I remember a few years ago, shortly after Curt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s going to an online support group for those who know someone with Alzheimer’s. As I signed up I had to list if I was patient with Alzheimer’s or a caregiver. I remember thinking, what?!? I was neither, I was Curt’s wife, he was my honey……I was NOT a caregiver. I was so mad at this website, it forced me to sign up as a caregiver and I clearly was not. At that point I really had no idea of the role of a caregiver or what that meant.
Well…………almost 2 and a half years later I find myself feeling a lot more like a caregiver and less like a wife. I help Curt get dressed each morning, put his shoes on for him, pour his cereal, pull out the chair for him to sit down on to eat, turn on the TV to ESPN (since he can’t use the remote anymore) and then head out the door for school each morning. (Someone comes a little later to stay with him during the day while I am at school.)
At a basketball game
I put his seat belt on and buckle it when we go places, put his coat on and take it off for him, cut up his food so he can eat it, help position him in bed each night (he forgets where to lay his head each night), help put the covers on him and the list goes on and on.
Yes, I have become a caregiver.
When we took our vows back on June 17, 1989 and I said those infamous words, “for better or worse and in sickness and in health”, I meant it. Sure I wasn’t thinking about Alzheimer’s on that beautiful day in June. But God had other plans for our marriage and now is my time to show LOVE to Curt by caring for him.
He is so sweet telling me every day as I walk out the door how much he loves me. He also greets me at the door every day when I get home. He feels safe with me, he feels cared for by me and I hope he feels loved. I can assure I do have those moments when I feel like letting him go to sleep with his jeans and shoes on because I am just too tired to put his jammies on. 🙂 But, He is my honey and despite my new caregiver role, I will always be his WIFE for life! I have learned as of late the true meaning of those words spoken on that hot summer day in June.
Mark 10:6-9 New International Version (NIV)
6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
I have not updated this blog in some time now. Things got really busy for us with basketball season. It was a rough season for Tyler! He broke his LEFT ankle in a scrimmage in Early December, his team was 3-7 with out him. He came back, and played 10 games and his team went 7-3……but then in the midst of an important overtime game, in the first 30 seconds of overtime, Tyler came down on someones foot and fractured his RIGHT ankle and had to miss the rest of the season. It was a heart breaker. But my boy is a trooper and maintained a great attitude, well…. except for the first night after he broke it the second time, that was rough. 🙂
Note, the same boot he wore on the left foot is now on his right!
The night he broke his ankle was also a special night for our family. Our wonderful basketball parents club did an Alzheimer’s Awareness night and raised about $1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association and a little over $4,500 for a special fund set up to help pay for Care for Curt down the road. Such a special night for our family, with such a unfortunate ending. Yet ,we did feel so loved by the wonderful community we live in! Our cool small town has been so very supportive of our family!
Presenting the $1,000 check to the Alzheimer’s Association
I just entered the spring sports info into the calendar for March, April and May……..it’s a bit overwhelming, Madi will play her sophomore season of Lacrosse and Tyler will play his senior season of baseball. So your ongoing prayers for my sanity are appreciated!! Tyler graduates in June (sniff sniff), Madi has her 16th birthday at the end of May…..oh I feel the spring chaos already and it’s a freezing, winter day. 🙂
~Thanks for your ongoing prayers, encouragement and LOVE for our family…..we are blessed!~ Sandy
Madi made this special sign for her BFF.
Always love reading your updates. My heart aches with you. You are walking this road with grace and love, my friend. Hugs.
Yes Linda, i know you know!
Hey you. You are always on my mind and heart. I think of what you do when I’m irritated at MY honey for something so. dang. stupid. Praying for you. Can’t wait to meet you IRL. SOON! Hugs!
Yes, someday Susan we can sit and watch NCIS, drink coffee, and chat!
I loved reading this because you are so open and honest, Sandy. I and my small group are still praying for you all. You are definitely walking this path God has you on with much grace. WOW….you’re planning a 16th bday party for Madi!!!! time flies…and Tyler…he’s off to LIberty next year right? I’m so glad to know you thru this blogging thing and FB……please know you are often in our prayers!!!!! and yes…I still wanna meet you and drink coffee and eat chocolate with you 🙂
Thanks Faith……thank your small group that is so niche that they pray for us! Yes time flies doesn’t it!
