Depsite all the ugliness of this disease, it DOES allow the kids and I to take some time "to smell the roses".
Quite often at night, I will sit with Courtney and Brandon on the couch and we will just "talk". We give each other back rubs, foot rubs - whatever may be aching at the time. Whether it be Courtney or Brandon, whoever's turn it is to help with Mike when we get him into bed, the kids and I use that time to talk privately about "whatever". They like it this way, because they feel that Mike is included in the conversation. He "listens" and that makes the kids feel that he's still an integral part of their lives. Part of Mike's bedtime routine, is massaging his fingers and hands so that they don't tighten up. Courtney or Brandon put cream on his hands and massages them. Mike is so comfortable by the end of the process, he's already sleeping. How many other families can say that their children massage them every night before bed??
In the morning, when I'm waiting for Mary to come and get Mike ready, I sit on the edge of the bed and massage his legs and feet. Everything I've ever read regarding Alzheimer's, says that even though patients cannot communicate with words, they can often "connect" with their loved ones through touch. We are CONSTANTLY holding Mike, rubbing him and letting him know that we are there.
In this crazy life we all live, I feel that these prescious moments are unique. We are blessed to be able to smell those roses. We have been given this time, not only with Mike, but with each other, so that we can truly appreciate all that matters.