I feel as though a corner has been turned, a milestone, touchstone, an acceptance of what I'm doing on this planet and why. Hard to explain but it involved a leap of faith in the present in order to protect and make our house safe for the next three to five years. I've had a mental list of assorted things that needed to be fixed or replaced, some of which in the past either I or my husband would do as homeowners.

I learned a lot from Super Storm Sandy while also dealing with my mother's declining health and my husband's comorbidity. I cannot say I've handled everything with grace or a happy heart, but looking back, I feel I did the best I could most of the time. Which is not to say I haven't made mistakes or lost my temper or alienated family members. I call it circling the wagons.

While all life ends in physical death, there's a particular grieving that happens with Alzheimer's because the person with the disease gradually or in bursts becomes more and more dependent. Some days, some hours, some minutes, this is tolerable, poignant, sad, silly, numbing, frightening, and difficult to share except with others who are going through the same thing.

The reason I write about some of my experiences is in the hope other people might feel less alone, recognize symptoms sooner, or try some of the things I've done or am doing that work for awhile. I'm very selective regarding what I write because I want my husband to feel loved and safe above all. He is pretty much past the stage where he understands my day when he is at The Adult Day Center. He knows I write about our life, but he no longer seems to care, the last writing he liked was Fields of gold because he thought the music was beautiful. I read it aloud to him several times and he wept, then kissed me.

So, on to practical matters, I have replaced the dishwasher with help from my son-in-law and now have committed a substantial amount of money for someone else to fix our old house problems during the month of June; spackling, painting and powerwashing and hopefully a fence that will enclose the property, should my husband begin wandering in the future.

This has prompted me to throw away some things, recycle more things my husband saved in the basement he no longer spends time in, plus look into selling over forty antique aquariums from his first marriage as well as decide how to sell his lifelong model railroad collection. I do this alone when he is sleeping and I can't sleep.

The things he has saved tell the story of his life, of which almost half has been spent with me. I am taking my time because sometimes the process is so brutal and I want to honor that he did so much good during some very hard times. Despite the past and current troubles with his family, he deserves dignity and I've finally been able to deal with doing that before he is no longer the man I married 29 years ago. Before he forgets who I am.

So I just finished reading the daylog ahead of mine and it's changing what I was going to write about. Yesterday my youngest and I were home alone during the morning. My radio interview probably went better than I thought it did, but while we were being recorded I stumbled and stuttered while second guessing myself. The meeting with my pastor didn't go anything like I thought it would. At first we discussed the interview and I told him about my career in footwear. His father is diabetic who has lost toes so he understands the need for properly fitting footwear better than many I meet. Whether he was talking to me out of genuine interest or just to make me more comfortable before diving into the divorce situation I felt like he was really listening the entire time. He's very calm and stoic with a poise and composure that I envy. Our other pastor is more emotional, they're a good foil for each other. I'm going to skip ahead to my conversation with my aunt later that day. She said that I hover over my children a little too much while my next youngest sister doesn't watch her kids closely enough. I had a flash of insight while she was talking so I shared my thoughts. Two days ago when they were both out at my place my sister confessed how much anxiety she has. She can't stop worrying about people and circumstances. I think she's literally so mentally exhausted that she doesn't have the physical energy or attention span to spend on her kids as other things seem to be a higher priority.

Talking to my pastor about my marriage was brutal. I had to face the fact that for years I walled up and holed up and neglected the girls and the housework I should have been doing. He said that if my husband and I were in front of him he would probably blast us both, but thankfully he didn't give me the lecture I had coming. It helped that he knew me and my family background. I shared things about my parents that he probably didn't want to hear. He described his own childhood as fairly boring, I know his parents slightly, they go to our church and I had to squelch some jealousy when I thought about what growing up in a less tense household would have meant for me and my family. He said most of the problems we encounter are avoidable and he didn't really understand why so many people seem to rush toward conflict and adversity instead of avoiding it. He's extremely disciplined, I envy that too. He said his priority right now is making things as good as we can for Jill and Jane, he asked if my husband would come in for a meeting and I said I would talk to him about it, but I don't have a lot of confidence that it will do any good, still I think it's important to try and do what we can with the resources that we have. A point in his favor is they have gone out before for a breakfast meeting and has established some rapport. 

