The Month of LOVE

Time to use more kindness to help us get through the shutdowns.

Ah yes February is here and LOVE is in the air.  This Valentine’s Day will be totally different from every other Valentine’s Day in the past.  It’s going to be COVID style.  For most people it will be take out food and smooching at home. 

It reminds me of how Robert and I used to celebrate it when the kids were little.  We would rent a kiddies Valentine movie, order in food, then after the kiddies were in bed watch a movie and head to bed early ourselves ha ha ha ha

I don’t think I wrote this in my book but it was a ‘funny story’ that I think of every Valentine’s Day.  One Valentine’s day just before Robert was diagnosed with early onset Dementia I had called him on his cell as it was 7pm and there was still no word where we were going to dine that night or order in to celebrate the day of LOVE.  He of course forgot because life was getting very complicated for him and the ability to remember events was quickly slipping away.  I didn’t realize that and thought it was the usual….that I wasn’t that important…….

“Where are you?  Are you still at work?  Did you make reservations or are we going to order in?”  I throw out the questions like bullets

“Why, what’s happening?  I’m on my way home.” Robert seemed confused

“It’s Valentine’s Day, you said you were going to organize it this time.  Are we going out for dinner or should we order in?”  I knew the answer to that question but I wanted him to tell me.  The last few years were me constantly doing all the work in the marriage, with the kids, the home, my two jobs, the errands.  We discussed that he would help out more and lessen the burden on me. 

“Oh ummm, ya how about you order dinner in and I’ll be home in a ½ hour.” Robert seemed to understand now that ooops he had dropped the ball.

I ordered pizza and the kids were delighted.  Robert arrived after the pizza was delivered and he handed me a card.  Part of the envelope seemed to be a different color and the same with the front of the card.  It was a washed out picture of a vase of flowers.  It looked like it had been left in the sun for years.  Inside it sadly stated Happy Valentine’s Day with Robert’s signature.  No salutations of love or adoration, just his signature with his first name’s initial and last name.  None of it very legible more like a scrawl as if he had to write 100s of Valentine’s that day. 

I looked at him and said “I know your last name, did you sign your work papers with Love Robert, you are my world?” I was being sarcastic and Robert sheepishly told me he forgot and just bought the card from a gas station.  At least he was trying.

For me this Valentine’s Day I’ll probably order-in and watch a Hallmark movie. I LOVE those happy ending movies.

Last night my daughter and I ordered take out.  We don’t do it much as we both like to cook but sometimes you have to treat yourself and support the local restaurants.

As we munched on our delicious meals we watched TV and giggled at the reruns of The Office from our Netflix account.   All these actors have long since left this series and gone on to make other fabulous acting accomplishments.  It’s not that we are pigeon holding them in a particular role, but it’s comforting to see them play that character over and over again.

It can be like life.  We have become comfortable in this covid life style.  It’s been going on for nearly a year.  The whole world has seemed to stop.  Many lives have been lost and others drastically affected by this virus.  We stay home as much as we can, wear our masks when we are out and about and limit our social gatherings to FaceTime, Zoom, phone calls or the most popular texting.  It’s as if we are all in our own rerun TV series.  Acting out our lives for us to view later in our memories.

I’ve been quite busy in my work with my book, doing keynote speaking engagements online.  It’s been thrilling to talk to hundreds of people about my book my life’s journey and what I’ve learned.  I answer all their questions, helping them to gear up for their own practice of gratitude.  This has been an extremely powerful part of the process that I didn’t expect.  I assumed I would send my book out to the Amazon universe and readers would purchase it, read it and take away what they needed in order to help them in their own journey realizing that they can get to the other side as a more enriched ‘them’. 

Instead it’s given me more of an insight of myself and how not only what I wrote, but what my message means to others has enhanced my own life.  I LOVE that this process has changed me for the better.  In this world of social media, trying to catch someone else’s attention for 30 seconds or the golden egg of over 2 minutes with our postings, videos or razz ma tazz is a challenge.  I still understand that words, what we say and how we say it matters.  Those words can linger and rattle around in someone else’s head for days, hopefully affecting their actions and thoughts for the better.  That’s an incredible power.  We all have it.  Talking to our spouse, our friends and family, work colleagues and most importantly our kids, our words and how we say them stick. 

