Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Remember, Have A Plan And Another

Cliche's. There are a million of them. One of the best to me is "Behind every good man, is a good woman."

I have been blessed to be married to my sole mate for some 32 years now. There is no words in the english language that explains what Phyllis June means to me.

There's just not. But I am a lucky man. Behind me are not only Phyllis June, our wonderful daughter Tia Nicole Bookless, whom we are so very proud I also have an impeccable woman, Leeanne Chames.

It is often questioned how I do the things I do. Having Early On-Set Alzheimers and do what I do. Those who question this mean well, but they don't know me.

Rarely in my soon to be sixty three years on this great planet have I been known to give up on anything.

I am not a highly educated man. But I knew very early on in life that if I wanted a life different from what I grew up in, it was up to me. Not someone else to give it to me.

So like many others I worked. I went on to further my education. I took some classes in EMS and Law Enforcement and the doors that open from there has lead to where I am right now.

Not immediately, and not without obstacles. I worked 11pm to 7am for many years, having Wednesday and Thursdays off. I worked every weekend and every holiday for decades.

I knew what I wanted, and so did my the love of my life. We worked hard, each of us having two jobs for well over twenty years. Waiting and dreaming of our golden years we would have somewhere where they only talk about snow.

Then things happen. What you ask? Well life happens, thats what. Dementia came into our lives. It isn't a disease that only effects the patient. Dementia effects everyone who is around the patient.

That brings me to the point of all of this. I am indeed slipping. I can no longer tie my shoes. Well, I can but it takes a couple of minutes and I get so frustrated.

Set you shoes in front of you, and tie them. It takes about fifteen seconds or less for both. Now, untie them, and set a timer for two minutes, all the while staring at your shoes. It's an eternity.

People see some of my posts, like the deck we are building onto our camper and think, how does he do that? Well, he doesn't. I have help. Just yesterday for example I was at our camper and couldn't figure out how to make a simple form for our deck.

It just was gone. Like that. I had unloaded all my tools, the generator, the saws, the drills, ect. and I just sat there and looked at them. I didn't know what to do.

This happens with dementia. You don't know when, you don't know how long it will last, but you simply forget how to do some things you have done your entire life.

This sadly has been taking a huge toll on me when it comes to the daily operations of Mp. For a very long time I have not been able to read many posts, because I cannot figure out what is being said.

I sometimes don't comment because I know what I want to say, but I can't put it down in a comment. This has been very hard on me.

I have been telling Leeanne for some time now, that the time that she will be running things around here full time is drawing ever so near. Knowing all along that time has long came and went.

When we Skype, and we do two or three times a week for a couple of hours each time, we go over things that I know I should already know...but I simply don't.

I am not immune to what this disease does to the human brain. But even at that I am thankful. I thank God everyday for what I have, what I can still do, and what he has given me and allowed me to use in his name.

I don't dwell on what I can't do. I try to just move on, and do what I can, "while I still can". That title was much more than a title to a song or book, it is indeed what I have based my life on since my diagnosis.

I will always be a part of Mp. We all will, who choose to be. What we have here is not a group of people struggling with the same thing. It's much more than that.

From the first day you join us, you will see that. And I have laid out this whole thing for someone to carry on, when no longer can. And that person is of course Leeanne.

I am not going anywhere, anytime soon. I just want to make sure that everyone here knows and understands that nothing will change. And if anything does, it will be for the best of the entire group.

Leeanne knows this and you can be sure she will continue as I would or will for whatever time I have left here.

This is not one of these "oh poor Rick" posts and I don't want or need a lot of "I'm sorry's"  There are a whole lot of people on here doing much, much worse than I am.

This is about me losing some of the ability to know what is going on, and you understanding that it will not make one bit of difference.

Like I said, I am not going anywhere. I just want you to know that we have had plans for this for a very long time now. Remember, have a plan, than have another.

We have things all lined up for all kinds of things. The changing of the COO to CEO, in our non-profit, and the daily operations here have indeed already gone to Leeanne.

How long do I have? Well, how long do any of us have? A doctor once told me I was terminal. I could see in Phyllis Junes eyes this was like ripping out her heart.

I looked him straight in the eye and told him..."We all terminal. I am lucky in a way. I can make the best of things. Things others including myself have long taken for granted."

We live one day at a time. All of us. Everything I have, everything I have every done is because of Jesus Christ our savior. HE will not forsaken me. HE will not forsaken anyone who believes.

That is all HE asks. All HE ever asked. I am truly at peace with all of this. Am I scared? Of course. But I am also at peace. A peace that I hope each and every one of you can find.

We will carry on. "While We Still Can..."

©  Rick Phelps  2016