Birthday celebrations - the good and the slightly more difficult
You may be bored with my birthday reporting but I'm not so here, as promised, is a more detailed description of yesterday. I was determined it was to be a day to enjoy but my resolve was challenged very early on with the following conversation just before we got up.
Ash: is it your birthday today?
Ash: I thought it was.
That was it and this from the man who loved nothing more than to plan birthday surprises for me from a bottle of champagne produced halfway through a beach walk to a new car parked right in front of the house just waiting for me to climb in to and drive up the road to a night or two at a special hotel. So many surprises and treats over the years reduced to a question and a statement. For a while I was overwhelmed by sadness. Not, I hope you note, by irritation or anger or shock just sadness that the boy/man who's been by my side for the past forty four years is long gone. A friend asked me last week if I thought Ash would find it difficult this year because he couldn't get me a card or a present just because he can't get out by himself. I said I thought not but, stupidly, I really didn't expect this total disconnect and it threw me far more than I would, at this point in our dementia journey, have thought possible.
So I lay in bed and fought back tears then got up still fighting them but over breakfast I realised I had a choice. I could let the sadness spoil my day or I could focus on the good things which had happened over the previous three days; on the lunch out with friends, on the sunrise and breakfast with yet more friends and on the Sunday lunch with the nearly 7 year old and associated grown ups complete with the '60' balloon strategically placed by said nearly 7 year old to let everyone in the place know it was my birthday. And then there were the good things still to come; collection of the new car, coffee and cake with yet more friends, the showing off of the car to another friend and, in a few days time, lunch out with even more friends. So many friends and so many great things to think about and look forward to, was it really worth ruining my big day by focusing on that one small part of the whole celebration? I'm sure you can guess that I decided it was much better to focus on the good and push the difficult to one side and it worked. I put on make up (a rare event but necessary sometimes when I've succumbed to self pity), wore my new size 12 jeans for the first time and left the house feeling pretty good and the day turned out to be wonderful. Yet another instance of mind over matter working miracles.
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