Day 39 – The Paranoia of the Caretaker


The final trailer for Fantastic Beasts came out today.  Harry Potter books and movies have a very special meaning to my 3 1/2 member family unit (the 1/2 is my four-legged child).  I taught my daughter to love reading with those books.  When she was about seven, I started reading the first one, one chapter a night, when it was time to go to sleep.  We were living in Puerto Rico at the time and I did not want her to forget English (she was born in the US).  I also secretly hope that the books would have the same effect they had on thousands of children here and she would get hooked.  By the third book, she was sneaking readings of two and three chapters during the day while I was not looking.  By the fifth book, we were buying them at midnight on the appointed night and by the time I had finished the 40 minute drive from the bookstore to my home, she had already read half of it.  By the end of the next day, she was done.  The day after that, I had finished.  My hubby would take a week or two after that.  We all read the books, we talked about the books and it was tradition to watch EVERY movie on opening night.  It was fun times and bittersweet when it was over…and then it was not thanks to this new one.  I watched the trailer and started crying because the paranoia of the Alzheimer’s caretaker is that one day in the next 30 years, I will also forget all of this.

Maybe if I write about it I will store it in a different part of my brain and not forget how nice it felt to have something in common with my child.  I was the mean one so it was great to be the cool one who could read the book as fast as she could. Yes, they were years when we actually counted how many exact hours it took us to read it.

I don’t want to forget any of it.  I don’t want to forget how excited she was when I would come to her room every night and read to her.  I don’t want to forget the look on her face of sheer triumph when I finally realized that the book was not making any sense because she was reading chapters behind my back.  I don’t want to forget all the premieres and the trials and tribulations to be able to make it to the theater in time to watch it.

I call it paranoia because, even though the experts say that the disease is not inherited, my mother’s aunt had it, her sisters had it and now she has it.  My odds are not exactly great.  I am paranoid because it is said that only 5 million Americans have dementia.  If there are 324 million people in the US, that is less than 1% of the population.  That would mean that the odds of me knowing someone else who is struggling like I do is very small (unless I join support groups online and off).  I am surrounded by friends with family members who have the disease, sometimes both grandparents or parents.  Seems to me that we are covering up how bad the statistics really are for this disease.

I already have memory issues.  It has been a long eight months and the lack of sleep does not help anyone.  I can read and find all the resources to make sure  I avoid getting this disease.  I can pray all I want.  That does not change the odds against me.

What am I going to do?  I’m going to start some scrapbooks with words a five-year old will understand.  I am also going to put everything in English and Spanish.  Why?  Because Spanish is my first language and my mother is the perfect example that many patients forget the secondary language when they are moving towards the sixth stage.  I’m going to do for me because I don’t have time to waste looking for somebody to bless me while I deal with this craziness.

What do you think?  Leave your comment below and share with others who might feel the same way.

Day 38 – Having an Opinion is not a Good Thing

Today, I posted something on Facebook about how some people call themselves Christians and do anything but.  Essentially, just like the Muslim extremists they are always complaining about, they have kidnapped God to serve their purposes.  I can guarantee, this is not going to be a liked post on my page.  In fact, I am kind of shocked that five minutes later, one person already pressed the like button.  The reason why I am surprised is because having an opinion is not a good thing in most cases.

What do I mean?  If you don’t follow the herd, you are wrong.  I can’t help it.  I am smiling as I hit publish.  I can only imagine my dad cringing while secretly being very proud of what I posted.  You see, my dad used to live in fear of every time I posted something like this, because he was worried that I might lose my job for having an opinion. Deep down, he loved that I wrote the way I did and that I was not afraid to say it.  Still, he was worried about my future.  This, in the simplest fashion, is the point of this post.  We have come to the point where we have no right to have a different opinion than the majority.

I no longer work for anyone else.  I am starting my own business.  I run my business like I run my marriage.  My husband and I don’t agree politically, in fact, we are complete opposites politically.  I respect his opinion and I believe he respects mine (we’ve been together for 30 years, married 28.  I have to assume he at least tolerates my opinion).  The thing is this:  if you cannot respect my opinion when you disagree with me, or my religious or political point of view, I don’t want to do business with you.  This is not impossible to achieve.  I am surrounded by friends and business associates who don’t agree with me.  We all agree to disagree.  We all have our beliefs.  There is nothing wrong with not being the same.  If we were all the same, this would be a very boring world.

Will there be times when we move towards a common goal?  Yes.  We all agree on charity work.  I decided to start doing walkathons.  I can get in shape while getting funds for different charities I believe in.  My friends, Republicans and Democrats alike, donate to my efforts and watch my Live videos when I am on the trail.

