As I’ve shared before, when you’re traveling the path of Alzheimer’s with a parent 24/7, you can expect daily kinks in the routine. Some days are relatively smooth and we roll along, while others, well, I can’t say it very nicely so I’ll leave it to your imagination. Most mornings dad pops up in bed as I present him with a hot cup of coffee, a smile, and a cheerful greeting. I remind him to shower, help lay out his clothes, and leave him to his personal rituals. Once he presents himself in the main part of our home, he grins and announces, “I’m here; let the day begin” (even though it may be pushing noon). He chooses to “show up” and we do too.
Dad requires more and more assistance with specific daily tasks, especially those involving medications, reminders to carry his cane, wash his hands, cover that cough, and such. He easily confuses things or chooses to just skip them. Some days while gently reminding or assisting him through a specific task, he looks at me as though I’m bossing him into submission. (even though I realize I’m a red-headed benevolent overlord at times). To dad though, I’m his little girl again and by golly, no daughter of his will tell him what to do. But the instant St. M opens his mouth to repeat exactly what I just asked, dad immediately complies. WHAT?!?
It’s the power of what I call “show up.” You see, St. M carries compassion in abundance and uses his super power of show up to his advantage with dad. In his calm voice, he coaxes dad to do what’s in dad’s best interest. I’ve learned to also appreciate this additional assistance when my patience well runs low. In reality, it’s a grateful outcome because someone other than me took the time to show up in a needed moment.
What’s a super power of yours you use to help another?
Some dear friends frequently remind me on this journey of these powerful words: “show up…pay attention…let go…speak your truth…don’t be wedded to the outcome…” This is my morning mantra as I show up in gratefulness for the opportunity to start another day with dad. And here’s hoping your super power(s) offers you the opportunity to start another day in gratefulness too! 🙂