Sandy, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your updates, although I know that some days are touched with a bit of sadness for all we lose with our loved ones on a daily basis. I admire you tremendously for all you are able to do despite what you are going through with this terrible disease. I’d like to invite you to join Harry’s new support group, Forget Me Not. It’s brand new, only a week old. We’re here to offer support, prayers and love to all our members. If you would like to check us out, message me or Harry. We would love to have you join us. Hugs to you and Curt and your beautiful kids.
Thanks Hazel you are so sweet. So glad you are doing the support group! I just have so little time right now…….someday. 🙂 But I will message you for more info, just in case. 🙂
Hi Sandy, I’m a music friend of Curts… we met when he filled-in on a few Sundays at Manheim BIC. Right now we’re in the middle of a marriage series and here is something our pastor said that made me think of you; those vows back in 1989.. they weren’t just a promise of love on that day… of course you were in love.. I hope most of us were on our wedding day! … those vows, they were a promise of FUTURE LOVE. You’re bearing witness to that now. Thank you for sharing your journey… thinking of you has made a difference in my life! I pray for God’s tender-loving-care for you and your family. ❤
Thanks Chris, I do remember Curt talking about you. He always loved to fill in at Manheim BIC. Such true words, a promise of future love. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Your words are an encouragement to me Sandy. Praying for daily strength, patience and grace as you love Curt. May The Lord continue to bless you. Love, Joan xo
Thanks Joan!! 🙂 So nice to hear from you! 🙂 How is your mom btw??
I continue to pray for you and your family!Praying that God will continue to give you the strength to show love to Curt and to take care of your family.
I wanted to let you know also, that the woman you are pictured with from the Alzheimer’s Assoc., Catherine, was a friend of mine. She and I graduated from nursing school together! It’s a small world after all:)
So funny Sarah that you know her! I just met her that night, I enjoyed chatting with her after we presented the check. Thanks for the prayers!
I am blessed to follow your journey, if only through your words. You are an awesome godly woman, and I can only hope that I would be a tenth as good a caregiver as you are, if I’m ever in a similar situation. You inspire, my friend!
Continuing to pray for you. I can only imagine how very, very hard all this is. May the Lord keep holding you up and providing for you all.
Blessings and Prayers for you Curt and the kids- you inspire me and so so many others. Don’t forget to let the Lord continually inspire you and to let others help as needed- put me on the list if you need anything…. really seriously…. anything, really its an honor to serve you as you serve Curt. I listened to a message the other day recalling mother Teresa as she quoted an answer to the question how can you serve besides people suffering so much and yet you don’t have to suffer the pain they are suffering so how can you comfort them?
She responded ” God did not see me worthy enough to be the person called to suffer- I do not have that honor. but he did call me to stand with them in their suffering”. SO as long as I have suffering people I will listen to that call. To suffer is an honor not a curse always remember that, and if God called Curt it was because HE was considered worthy and you my dear have the honor of caring for him- what an honor that is, ete3rnity is a small comparison to the few years we tarry here. I hope you are surrounding self as much as possible with other like-minded warriors. Love and Hugs
Precious Sandy, more hugs to you than you can ever count. I love you and we are praying,
Sandy, my heart aches for you and my dear friend Curt. He is truly a blessed man to have a wife who is living up to the promises she made to him, and her God. Thanks for keeping us updated. Blessings to you all.
Thank you for sharing your world with me – this brought tears to my eyes! I will keep lifting you up in prayer my friend – Kristin
Hi! I’m new to commenting but I have been following your blog for a year now. I’m sure you must hear this a lot but I love to read your posts; they’re always the first I look to read! I am always inspired and touched by what you say because even when things are not so good, your belief in God just shines through. Although I cannot hope to imagine what you and your family is going through, I draw so much from your words that I can relate to my life and I thank God all the time that I found your blog.
Sandy…..Just wanted to tell you that I pray for you and your family …… I think of you and your family….. and…..just the other day I found your LEFC recipe for Ham and Noodles and made it for us and for my daughter and her husband and it was a BIG hit!!! So, thank you for the recipe…..and thank you for your blogs….they bore in to my heart and leave a lasting impression!!! I think of your courage, strength and devotion so many many times and it gives me courage, strength and devotion. May our God keep his soothing hand upon your family and may everything be to His wonderful glory!!! Judith Scalyer
You have been on my heart–praying for you and Curt and the kids.