A New Era

Walter’s adventures and thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘alzheimers

Mother’s Day review

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me and mom christmas When one begins a new life, there are many challenges.  There is new found optimism for the future.  But many adjustments had to be made.  I was  now taking care of my mother.  That was a different twist.  Prior to January 1, I took care of only myself.  Suddenly I was taking care of my mother.  I lived downtown and rode my bike to work.  Suddenly, I found myself paying someone to take me home every night so that she knew she was not alone.  I did not want her to be alone.  It meant nothing for me to pay money each night compared to the joy I felt being there for her.  That went on for a month.  Sure, it was expensive but sooner or later it would end.  I had purchased her old Honda.  I started paying payment on it last summer and made the last one on Christmas Day.  Little did I know that Honda would be a gift to us both, allowing me to get to her without delay and run errands so that she can have  the little things, like ice cream, which brought her so much joy and pleasure.

It took the month of January to transfer title into my name and get insurance.   When that was done I took a drive with a friend of mine from  Skid Row.  We drove to Malibu.  He had never seen that part of the coast line, being from London, and I wanted to provide him with inspriration that things would change.  2009 was going to be our year.   Yes, we made that trip to Malibu and both marveled at how far we had come.  Mom and the Bear1Chris, my friend, lived in the courtyard of the Midnight Mission for nine months.  Then moved into a transitional facility and finally was able to get his own room.  His knowledge of the internet and emarketing is exceptional.  A graduate of the University of London,  he is an adept programmer.  We have plans to create internet based businesses.  More on that later.

Primarily though, my energies have been around home, getting accustomed to things and developing a system where I can write and take care of my mother’s needs and wants.   I only left, at first, to go to work and the store.   I was a little hesitant to drive as I found myself getting traffice tickets.  Apparently I needed to  pay attention to the laws as enforcement of them has become more stringent than in the past.  The tickets were costly but I made sure they were paid.  No longer was I going to have any thing new to give the court system a reason to be in my life.  So I just swore and yelled to myself about the injustice of it all.  But when it was said and done, what was important was I changed my behavior.  I had to be efficient.  In times like these, the country has to get rid of old behaviors in order to move forward.    If the behaviors do not change.  We as a nation will not change.  The same goes for me.  In order to not go backwards I must change and no matter what I had to do to get through the legal entanglements,  that was only step one.  I had to build upon that.  And that required focus and discipline.  I only learned how easy it was to put on my seat belt once I received a $138 dollar ticket for the infraction.

mom sittingBecoming efficient has been no picnic.  It was trial and error.  But it was vital.  But practice makes perfect.  Soon I was able to create a system of management that created a smooth operation.    It did not matter if I had sudden car problems.  I just got them fixed.  I had to master this stage of the new era without sliding backwards.  I already was reaching out to old friends while at home during the day.  Slowly but surely interaction with them was becoming embedded in my life.  These are guys I admire and respect but had not seen for many years as my lifestyle did not allow for it.  Just as I began making payments with the car and owned finally owned it, along with the previous process of enduring the court system, I  no longer questioned if things would happen for me.  I only knew I had to keep plugging away.  I had to begin each new process and allow for things to develop.  Nothing would happen by itself.

I was able to achieve economies of operation.  It allowed me to sit and study my mother.  What did she need?   It became clear to me that she needed to know that I loved her.  Many elderly citizens feel abandoned and discarded.  Society has no use for them.  Society is misguided and shortsighted as senior citizens and children are the precious jewels of the earth.    I have to reassure her every day that I am coming back home.  She knows she can not fend for herself and fears that she will not have anyone to look out for her.

She is lucky.  She has her son and daughter.   It amazes me how she appreciates the smallest things.  She believes it is an act of kindness.  So many of our parents know how cruel life can be.  After all, they lived through so much–World War 2, the great depression and then some.   But she raised my sister and me to have certain priorities. Thank god her lessons took hold.  She will reap the benefits of her teachings.

