Thursday, September 10, 2015

Great minds do not think alike

Yesterday Harold Charles Donofrio, Jr. was admitted to Arden Courts Towson. He was a little restless during the evening hours but woke up ready to sing and dance and enjoy his day. I'm sure he's had some ice cream by now.

Nothing can be said that hasn't been said.

My friend called me this evening and read Chuck's first blog post from 2009 where he spoke so eloquently about it all.  I had forgot that first one.

Here, below, is the repost.  I, certainly, could not have said it better.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Embrace three feet of snow. Follow with brilliant, clear skies. Notice that it is not that cold. See charming gigantic icicles, dripping. Watch little stream begin to freshen. See clear stream begin to muddy. Find cistern overflowing. Hear a dull "white noise" sort of sound coming from the now numerous rivulets of water. Recognize that puddles are turning to miniature lakes. Realize that there may be flooding in the rivers. Run to get day pack, scrap all plans, other than surveying the now once in 15 year water levels. Jump in car to see largest waterfalls in Baltimore and Harford County. Drive to every decent bridge, as the roaring of waters fuels the pulse. Start to encounter other maddened flood chasers, words tumbling out of their mouths, sputtering epithets and crude uses of the language now not only acceptable, but imperative, descriptions only misappropriated by the urgency of the need to capture, to fix in the mind what can't really be fixed, all is feeling and adrenaline, in the roar of waters and the knowledge that all too soon this too shall pass, like a life cut short, a knife dulled, the frayed edge of the Alz-affected, trying to fix what cannot be solidified, yearning for a way to make it stay, grasping for meaning, yearning for a way to make it part of my soul, to put another totem on the pole, interpreting the life that cannot be lived, the memory that cannot be retained, to find a reliable fixed point knowing all too well there is no fixity, there is no capturing the smoke of desire or the fecundity of water-soaked earth.

We love you honey. xoxo

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A little help from our friends

I have begun a new appreciation of drugs. I formally thought them suspect. Bad juju. Now I know what it's like to give a little pill to a man who is freaked out, chewing his nails and saying he is scared. Being scared is not okay. So I get the pill and wait and I am not disappointed. He is calmer, happier, more satisfied with the present moment.

I have calmed my man down and I am thankful. At night he once again is agitated and confused.
 I, once again, go for the pills. They work, he sleeps, I sleep.  Wow.

How long will this help? It doesn't really matter. It helps now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bliss in the Gulf

Monday, April 21. 2015,

A year ago today a little blue cottage on a beautiful island known as Sanibel became mine.

We had visited Sanibel dating, married with a child,  two, three. Every year we'd jump in the car and drive to Sanibel for two weeks. I know this island well. I like this island very much. We have met so many wonderful people here. Relationships born of sea shells and gulf waters, sunsets and pizza. And, of course, The Ding.

Fast forward:
Chuck retires. Ad company closes. Chuck can no longer spend winters up North. I start shopping for a house on Sanibel. Yes, bugs, yes, alligators, yes, hot. Yes, wonderful!! A technicolor paradise.
A natural high. Did I mention we have a private beach?

A new finding regarding connecting with your bliss
while having severe dementia has had me marveling at life.
 I mention this because it was always the music that we turned
to when Chuck needed a lift or we needed to connect. It was perfect as he still
walked and walked and walked, getting regular exercise.

Now, however, with the last stage breathing down our necks, we have found the gulf. This
is where Chuck is able to connect.
It is where he raised his arms to the sky and speaks to those who are listening. He is at home floating and swimming in the gulf, pointing at the birds and, always, showing the reverence and respect he has for this natural word.

Away from the beach his eyes are downward cast, his walk sometimes now shuffled.  Unsure, hesitant, he looks for a clue. Then we walk out onto our beautiful beach and he is reborn. His hat and shirt are removed and he again becomes one with his own amazing experience of life.

We are here for now, floating in the gulf, laughing.