Today I sat as I went through my bowl of rocks, a collection that I love, rocks I have gathered here there and everywhere over the years. Most of my pockets and inside all kinds of cubby holes you will often find a rock or two. I love everything about them, I love the texture, colours, shapes. They remind me of places and things I have done, they provide a great amount of relaxation. I can be anxious or stressed but time with my rocks melts it all away. So what was I wondering while I went through my collection of rocks, well I was wondering if anyone would ever now how important they are too me. I was and thinking about all the people put into care without being allowed some of their prize possessions, things like a bowl of rocks, that could and would actually make a difference for them, and be something that helped calm for them. People look at others people stuff and just see stuff, without realizing that it may have a great deal of importance to them. Some favourite books or collection of music, or whatever it is, pieces of jewellery, scrap books that we view as nothing but to them it is the one thing that brings them much solace, when they are feeling fearful, or anxious or stressed, or just not feeling well. Or maybe it just is something that they get enjoyment from. No one knows what those things are for me, there is no one to now those things. But I hope others take the time to ensure that if their loved one has to go into any type of care that they fight hard for them to have whatever those few things are with them, it can have a huge impact on quality of life. I can’t imagine not having my pictures and my rocks with me, along with a few other things that really matter for me. Below are some of my treasured rocks.
I found more rocks today to add to the collection, they are soaking right now getting cleaned. A lovely visit with my friend/ volunteer, who showed up today with a lovely bag of birthday goodies for me, and turns out she also loves rocks, so I got to enjoy sharing my rock collection with her. She also surprised me with a special event for May the 11, I had shown her a art/craft project I wanted to try, so she has enlisted some help and will be having a belated birthday luncheon and art/ craft day so they can help me do and try this art project. I am so excited about it. She has been another blessing in my life, and I just seem to continue to have more to be grateful for despite my dementia. She tried to help me with a project for my advocacy work that I am working on put to no avail today my brain just could not / would not cooperate so we will tackle it next time. Then another friend came and got me and took me out to, to see friends who are camping and to have a visit with them. It was lovely to sit by the fire, roast a hot dog and visit and find lovely rocks on the lake shore. So for someone who had no plans for my birthday Monday and, it was a day full of unexpected delight and joy and surprises and it now being Wed. it sure has been a week full of surprises and tomorrow another one, a friend whom I haven’t seen or talked to in a very long time, called yesterday and we are having coffee, so its been a lovely week of connections. Isolation has been hard but this week it seems to have taken a turn away from so much isolation and I am so grateful.
I am struggling in many ways that are more invisible to most, but cognitive struggles, unable to stay focused on conversations, and on tasks, focus all but gone at present. But a real need for looking and reviewing life, my life, being glad that after the last few years of having to ask so many questions that suddenly so many of my longer term memories are there, short term is another issue, but longer term are all front and centre at the present time, its been fun to look back at what is there.
Looking in the rear view mirror is not always advised. But when for a number of years you have at nothing but blankness and suddenly it is flooded with stuff from another time, it can bring about a sense of being, that I am somehow still me, A reminder of things that have brought me joy and love and heartache. Instead of that who am I, I don’t even now who I am anymore a reminder of all those moments in time. Its been wonderful, so at times it is that what I could do last week I can’t this week because my brain has wandered to other things. I just let it be what it needs to be no longer plying myself with guilt about things I should be doing, just allowing myself to be in whatever space I need to be right now and today was just enjoying my rocks.
I have talked with others who say its like they just need to spend more time on “life” right now, perhaps we all advocated and worked on those things so much through the pandemic that we all in need of taking a break, maybe we are all trying to establish a new life/dementia/advocacy balance. It’s ok to take our time to do that, life isn’t normal for us on any given day and with everything else that has been thrown at house and continues to be, it’s ok to take our time, to take time out, to be where and doing what we need in the moment. This is where I am at the moment, just being, just puttering around in the moments. I hope whatever your situation may be that you also give yourself permission to be. Thank you to everyone who made this birthday week the best birthday I have had in many many years.