getting personal

There is a fine line between making a blog personal and still maintaining your privacy, and today I was faced with that. On one hand, I look at this blog as a way to connect with all of you. For my clients to get to know me beyond what I create. It started off on a blogging platform and was called “Joy in the Little Things” because I wanted to show all of the little things that inspired me, that I found beautiful, and just the little bits and pieces of knowledge I’ve picked up a long the way. I also enjoyed the fact that it was “diary-like” in that I could write about things that had happened- almost in a memoir-esque kind of way. It was a way to preserve my memories, especially since I am horrible at writing in a journal. (I have like 10 started, but after one or two entries, I get bored with it and just stop.) But even with sharing my memories and “little joys” with all of you, there are of course boundaries. Some things are kept private. Sometimes because I didn’t feel like being judged, sometimes because they are just too personal, and sometimes just because they are probably too boring for you all. So instead of sharing what was happening, or how I felt about something (whether huge, like politics, or something small, like why women feel it’s appropriate to wear lingerie as clothing) I would just find something else to talk about. Something lighter, funnier, or beautiful. And today, I tried to do that again. I tried to sit down and come up with something that was different-happier than what was on my mind. But I couldn’t. I can’t. So I figured today, I’d just share.

Last night I found out that my grandmother has vascular dementia. Although it’s mostly little cognitive things right now, slowly she will start to forget or get confused by how to do simple tasks, and later she will most likely begin to lose her memories and quite possibly forget who we are.

And no matter how I try to think of it, it breaks my heart. For those of you who have been reading for a while, you’ll know that my grandfather died almost 5 years ago of lung cancer. He and my grandmother were the complete embodiment of soul mates, so having to watch him slowly die about killed her. Now, the thing that keeps her strong, that she cherishes and holds on, are the memories the two of them shared together. When you’re with her she’s always full of thousands of stories. Getting in trouble in college, growing up during the Great Depression (we had butter though because my mother owned a cow!), how my grandparents met (on a blind date which she tried to get out of) their backyard wedding (her mom hand made her lace dress), where their first apartment was (and that rent was $35 a month), all the places they’d traveled together (more places than not), memories from raising their 3 daughters, what drink my granddad preferred (bourbon and coke)… everything.

So to think of her losing those wrecks me. I would do anything to keep her from experiencing even a moment where she feels alone, lost, or confused, but sadly there is nothing any of us can do to stop that. All we can do is be there for her and try to make as many memories as we can together. And then I think about how all of us are going to be affected as well. My mom was telling me how she’s so scared of the day that she’s going to call and it won’t be “her mom” on the other line. She won’t be able to have a conversation with her. My grandmother might not even remember her. I can’t even imagine losing my mom. Having her there physically, but mentally missing all that makes her who she is.

So like most people who are faced with something terrifying or depressing, I’ve worked to focus my mind on other things- mainly cooking and cleaning. The kitchen is now filled with homemade marinara, salad dressings, comfort foods, and cookies. Hell I even bought mayonnaise just because I “had to make” this one recipe. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate mayonnaise. Ugh. Can’t stand it. But there I was, scooping it out by the cupful because this one recipe called for it. Anything to take my mind off of dementia.

And once I ran out of counter space (doesn’t take too long in the apartment) I became obsessed with cleaning everything. And I mean really cleaning. Like organizing bookshelves kind of cleaning. And while I was cleaning under the couch (yep. you read that right.) I found a photo album that my grandmother gave us to fill with “our memories.”

And seeing the blank pages of the album I broke down, because it was just way too metaphorical for me.

So. There it is. The reason for the lack of “wednesday wisdom” and to be honest, the lack of posts for the rest of the week. I feel like I need to refocus on what’s really important and spend some time with my husband and my family. Promise I’ll be back on Monday though. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and a wonderful weekend.

And thanks for listening.