another conference where many of us can get together again, or for the first time, those face to face get together are so vital. I hope to put together my second book, I hope to still have it in me to complete work with some of the research projects I am part of, the researchers I have had the pleasure to work with are an incredibly talented people whose compassion and true desire to help provide tangible things to help us have a better quality of life, and I’m grateful to know and work with them. I hope for the day I no longer have to live hoping to die rather than have to go into any type of care home. The pandemic has shed a light on the issues, my fear is that they will only put a bandaid on it to appease people, but they won’t really fix it, I hope we can get to a place where we truly honour those who are vulnerable, whether that be due to ageing, or dementia or any other illness.
I still have a bucket list that is incomplete, my road trip, to see friends and family, going to Ireland, and Greece. Taking the trip across Canada. I often wish I had someone to do many of these things with, maybe that’s still to come.
So for today I will sit in Gratitude for another turning of the page, the beginning of yet another year of my life and in that I gratitude today I will be saying a big Thank You, to all my friends near and far who have ensured I did not feel alone today, and for all the beautiful messages, via, messenger, texts, emails and Facebook. Thank you all for being part of my life.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

By Chrissy's Journey

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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