I had planned on going home after the meeting, but I was so distraught and upset that I didn't think I should. He suggested taking a walk around the lake, but it had been a while since breakfast so I drove to the gas station, bought two hardboiled eggs, orange juice, and a piece of string cheese that's still in the fridge. My sister said my youngest could go hang out with her sister and my niece so I drove into her house, dropped Jane off and filled up at the gas station. That was the first 'major' purchase I've made since I got the news that he had filed for divorce and it physically hurt to put my debit card into the slot by the pump. I have twenty-five days left in June without knowing what the bills are going to be and it's nerve wracking to say the least. I drove to my aunt's after dropping off Jane. We had planned to get some of her projects started, but she wasn't feeling well after our walk so we took a short snack break. I had her drink some electrolyte solution while she sat in her chair. She's lost weight which is good, but she was peaked so I suggested the solutiont to see if that would alleviate some of her dizziness. We had rice and watermelon and sardines in mustard that were prettty good. She apologized for serving my humble pie, but I laughed and said it was nice to share a meal with someone who wasn't complaining about what I ate and as a bonus I didn't have to clean up the kitchen afterward. We were going to work in her bedroom, but ended up in the closet of what she calls tea room since the paint they chose was called High Tea or something similar. 

Their home was built in the forties when people had very different furniture and TV wasn't a ubiquitous part of daily life so my aunt has a very spacious living room that extends the entire length of her house. She has a black marble fireplace with a mirror up above it and very elegant black tile on the hearth. The floors are a very dark wood, the walls are an orange color that I never would have thought would look as good as it does in there. Along the ceiling they have gorgeous crown molding they painted a sedate ivory. I just love that room although I would furnish it differently than they have. Removing a few pieces would really make the most of the light and space that they have, but to get back to the predicament, the flanking rooms are quite small and difficult to work with since they were designed for a different era. My aunt is an English professor who married a guy who has a PhD in some high level math that I've never even heard of and have no hope of ever understanding. Fortunately he's a very down to earth guy who doesn't act superior because he's so smart. Every summer he goes out to grade tests that some poor group of students has to take. I think he gets paid pretty well for that type of work, but in addition to the paycheck he earns credit that goes toward keeping his degree or license or something education related. I'm sure I've been told, but can't remember because I don't care as it doesn't really pertain to me. They need graders and he needs whatever it is so it works for both parties. 

My aunt is sixteen years older than I am. We have the same middle name and every once in a while I kick myself for not giving it to one of my girls, but that's life for you. I went to bed before 8:30, helping my aunt organize was exhausting. She has a lot of things that she needs to go through and get rid of and she knows she needs to do this, but has trouble saying goodbye to things. It lent me some perspective and I'm going to thank my girls when I see them again because getting clothes into the Get Rid Of Pile with my aunt was like pulling teeth from a fighting patient. I brought along some books and a notepad for her. She brings treats to my house so I brought some snack things that I didn't care for but she liked. I tried to give her encouragement as she went through her clothes. I had her try on things she pulled out and seeing things on her tasked my brain when I tried to figure out what was and wasn't working for her. She gave me a couple of things she wanted me to have including a white blouse that never fit her well, a buttery yellow oxford shirt that she told me made me look like I rolled out of bed in a good way. She told me to wear it to the bar with a tank or cami underneath it when I was trying to pick up guys after my divorce was finalized which made both of us laugh. She also gave me a very dark navy blue shirt with a white anchor pattern and striped cuffs that we debated about before she handed it over. I felt like it fit her well, but when I said it was too busy for her she immediately agreed. 

I don't remember what time I got up this morning, but it was before five. I'm tired, but most of the laundry is done and fresh clean bedding is just waiting to be spread out on the bed. I have something in me that prevents me from carrying laundry upstairs and putting it away and I wish I could get behind the root of that. I think it might be because the laundry seems more organized downstairs. I worry that it won't fit in the dresser drawers and I'll have to deal with how it looks on me once it goes up the stairs. The girls don't keep their room very tidy and it bothers me to see laundry that I put a lot of effort and energy into cleaning laying there on the floor. I tried laying down earlier, but couldn't fall asleep. Yesterday was nice and sunny, today it's damp and overcast. I've been listening to The Platters and The Drifters since I feel like I need simple less complicated music right now. There are clean dishes in the dish rack, I hate putting things away, but it's more than that. Maybe I'll talk to my therapist about it when I see her next. She sent me a text yesterday, but our schedules never meshed. It's kind of crazy that it's June and I'm still wearing long pants and sweaters, I've gone through two pairs of socks already since I keep accidentally stepping in water down in the basement, but for now the ironing and laundry are practically finished so I can move on to other things on my list. I'm grateful for this time that I have to get the household in better order. I have more ideas, more energy, and a better support system than I've had in a long time and that's been a tremendous relief. 

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