May 15, 2016

A Note from Dotty in Heaven, Learn How to Live in the Now

I think you will be surprised to learn that I can now remember every single detail of my life. All of it. The good and the bad. All the memories.


Learm more about Alzheimer's, dementia and dementia care.
By Dorothy DeMarco
from Heaven

You know what I learned up here?

The bad stuff happens so you can be reminded of the good stuff.

Learn More - The Caregiver Brain

I think you will be surprised to learn that I can now remember every single detail of my life. All of it. The good and the bad. All the memories.

Which brings me to the order of the day. Here is what I want you to do.

I want you to get all comfy cozy and I want you to look at the person you know who is deeply forgetful. Most of you usually refer to the person who is deeply forgetful as the Alzheimer's patient (or dementia patient). Stop doing that.


Once you are all comfy cozy, I want you to look at the person who is deeply forgetful and think about the best time or the happiest moment you ever had with them. Take your time it will come to you. Concentrate. Oh yeah, before I forget, I can concentrate again now that I am up here.

Are you thinking about the happy time? Are you smiling?  Do you have good clear image in your head? Use your memory. Bring it up in your brain.

Now that you have the memory firmly in your head, I want you to try and feel your heart. Relax take your time. Can you feel your heart? If not, start over.

This might take a little time and practice. Practice makes perfect.

I want you to look at the person who is deeply forgetful and I want you to pull up this memory. Take your time. I want you to do that everyday from now on. Just remind yourself a few times each day to do it. Don' be lazy, do it.

I suggest you write a little story about your memory and send it to the Alzheimer's Reading Room for publication. I don't think Bobby will mind me inviting you to write. After all, without me this place, the ARR, would never have existed.

Before you write I want you to call someone and tell them about your happy memory. Get it straight in your head so you can really remember all the details like it just happened.


Once you start doing the exercise, remembering, your brain will change. You will start looking at the deeply forgetful in a new light. A new bright light.

Your memory will be your guide.

You will be reminded each time you recall the memory that this is in fact the person you know. No more sad sack stuff about this person. Just one good memory. Although, you are welcome to add additional good memories as you go.

Don't forget to bookmark the link to this page so you can come back and send in your article. Bobby taught me how to do that in 1997, believe it or not.

Just so you know, we don't have the Internet up here. We don't need it. Everything, and I mean everything is Interconnected. We pray all the time - up here - that those of you who are still alive will find a way to get better connected.

Interconnected.

Like Bobby has been saying for 30 years, everyone gets to choose. I now know he is right. Everyone gets to choose.

But here is the thing, you also get to change your mind and choose again. Choosing to change the future is a good thing, you can't change the past, so change the future.

Learn to live in the Now.

Person living with Alzheimer's are always living in the Now. Slow down. When you are dealing with those of us who are still alive and living with dementia keep it simple. If you keep it simple you will find that we can be very cooperative. So learn to live in the Now with us.


Bobby believes every caregiver gets to choose burden or Joy. So create your happy memory and think about it each day. You are on your way.

Here is an example of what happens when you learn how to live in the Now with us. This is what I looked like before Bobby learned how to live in the Now. That was 2005.


Here is what I looked like after he learned how to live in the NOW.


It was my 95th birthday in the picture above. More than 7 years after I was officially diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's. You have to admit, I was a pretty good looking old broad.

For those of you that are down there and still caring for a person who is deeply forgetful  you might be thinking that we don't appreciate what you are doing for us. We do appreciate all of it. When you get up here in Heaven one of the first things you will learn is how much we love and appreciate what you do (did) for us. We love you more. Be patient, you'll find out soon enough.

Bobby was frequently asked when he started taking care of me how long did he think he would be doing it. He usually answered a year or two. Then on May 7, 2005 he made it to Alzheimer's World. He started living in the NOW with me. You know what he said when asked how long? He started saying at least one more day. That is when he started living in the NOW. Although he did not know it at the time.

Bobby took care of me for 3,112 days. He learned how to do it one day at a time.

See the image way up at the top of this article? That is the bridge to Heaven. You walk over and into the light. It's always Now up here.

Dorothy DeMarco was born in Philadelphia on June 29, 1916. She went to heaven on May 25, 2012.

Related

How to Give the Greatest Hug Ever Invented

Caregiving is an Art, Listening is an Art


Topics

Do you correct someone with dementia?

Why Do Dementia Patients Want to Go Home


Listening to a Person with Alzheimer's


Coping with Dementia


Look for the Answers to Your Questions in Our Knowledge Base

The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

You are reading original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room

"The Alzheimer's Reading Room and Bob DeMarco are true treasures to Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones, especially their caregivers. As a scientist I visit the site every day for the always current research updates."

"The world is incredibly fortunate to have this endless source of information and support. God bless you, Bob, and thanks for all you do!"

-- Rudy Tanzi Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world. Professor of Neurology and holder of the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Neurology at Harvard University.

At its core the ARR is about helping Alzheimer's caregivers and families to better understand, cope, and communicate with persons living dementia.