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Hopes and dreams of a bright beautiful future

Today I cried, not little sobs, great big rolling tears, the sort that runs your mascara down your face and leaves it blotchy and red.
I left the house early this morning to drop off some essential for a tiny new beautiful baby, a family who live here in Dubai, they had started their family 9 months ago before anyone had ever heard the word COVID. They started their family like so many of us do with hopes and dreams of a bright beautiful future. I have never met this family before and will probably never meet them again, but they really touched me. The parents don’t have work and their beautiful baby boy needed basic essentials like clothes, a cot and food, the mum and dad needed food, they were the loveliest couple, coping as best they could in an impossible situation. They haven’t given up on their dreams for their much loved new baby and all they asked for was a few clothes for him which of course they can no longer afford to buy. I took them so much more, a cot, clothes, toys and food to keep them going.
As I got back into the car It suddenly hit me, how much all of our children will miss out on, how many dreams will come to an end, how big this impact really is, we are not in this for the short term, this is reality now and will be for the for seeable future.
I cried tears for the family I met but I also cried tears of frustration that families have so much hardship and there is is little we can do to help. I cried tears for everything I have taken for granted for so long and not appreciated and now is no longer. I wanted more than ever to solve these problems to support these families, to put life back to how it was before this pandemic hit us.
We need more people to help us help these families, we can all afford just one grocery shop, this is an act of kindness that takes 10 minutes, it is minimal effort but is so worth it. Please, please if you do nothing else today, please fill in this form and offer a small shop to help families who are really hurting right now.

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Small act of kindness

I don’t often write about the challenges of living with someone with dementia, it is just part of our family life, but I feel a need to share today. On my birthday, my mother did not recognize me, when the children explained it was my birthday, she wrote a note and seemed to think I was her twin and that it was our birthday. She then sulked and was pretty difficult all day as no-one gave her birthday wishes.
I have to say I don’t celebrate my birthday usually, so this is not the issue. It is the frustration that when you live with someone with dementia there are never “good” days, there are days that are better than others, but life right now means waking up every morning in dread of what Mum will say or do today.
Usually my strength is positivity, and my approach to life has got us through some pretty tough times, but it is hard to find a positive when your mother talks to the wardrobe in French telling me it won’t get out of her room. She refuses food because apparently she no longer likes her favorite meals, she sits in her petticoat because she has forgotten what her clothes should be and never says thank you or uses my name because she has no idea who or where I came from.
Still, I make her breakfast that is healthy, balanced, nutritious and tasty that may get a glimmer of interest or enthusiasm which I take to her in bed to make her life easy and more enjoyable. Each morning the food is taken with suspicion at best, usually accompanied with a complaint about some girl who hovered around her room, a criticism that something else isn’t right, I pick the towels up from the floor which this mystery girl has been throwing all night and then wait for the next nonsense story which out of respect for her I listen to attentively and try patiently to answer. The answer is however irrelevant and probably unnecessary. Covid makes the situation so much worse, there is no escape, so this post is for all those brave, husbands, wives, sons and daughters who cope with “the stranger in their house” the person who may look like a loved one but only in body, the person who you loved and doted on has long since left.
I wish I could say it will get better, but this is not the case. Life goes on but time stands still, emotions surge that are not ones of love and fear of loss. I cry for what I have already lost and wish I had valued the times we had. I love that we can keep her safe in our family, but I hate she has no knowledge of the challenges she throws our way or understanding of the sacrifices that my children have had to make to their lives to accommodate her, we can no longer have holidays as a family as I have to look after my mother, it breaks my heart to get messages from my husband and children when I can’t join them because I have a duty to fulfill to her, a thanks for all the years she dedicated to us and any change would be a disaster for her.
I guess no life is perfect, with or without COVID, so I have no choice but to hold on and remember the present is the best time and try and to make it count, we have no idea what will come for the future and the past no longer counts. For dementia carers there is no tantalizing flickering light of hope at the end of the tunnel, there is more darkness and frustration to come. For those who care full time it is hard, and every day a small part of your heart dies as you watch more and more of what you loved about a person leave. For me there is little left.
I wish my Dad was here even a few words of encouragement, his sense of humor and understanding would help so much, caring for a dementia sufferer is the loneliest job in the world. The weight of responsibility is overwhelming and the pain immense. If you know a family who cares full time for someone, don’t forget to reach out and help. Everyday is a different mountain to climb, the height is determined by the person they care for, you cannot plan ahead each day is so different.