I said something to my son months ago.  I honestly don’t even remember saying it, but he said it hurt his feelings at the time and it took him days to shake it off.  I apologized for it after he told me months later.  I don’t even remember saying it and I’m sure I was trying to be glib and funny, but my sensitive son told me it wasn’t nice.  It got me thinking, who else have I offended?????  I’m sure the list could be endless and I can’t live a life of regret.  It definitely helped me to understand more fully how influential our words can be to others.  I’m not going to police myself so that I’m afraid to speak my mind but it opened up a deeper level of understanding about my influence with words.

During this month of LOVE we can all use more kindness and positive words to help us get through the shutdowns, lockdowns and abnormal new life during covid.

I’m also a realtor so this market has been good for my business since last July when the government lifted the strongest restrictions.  I know it’s been crazy and sellers are definitely benefiting from the low inventory and high number of buyers out there.  I don’t have a crystal ball but from what I have read, seen and heard it looks like the spring market will remain hot and busy.  Thank goodness the real estate market has been busy, not just from a personal perspective, but from an economic point of view.  This market is helping the economy, lenders, banks, taxes, and home improvements, to name a few. 

I LOVE my job as a realtor.  There is nothing better than pulling together a deal for my clients making them blissfully happy.  It warms my heart and makes all the hard work, late hours, hand holding, strategizing, and talking endlessly to numerous people, worth it.

Last month during January’s Alzheimer’s Awareness month, I posted on my social media hoping to create a buzz of donations.  It’s challenging for these organizations that rely on donations, events, walkathons, and social gatherings to help their cause, and reinvest in research.  With covid still hanging around, it has had such a negative effect on drawing money from people that have been financially burdened over the last year.  With my book sales, I will be donating some of the proceeds to research for Dementia/Alzheimers.  So much still needs to be discovered.  It’s not just about how the dementia patient is affected, which is a horrible slow death.  It really is about how caregivers, family and friends are negatively affected by this disease.  The more we know the better we can help our loved ones and their families in all their stages.

I’m currently going through some turmoil with Robert’s care.  He is in the last stages of Dementia.  None of the hospital or long term care workers really know the actual time a person has left.  It really is dependent on each individual.  Robert is young, 58 years old and physically strong with no underlying health issues.  I was told it could be 6 months to 18 months once they stop being able to feed themselves.  Well, that has been since last autumn.  He has lost a lot of weight, he isn’t able to be mobile only able to lie in his hospital bed or if they can gather him up and place him in a wheelchair.  He no longer makes any noise and his head hangs low.  It isn’t the life he would want.  It isn’t the existence I wish for him.  It’s heart wrenching.  

A new doctor says she can save him, he is a human being, they will put him on a program to stimulate him, pull him up off the bed and get him to walk, keep feeding him lots of smaller meals and hand mush breads to help him gain weight, get him off some medications or put him on other medications to prolong his life.  I’ve asked them, I’ve pleaded with them.  “Please just make him comfortable.  Don’t drag him around, poke at him, and prod him.  Please just make him comfortable.”  It has fallen on deaf ears.

Years before, I would have welcomed this help, this life line thrown at me, but now it’s pulling on the last of my strength to get through the end of Robert’s days, weeks, maybe months.  It’s like treading water, keeping my mind focused on who he was, what he wanted.  None of what is happening to him was part of that.  I’m keeping my head above water, not missing the beat of the strokes to keep me from drowning.  The waves of others crash on me pulling me down into the water, but I force myself back up, keep moving, treading in the deep ocean of uncertainty.

My LOVE for Robert makes sure he has the best care, that his wishes are heard; I’ll keep pushing that as I know he wanted that.  I was and still am the support he loved, his #1 fan, his LOVE, his wife, his advocate for his last remaining time on this earth. I’ll keep treading water for him.

My resilience is strong, my forgiveness towards others who think they know what is best for my Robert always understands that it comes from a place of compassion and my grateful gratitude attitude is immense for what has happened and what lies ahead in the journey of life.




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