So on this Mother’s Day,  I celebrate all of you mothers.  You taught us well.  I learned from so many mothers.  And now I am using their lessons to rebuild my life  as the country is rebuilding itself.  Every thing starts with self and then family.  Fortunately I learned well where to start.   The family is the beginning.   The family base and communication lines became strong.   I am glad I took my time.  I stayed home and took my time.  My mother is secure is secure.  My infrastructure is sound.

That done, I began to explore, with new eyes and determination, the city in which I was raised, Los Angeles, with a ferocious focus to enjoy and build.   I am like a settler who goes out every day hunting for game.  It has become exciting.  Please read my next post as the story begins to develop in ways that has even surprised me.

Happy Mother’s day.

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Written by waltermelton

May 10, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Let Me Introduce Myself

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the-thinker2It is peaceful tonight. I am enjoying the quiet, the stillness and am excited about the future. The serenity I am feeling is something very new, refreshing and concrete. Though it has been very elusive, it is now very tangible in its density. I have experienced the darkest of storms in my life. Whether it was one storm or many that overlapped, it is hard to say. Extremely torrential, it was; blinding in fact, making it, at times, seemingly impossible to navigate of its darkness as my sense of bearing and perspective vanished as easily as smoke in the air. I now know what it is like to be in the abyss.

But it is over. I found my way out of that dark tunnel. It was not easy. My problems were many and they were serious. I was ensnared in the criminal justice system. The IRS claimed I owed them six figures. The rock I was under was heavy while I struggled to carry the load. Each step was difficult. The moments between the steps were unbearable at times. It was a lonely process. The biggest battle was with me. I had to learn to control my emotions and fears, and not let either deflect me from my goals. I had much help. I am thankful to the men and women of Skid Row who saw in me something that was worth their time to encourage me to continue fighting. They believed I would cross the mote and reenter the real world, as they call it. Few do.

My patience was rewarded. I was living the truth and the truth was evident in everything I did. I was slowing winning the legal battles. I gained assistance with my tax problems from a gracious and generous attorney. I was able to secure a job. I was overqualified but so what. Many people were overqualified for jobs but could not secure one during the tail end of the Bush administration. During the time I have been a desk clerk I have been able to accomplish many things; regain discipline and structure, renew my real estate broker license, and purchase a car. It started me on the path back. I was able to move from a shelter to a transitional facility and then to a very nice room on the quietest street in Skid Row complete with a skyline view of downtown Los Angeles. From there I was able to focus and plan, along with advancing from blogger to columnist for a start up online website and begin a new career as a writer and on line video story telling producer. I reconnected with old classmates and am developing those reconnections into beautiful friendships.

At the end of 2008, everything came together. The heavy rock on my shoulders had been disintegrating rapidly. On the last day of the year, I received a call and was told my family needed me. So I started out the New Year in the family homestead taking care of my mother instead of in my room on Skid Row. It was just in time to watch the inauguration of President Obama with my mother, something I am sure she believed would never happen in her life.

For the last couple of months I have enjoyed a sense of freedom and inner peace that has escaped me for most of my life. Joining both is a renewed confidence and optimism. I am like a kid who is learning how to walk again and the excitement of the everyday learning process never wains. The focus on learning and developing began some time ago but now systems are in place to focus on the pursuit of excellence: with oneself and in the application of new skills I am learning.

Surviving the challenges that life presents is life altering. Perspective alters. One finds profundity in the simplest things. In Skid Row I saw much illness and death. Despair was the cousin of both that squatted on the doorstep of so many and never left. So good health, mental and physical, is something that I strive for in my daily pursuits.

I shall share my life with you. My thoughts. My concerns. My observations. I will talk about what it is like to care for a mother who has dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. I will share what I have learned while caring for her; things that I would never have learned had not I been fortunate enough to be there for her.

We will experience together the remaking of a man now that his soul has been healed and is constantly healing. It is a testament to the fact that we can do anything. We only have to believe it can be done.

So please join me as I start anew carving a place for myself in this world. You will follow me as I try new things. Learn new things. Create new things. It is an exciting time. I shall not bore you. There are many things to learn and share with each other. Life is wonderful. Please join me as I begin a new era.

Written by waltermelton

April 10, 2009 at 4:35 am