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We remember their love

I don’t often write about the challenges of living with someone with dementia, it is just part of our family life, but I feel a need to share today. On my birthday, my mother did not recognize me, when the children explained it was my birthday, she wrote a note and seemed to think I was her twin and that it was our birthday. She then sulked and was pretty difficult all day as no-one gave her birthday wishes.
I have to say I don’t celebrate my birthday usually, so this is not the issue. It is the frustration that when you live with someone with dementia there are never “good” days, there are days that are better than others, but life right now means waking up every morning in dread of what Mum will say or do today.
Usually my strength is positivity, and my approach to life has got us through some pretty tough times, but it is hard to find a positive when your mother talks to the wardrobe in French telling me it won’t get out of her room. She refuses food because apparently she no longer likes her favorite meals, she sits in her petticoat because she has forgotten what her clothes should be and never says thank you or uses my name because she has no idea who or where I came from.
Still, I make her breakfast that is healthy, balanced, nutritious and tasty that may get a glimmer of interest or enthusiasm which I take to her in bed to make her life easy and more enjoyable. Each morning the food is taken with suspicion at best, usually accompanied with a complaint about some girl who hovered around her room, a criticism that something else isn’t right, I pick the towels up from the floor which this mystery girl has been throwing all night and then wait for the next nonsense story which out of respect for her I listen to attentively and try patiently to answer. The answer is however irrelevant and probably unnecessary. Covid makes the situation so much worse, there is no escape, so this post is for all those brave, husbands, wives, sons and daughters who cope with “the stranger in their house” the person who may look like a loved one but only in body, the person who you loved and doted on has long since left.
I wish I could say it will get better, but this is not the case. Life goes on but time stands still, emotions surge that are not ones of love and fear of loss. I cry for what I have already lost and wish I had valued the times we had. I love that we can keep her safe in our family, but I hate she has no knowledge of the challenges she throws our way or understanding of the sacrifices that my children have had to make to their lives to accommodate her, we can no longer have holidays as a family as I have to look after my mother, it breaks my heart to get messages from my husband and children when I can’t join them because I have a duty to fulfill to her, a thanks for all the years she dedicated to us and any change would be a disaster for her.
I guess no life is perfect, with or without COVID, so I have no choice but to hold on and remember the present is the best time and try and to make it count, we have no idea what will come for the future and the past no longer counts. For dementia carers there is no tantalizing flickering light of hope at the end of the tunnel, there is more darkness and frustration to come. For those who care full time it is hard, and every day a small part of your heart dies as you watch more and more of what you loved about a person leave. For me there is little left.
I wish my Dad was here even a few words of encouragement, his sense of humor and understanding would help so much, caring for a dementia sufferer is the loneliest job in the world. The weight of responsibility is overwhelming and the pain immense. If you know a family who cares full time for someone, don’t forget to reach out and help. Everyday is a different mountain to climb, the height is determined by the person they care for, you cannot plan ahead each day is so different.

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Busy is the new happy

Some days, you know the ones, you feel like you have crawled up hill pulling a truck through thick mud, at the end of the day your to do list is longer than when you started in the morning.
As I am finishing the day I reflected on a day where in my mind I had achieved nothing, but when I break it down it’s not really as bad as I think, I took time out this morning to support my daughter who struggles with her health and terrible anxiety to the point it literally consumes everything around her, some days I don’t realize how difficult her world is and taking time out to rationalize with a person who is not in a rationalizing state of mind can be a little challenging, anyway today was that day when time was short, but it was important to stop the clock and just pause to solve the problem. If I had one huge wish right now it would be to turn her health back two years and see her just run and laugh again.
A full day of back to back clients and then a mad race to a center who had kindly collected baby items for a man who’s wife had died of COVID just 2 weeks after delivering her baby. Arranging some CSR to leverage the value of these items, then dealing with another family on the phone on the way home who have lost everything and more than you can imagine when their employer took off and skipped the country.
Home to a message that a lady in hospital was waiting to be taken into jail for having had a baby out of marriage, but she has no money, no clothes and no items for the baby. Speaking to her to give her support and make sure she knows I will get some items to her tomorrow for her baby, connecting her with a charity that will provide basic legal support and ensure her baby gets the correct paper work and birth certificate. Connecting another family to a charity to help them pay their exorbitant hospital fees, then packing the car up with baby items for a family who have no money to buy food and diapers or clothes for their baby and by the way no food for themselves but they are only worried about their baby.
A quick mail shot, few invoices, supper, connecting mum with my dads cousin through a video call, heading mum from off trying to go down the road to the chapel (its a long journey from Dubai to Nolton) and then trying to side step her to unpack the lorry with the baby items that have been delivered from the centre.
In between this a business assignment with Mikey, prepping a mail shot for quick delivery. Some speculative emails to try and get better reach for Stop and Help, sorting out a CV for a lovely lady who needs some help to find a job after losing hers during this crisis and checking in on the families I personally sponsor to make sure they are ok.
I guess on reflection today wasn’t a complete write-off, sure there are still things on my to do list, but a positive impact on three families in real crisis is not “nothing”.
Tomorrow morning I am helping a lady rescue some dogs, so please let me know if anyone has any room in their hearts to help! There is plenty of scope right now for so many people to step forward and do even the smallest thing to make someone else’s life just that little bit easier.

Thank you

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