cracking wide open on the radio

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Selfie in the Quebec AM, CBC Radio One studio September 26, 2014.

Flashback September 26, 2014: I write and share my experiences to give purpose to this Alzheimer’s journey of Mom’s and mine. There must be a reason (I reason) for our struggle and suffering. Perhaps you are part of the purpose! I hope My Alzheimer’s Story captivates, inspires and/or comforts you. If it does, please share the love like I am 🙂

In March 2014, I spoke about My Alzheimer’s Story  with Quebec AM, CBC Radio One and on-air host Susan Campbell on location at Lennoxville Elementary School. The interview is here. Campbell began following the blog and recently asked me to do a follow-up segment. We did the second interview the day before Mom’s 86th birthday. As we chatted, Campbell asked me about some of the special times I’ve had with Mom, in particular an exchange of “I love you’s” I captured in video in “the most important thing to do when you hit a rust patch.”

I told her the truth: those moments crack me open. Yet through them I’ve experienced a lot of healing. My hurts, disappointments, resentments and negative feelings have been washed away leaving behind a bundle of tenderness, intimacy and beauty in the relationship with my Mom. Getting there hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.

At the end of the interview, which you may listen to here, I read an abbreviated version of “a daughter’s prayer to god,” a poem I wrote when Mom was very sick in May. I managed not to cry the whole way through as I did when I read it aloud for the first time. Several friends who had read the poem told me how powerful it was to hear it spoken. Campbell said her producer Alex, a bear of a man whom I had met at our initial on-location interview in March, had been moved to tears by it.

I’m so pleased people are being touched by our story (see purpose above). In a couple of weeks I’m “guesting” at a half-day college class; I intend to share and discuss some of the audio and video clips from the year I cared for Mom in her own home. I wonder how the students will respond? Will they react like Alex did? Will they feel the joys and sorrows?

Maybe all of us will crack wide open. Maybe that would be a good thing.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Hi Punkie,
    Great that you are giving a talk to students who will hopefully work in the field. Straighten them out right from the start.I have an idea for you…

  2. I just lost my wonderful dad, from this horrific disease, March 8, 2014. The wound is still so fresh and raw. We managed to care for him, at home, until 3 months prior to his death. It was impossible, after that, to do so any longer. He never slept. My mother’s unwavering love and devotion to him will remain with me forever. Still, I am tortured by guilt for resenting going daily to nursing home, although I still did. Even though I told him repeatedly how much I loved him, you always wonder if you could have done more, been a little more patient. Guilt over the relief when he finally did pass are the demons that haunt me at night!!!

    .

    • Oh Robin 🙁 Crying for you and your pain 🙁 I’m sure he knew how much you loved him and appreciated at his core everything you did. Could we all do more? Maybe. But we are only human. The one positive thing I can see about this disease is how it allows some people — I am one of them — to experience unconditional love in the most difficult circumstances. This is a great blessing for which I am thankful. And yes it is crushing to watch someone you love die a slow death that robs them of themselves bit by bit. So far I still see my Mom clearly despite the fact that she’s in the later stages. Also a blessing. I hope you find peace and forgiveness moving forward. I’m so glad you are following our story even though it must be painful for you. Thank you so much. <3

  3. “All will be revealed in due time…” she said, clearly relishing the mystery of it all…

    I may test some of the material out on you!

    I really appreciate your support and comments Jane. Really. A. Lot. TYSM <3

  4. Congratulations as your network widens and more people get involved and inspired by your story. A college class? Where and what? That could be the start of an interesting new career path. Best wishes and let us inow all about your experience. X

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