Who are you?

Who are you?

Dementia is a scary thing. Can completely change you into someone you aren’t. Dementia is not a specific disease. It is an overall term that is associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills sever enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform daily activities. Dementia changes a lot about you, it affects your memory, communication, your focus, reasoning and judgement, and visual perception.  There are no cures for dementia, and it only gets worse. There is a medication that can be taken to slow down the process, but the outcome is inevitable. It can be caused by a wide variety of things such as depression, medication side effects, excessive alcohol, thyroid problems, and vitamin deficiencies.  I never really thought about it, I knew it existed, but didn’t really get to in depth with it. Now thetects, excessive alcohol, thyroid problems, and vitamin deficiences.n.   thinking skills re is a reason to get educated.

My grandma, my mom’s mom, has dementia. It has just slowly progressed into a complete disaster for me. It started out as nothing. She was getting older, older people have learned a lot and have to remember a lot, so I assumed that she was just getting older and was just forgetting. I am not too old, and I can’t remember what I had for lunch today. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out to be such a minor thing.

I can remember when things used to be great and there were no problems in the world. I would always give my grandma and grandpa a hug and as we drove off I would yell don’t put twinkies on your pizza. Why would I do that? I have no clue, but it came to an abrupt halt when my grandpa passed away unexpectedly.  It wasn’t all sunshine and roses anymore, but my grandma and I immediately grew a stronger bond than we had before. The hugs continued when we parted ways, but there was just this vibe that I now got. We understood each other more I think. Our hugs lasted 10 times as long and there were always tears streaming down our faces by the end, which never happened before. I knew right away by the first hug, that things were going to be different.

Fast forward a handful of years, and that’s when it started. Things started to change, she moved farther away, and got remarried. That made it harder for me, and then I didn’t get to see her as often which plain sucked. Then it started, there were no major differences at the beginning. You know a couple wrong words here and there that didn’t make sense, thinking a little longer, but nothing major. These went on for a while, only seeing her a couple times a year it was hard to get a grip on this for me. Birthday cards would come, but the words just weren’t right. Things got worse, harder to talk, and only answering with as few of words as possible, I think realizing that she couldn’t come up with the right things to say to make sense, or to spill words into a combination that sounded right, still the hugs remained the same. She had been taking the medication to slow down the process, but at this point even the largest dosage was not doing any good. The major turning point for me was one Christmas, she had played pitch for lord knows how many years. We sat down to play, and she had no idea what she was doing, it was terrible. Seeing her struggle like that was definitely something I was not ready to see or believe. Things continued to get worse, she wouldn’t say hardly anything unless someone talked to her, and even then it was one word answers, yes or no, even if that wasn’t what needed to be said, but still our hugs remained firm and long. I knew that if she had forgotten everyone else on the planet that when I embraced her in my arms that she would know who I was and what I meant to her.

I think this Christmas was just about the complete turning point for me. She hardly said a word the whole day, mostly repeating one word things that someone would say to her, and just kind of sitting there wondering why she was in this room with a bunch of strangers and a couple people she knew. I heard her slur her words and that was just about it. It was awful that she only said a few words, but it was even worse that a couple she said were slurred. At the end of our gathering we had our hug, but it was different. She gave me a look like I guess I will give you a hug, even though I am not sure who you are, and that was the exact look. It hurt, God it hurt like hell. A short hug with little to no meaning, which hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks. Somethings that was so iconic, so amazing, something that had meant so much to us for so many years was gone, just like that. The tears on my face then weren’t for the fact that my grandpa had gone to soon, it was the fact that my grandmas mind had went too soon. Although the hug was a hug, there was little meaning, if any at all.

Time passed, things continued, little communication and little change. The breaking point for me was on Easter. I had seen her a couple times between Christmas and Easter, but only for a short amount of time and just a few words exchanged between me and her husband. Easter rolled around and we went to my aunt and uncles just to see the family and just relax. This was it for me, we walked in and she was sitting there with my one aunt overlooking the pool table. My mom took a seat right next to her, as my brother and I found a spot over on the couch. As we sat there messing around, she sat there with a blank look on her face. Just staring off into nowhere, not knowing what was going on. As her and her husband got up to leave that was it, I knew that she didn’t know who I was, and didn’t need a hug from a stranger. As much as it hurt me to not give her a hug, like I had done a million times before, I knew that she didn’t want a hug from someone she didn’t know. It hurtom someone she didnt   as it hurt me to not give her a hug, like i ng the pool table. My mom took a seat right nextit me so hard, if I would have known that the last time we had a meaningful hug was going to be the last time, I would have never let go.