Sometimes, we disagree.  That is OK too.  Look, not everyone likes chocolate.  I cannot understand them.  I am, after all, a chocoholic.  That does not mean I am going to buy a gun and shoot them, unfriend them or treat them like crap.  WE can all have different opinions.  We can all believe different things.  The world is not going to end just because you and I don’t see eye to eye on everything.

You might be wondering what I wrote that caused all these emotions.  You can read it from here and tell me if you agree.  Seems to me the world is a little hostile at the moment.  I want it to be less violent and more amicable.  Is that too much to ask?

What do you think we can do?  Leave your comment below and share with your friends so that we can start a real conversation.

Day 37: Believers, Non Believers and Common Sense

Nature, which is often a euphemism for God, and gets blamed for everything.
Nature, which is often a euphemism for God, and gets blamed for everything.

I think I have spoken about this topic before. Maybe I am extra sensitive lately. I am talking about a touchy subject and I don’t care, because it is what it is. Today we are going to have a little discussion about believers, non believers and common sense.

Let’s start with the believers:  I have a question for every single one of you.  How many wars have been fought based on one or both sides’ religious “beliefs”?  And yes, I am putting it between quotes because we all know that the religion is being used to get to the leaders’ ends, which is either power or money, or both.  And when you start talking about extremists, please ensure to include Christians because I can’t help but notice that we have our share of stupid wars, small and big, being played out on the daily, supposedly based on what the Bible says.

The Bible is, to most Christians, the end all be all of the way they should live their life.  It is kind of funny really when they start talking about Sodom and Gomorrah, a topic that was mentioned maybe three or four times at the most.  Not touching pig skin was mentioned a lot more often and yet all this Christians play and watch football every Saturday, Sunday and I believe even Thursdays this season.  I would like to include that they are not supposed to mix fabrics, which they do, while in church on Sunday to then go to the nearest IHOP for some eggs and bacon.

More importantly, if you are a Christian, why do you keep quoting the old testament?  Didn’t Jesus happen in the New One?  Get your stuff straight.

I would also like to talk about non believers.  Just like religious people, they have their extremist side, who are up there with extreme vegans in how caustic, abusive, trolling and manipulating they are.  I have a lot of atheist friends and none of them sound like that.  If I don’t have a problem with you not believing, why do you have a problem with my faith?  You might think science explains everything, but every time I see a doctor tell somebody they are going to die in months, and they make it two, three, even ten years or die from something else all together, I can’t help but wonder if science is just as full of crap as religion or is there a miracle happening. When there is a tragedy like an earthquake or a flood and out of what used to be a really tall building, somebody is able to find a survivor, I have to say, looks like a miracle to me.

You might be wondering what brought this on.  It is truly rather simple.  I have watched a lot of situations in the last few days.  Some people ask for prayers for the loved ones.  Others, non believers, are asking for others to show support.  Undoubtedly, on all, there will be at least one person talking about God’s will and another idiot talking about how there is no God.  Why can’t we just be supportive and keep our beliefs to ourselves.  More important, stop telling people how God is going to put their healing hand on a person that is dying.  Yeah, he is going to heal them right…to death.

I remember eight months ago when my dad was put in hospice.  I went on Facebook and asked everyone to pray for a speedy transition.  Notice, I said transition because it was obvious that he was dying.  Don’t you know that some religious fool came and chastised me about never losing hope and that God was going to put His healing hand on my dad and this would all be done?  Not 48 hours later, my dad was dead.  I decided for once, in honor of my dad (who used to say that one day I was going to get killed for saying what I felt off the cuff), not to go back to that post and tell the person “that’s how much you know.  My dad is dead.  Where is your healing now?”.  I did not do it.  It still bothers me that I did not say it.  This is where the last topic on my title comes in.

Please, have some common sense.  If you are a believer and somebody asks for prayers, say Amen and do it.  Stop trying to include your opinion about what God is going to do or not.  It is disrespectful to God and to me.  Another thing that believers need to stop doing is blaming God for everything.  Doctors heal and kill patients every day.  Is God helping or blessing the doctors?  Maybe.  Does that mean that your family member is going to live?  NO.  Stop making it all about God.

When a person gets shot, it is not God’s will.  When an earthquake kills 150 people, it is not God’s wrath.  Things happen…all the time.  It means that people are living today and gone tomorrow.  Learn to deal with it.  Stop making your beliefs, or lack thereof, the point of any post.  If somebody is sick, pray or send good vibes or think happy thoughts or whatever it is you believe in.  If they are meant to stay alive, they will.  If it is time to go, it is going to happen.  Have the common sense to know that nobody needs to know your personal beliefs at the moment.  We want your support, not a religion class.

Oh, and if it has not become obvious after this rant, I believe in God and I do not believe in any organized religion.

So what do you think?  Does it make you feel better when people hijack your post to speak about their beliefs?  Or would you prefer for them to just like, or love, your post and keep their religion to themselves?  Leave the comment below and share this with others to keep the conversation going.