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 A View of Change 
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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:13 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Post A View of Change
I’ve been thinking again. So you may want to skip reading this post. I’ve been thinking about how extraordinary we all are. We may think of ourselves or of others as being just normal, everyday folk, but even the most normal among us is a unique and dazzling creation endowed with the most amazing qualities of being. We are dynamic spirits, ever changing and eternally maturing as we grow in wonder, wisdom and compassion. Even when we are old or when our minds grow dim, we are learning the wisdom of surrender, the compassion of suffering.

These ruminations started earlier today when my four year old daughter Skyler asked my wife Tamara, “Mommy, when can I wear makeup?” My wife responded, “When you are older, Honey.” Skyler waited for about thirty seconds and said, “Mommy, I am older now.”

From one moment to the next, we change. In the span of thirty seconds, we can see ourselves as having grown old enough to wear makeup. I remember how it took me about thirty seconds to ask Tamara to marry me. Sure, we’d dated for a few months, but I had not intended to become engaged. And then, one evening, looking into Tamara’s eyes, I suddenly knew that I loved her more than I loved myself and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I could not bear the thought of ever living without her.

Thirty seconds.

We grow. We change. I am not now the same person I was when I began writing this post, and I doubt that you are the same person you were when you started reading. So if we are so dynamic that thirty seconds can change a lifetime, then why am I so afraid of changing now? I think it is because I see progressive dementia as a kind of negative growth. It is subtraction, not addition. It is division, not multiplication. It is loss, not gain. But what if my perception is limited in this matter? Is it possible that loss can really be gain? In losing my memory, my attachments, my personality, can it really be said that I am losing myself? Or am I being freed instead?

I don’t really know the answer. But I’m getting closer. Thirty seconds at a time.

Randy Graves

Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:18 am
Profile YIM

Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Ontario Canada
Randy, when you first visited this Forum you seemed scared, angry and confused. Now you seem strong and composed and accepting. Have you "lost" your fear or have you "found" strength?
Yes we change minute to minute. Visiting this forum has changed me - I have realized that are we not alone in this fight with LBD, we are together in struggling, hoping, discovering and supporting each other.
I find your posts thought-provoking and inspiring. Please continue to encourage us to explore, learn and empathize.
God Bless

"Im pedalling as fast as I can!"

Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:58 am

Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:13 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Fayetteville, AR

Thank you so much for your kind words. I think I am still scared, angry and confused a lot of the time. But it is also true that I am finding strength. I can feel strong one day and fearful the next. On my good days, or hours, I've been doing a lot of thinking. In the midst of all this chaos, I have sought out a peaceful place in my heart where I can be still and focus on "taming the tiger within." I take refuge in certain spiritual practices, and that gives me strength. But I would be a liar if I pretended that I am not scared, angry and confused. What I post here are my more sane ruminations, not my screams in the middle of the night.

I appreciate your kindness and the kindness of all who visit here. That, too, is a source of strength.

Grace and peace,

Randy Graves

Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:51 pm
Profile YIM
I think I am still scared, angry and confused a lot of the time. But it is also true that I am finding strength.
Grace and peace,

Randy Graves[/quote]

Dear Randy,
I think some of your strenght is coming from seeing you are not alone in this illness, I can't imagine what it is like to have LBD but I can speak from a caregivers eyes!

Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:51 pm

Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:18 am
Posts: 1
I would like to send a personal reply to Randy Graves on the subject of feeling the intimate loss Spiritually with God.
My husband was diagnosed with DLBD in 2005, probably Alz. in 2003 and symptoms back to 1996.
I do not know how to do a personal reply. I can follow directions if someone can guide me. LOL
Orpha Nicholson /

Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:45 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:38 pm
Posts: 712
Location: CA
Randy --
Jerome seems several steps (and thirty-five years) ahead of you in his dance with LBD. Although his circumstances are quite different than yours (no children to raise, a love that you have spent far too few years enjoying, etc.), he is, finally, by his words and my observation, a truly happy man ... something he strived for his whole life, thinking alcohol, money, travel, work, interesting people would help make him that, but which never did.

He talks to me often about how he does not feel he is "losing himself" (other than referring to "losing a few more shingles" when he notices he's declined some more mentally). What he has shed are the impediments to fully enjoying the beauty of the world around him, inconsequential fears and angers, desire for worldy riches, and the people in his life who are "takers" or whom he could never fully please.

There IS a wisdom and a peace that Jerome has found in LBD that he had hungered for his whole life. He feels safe, and knows I am here and will be here, and that I will take care of his beautiful soul and self even as the LBD progresses. He has found freedom in letting go of the "stuff" that really has no importance -- he raptures over trees, his dogs, a soft bed , beautiful music. And no, he is not, nor has he ever been, a wimp. Quite the opposite. His regret is that he didn't see this all so clearly decades ago.

If you can, Randy, let go of the things that don't matter. Revel in the things that do, especially your children and dear wife. And please share the midnight rants and railings as well ... you are entitled, and no one -- especially God -- will think less of your for it. Some of us are actually out here at midnight and later, trolling for answers or seeking distraction from our own anger and pain, wishing we had more of the peace that some of our LOs find in LBD.

Thanks, again, for telling us what it feels like, for you, on the other side ...

Renata (and Jerome-in-Heaven)

Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:22 pm
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