Summer

I havent been blogging like i had hoped this summer. We are working calves today and it was a pain in the ass. It was raining and I took a ninja kick from the calf right to a place that hurt like hell. But other than that its a great day. I guess we can use the moisture and I love to play in the mud. Just a little short blog about today. and the day is only half over. 

School

As school raps up I am getting anxious to be done. I have one final left, which will be pretty easy hopefully. The other ones have been kinda hard but I think I did decent. It seems like this semester and year have gone very fast. Seems like just yesterday was spring break and now its almost summer time. Even though the weather states otherwise. I am glad to be almost done, only one year left. Hopefully anyways. 

Slacking

I have been slacking bad in tweeting and blogging. It’s a combo of 2 things, kinda busy and kinda lazy. I have been busy with school and work, which causes me to be a little lazier at night. At our farm we put up a bug metal building and we are still working on that. I have been out in the sun all weekend and have a pretty awesome sunburn. Also this weekend I had to go to a umpires clinic, because I am going to be a legion umpire this summer. And school has kept me busy. Turning in assignments, studying for test, and trying to decide what I’m gonna make for my video are keeping ,y brain working too. Busy crazy life I live.

Im ready to be done

As I do homework I see a few things. I absolutey dislike this time of the semester. It is so hectic that I dont want to do anything. There are so many things that I have to do that I dont know where to start. Sure I dont have as much to do as some people, but the things that I do have to do are very over whelming. I would much rather have it done arleady and not have anything to do until summer. The things that I have to do arent hard, but there is a long list. I cant even imagine what seniors are feeling like. I am only a junior and I am ready to be done for good. 

Back Home- Final Column

Apparently I am a weirdo for waving at everyone. As I went to shoot some blue rocks with a girl from school, she informed me that waving at people was different. Being from Omaha she said that if you waved at people there you would probably get chased down and have some words yelled at you. I can’t even imagine it being that way.

Where I come from if you don’t wave you are the stranger. In the small town of Greeley you wave at everyone. It is just expected from each other. It doesn’t matter who it is. You wave. Even if it is the person you don’t like because they dated your ex-girlfriend. You wave. The things that people do in the small town where I come from are unheard of in the city. As I have explained to this girl many times Greeley only has about 560 people and a few old crabs. She finds that hard to believe because there was over 500 people in her graduating class.

Also I was criticized for the music that I listen to. The stack of country music cd’s wasn’t her favorite thing in the world to see. And just to make her happy I let her play here music. I was not amused to say the least. I think that may have been the first time that there was music besides country played in my car. I even think my car speakers had a problem with what they were playing. Needless to say that as soon as I dropped her off my country cd went right back to playing that joy to my ears.

When I go back home, I get all dressed up to work in these goofy clothes that nobody would ever think I wear. Here I wear high dollar sporting clothes, like Jordan and Nike. Back home I wear steel toed boots, bib overalls, an old sweaty hat, and you can rarely find me without a pair of pliers and a pocket knife. It is like two totally different lives that I live. When I am here nobody would ever be able to tell that in the summer I wear these goofy clothes and sweat like a dog fixing pasture fence in the heat of the day. No to the people here I look like a big guy that should be playing football. The other day in class we were making up a customer and what he should look like. Well pretty much everyone in class thought that it would be funny to dress him up in overalls and make him look like a hillbilly. As everyone else thought it was hilarious I just sat there with a smile on my face because nobody knew that is what I look like on the weekends. No I don’t have the hillbilly buckteeth or sit on a rocking chair talking with a strange accent, but I wear the same clothes.

What other people see as just some guys that drive pickups and tractors and raise cows, is so much more than that. While you sit in the air conditioning, we work outside all day rain or shine. While people get all worried about getting their shoes muddy when it rains, I thank the lord for it. While others complain about getting their shoes muddy, I’ve spent 12 hours covered in cow and calf poop, atleast your mud doesn’t smell.