Monday, May 13, 2013

A Tribute

      I have been frustrated for quite some time by the blank page of the first blog post.  How do you start a blog.  What do you say?
So this is the first post...A tribute.

On April 10th in the early morning, the man which inspired the blogs name passed away.  The sadness that fills my heart is still very present.  This I know will pass, it has already gotten much better in the month that has passed since I began this post.

I have know C. for about 30 years, but it has been in the last 10 years that he changed my life.  As I have told many of my friends, there are events in your life that change "who" you are.  C. changed who I am.

For the last 29 years C. had been my father in law.  My inlaws were fine.  Lived in a different state, saw them once or twice a year, called every other week.  Then about 10 years ago they decided they were getting older and wanted to be close to us and their grandchildren so they moved here, about 1 mile away from us.  It was fine.  Saw them most days and developed a good relationship with them.  Then we found out that C. had, and it had been a while, dementia.  It was never really diagnosed as Alzheimer's but it is a lot easier to say that because people understand what that means.

As time passed, my mother in law passed and then the fun and games began.  Watching a man with dementia reestablish a relationship with a woman from his past, pushing his children and grandchildren away.  All for the illusion of stability with this former love.  By this time C. could not be left alone.  He was like a child, but an angry child.  This relationship lasted about 2 years before I found him walking alone down his street and found a note saying that she would come back and get him in a few days.  Well don't leave a totally dependent man alone for days without supervision, but she did!
My husband and I took him to live at our house.  Let me make it clear....Dementia is no way to live.

C. lived with us for just over a year.  His days and nights were mixed up. There were daily outbursts of anger because of his lack of understanding.  He would stop eating, because everything on his plate was "burned", he refused to eat anything that was brown.  He would have to be in the same room as me, or he would walk around the house yelling "where are you".  It was a lot like having a toddler but without having any of the joy that surrounds a child.  It was when my husband and I could no longer care for his physical needs that the painful decision was made to put him in a nursing home.  He lived there for the last year and a half.

Needless to say, I now have very strong opinions on just about every issue surrounding the care of adults with dementia and the death and dying process.

It was during this time of my life that I met the most inspirational women I know.  These women are the women of the Fort Collins Modern Quilt Guild.  Although we started the guild with only three of us, we have steadily grown over the last few years, and each new addition adds to the group.

It was during one of these meetings that I said flippantly that I didn't have a blog, but if I did it would be SewDemented, it was truly how I felt at that time.  Although I have many friends, and had been really involved in leadership at the church, much of that went away during the time that C. lived with us.  It was these women who gave me a lifeline.  They didn't expect anything from me, made me laugh, and gave me a supportive place to go and a chance to "get out" once a month. Not to mention inspired some great sewing!

So here it is. The first blog post, and I really hope the last post of this kind.



  1. Your first blog post - well done!!! In my not too distant past I too have cared for Alzheimer's patients and dementia impaired seniors, it is difficult with family and emotionally it scars, but, with all the love you delegate to the care you give, you'll see it works out and is worth each and every second..

  2. I am so very glad that your father in law was so fortunate to have you!! So many people are unaware of what dementia is or what it entails to treat, much less live with. although he may not have ever been able to tell you, I can say for sure that you meant the world to him. XX! love your work!!!

  3. Sometimes in situations like this one the caregiver says what is he purpose of C going through this. It says in the Bible, it is because others will learn from your loving care of C. Jesus was a servant and He called us to be like Him... Who would know what "be like Him" means without people like you!

  4. I have my mother living with us. She has Alzheimers. I am currently filling in paperwork for her to go into permanent care. I tried. It's the behaviours, the manipulation and the verbal aggression which escalates in the evenings. Also risk taking behaviour such as walking without her 4 wheel frame. She had 3 falls in one week. I miss my sewing and creating things so take great pleasure from seeing other peoples' work and accomplishments. Sewing is such great therapy. Keep up the good work.

  5. Wow I stumbled upon your blog because my daughter wants your Sew Together Bag made for her birthday. I never expected to read this. I too am having difficulty with relatives. My in-laws are 94 and 93 and he takes sole care of her. Proud man. I take her on Monday's to an adult day care. They are wonderful. My oldest sibling, a sister, is failing. Today I feel defeated. So defeated I don't want to talk to her anymore. Then I read your blog and the comments. I esp. like Susan's comments. I need to sew tonight, go to bed and face tomorrow. My kids will look at me and how I handle this and who knows someday it could be me. Thanks