What happens when you can't make lemonade out of lemons? 

I don’t really know, because I’ve always been able to, until now.

I've contemplated posting this for a long time.  It just didn't feel right until now.  There's no rhyme or reason to that btw.  I'm sharing for anyone else that may be going through something life changing, you're not alone, and also because I haven't been able to post about anything else here on the blog. Honestly, everything else seems to pale in comparison. 

My husband is sick.  Not the kind of sick that will get better.  I won’t get into all the medical stuff but he has had several mini strokes, ‘imperceptible’ brain bleeds.  That means unknown to the person having them and unknown to the people around them, namely me.  How’s that for scary?  Bottom line, and lots of complications later, he has early onset Alzheimers Dementia.  He is only 61. 

My husband, Mike, was an attorney by profession, a football referee by vocation, my sometimes producing partner, a published author, and a giant goofball who made me laugh every day till my sides split for the last 17 years.  When we met I was divorced and he was a real (non baggage carrying) bachelor.  A girl from Queens, New York and a boy from Keister, Minnesota, we were an unlikely match that turned into a perfect fit and it has been an incredible ride. I will be forever grateful for every memory and all of our adventures together.

Over the last two years the ride has turned into a speeding train wreck.  It took us by complete surprise.  I guess that's true with all illness or tragedy, no one expects it to happen to them.

I am an extremely positive person, it’s my nature.  I’m a fixer.  I can always flip the script to make it work, always turn those lemons into lemonade.  My daughter says “I shit rainbows.”  So among all the obvious grief and loss, facing the fact that I can’t fix this has been an additional challenge.

Grieving for someone who is still with you is painful, watching a brilliant and creative mind slip away is tragic, and letting go of all the things you planned for is so hard.  And of course losing the person you love is devastating.  And there’s just no way to flip that script. 

But I can tell you, that in the depths of despair, there are always things to be grateful for.  And that’s what is getting me through as we toss around in the eye of this storm.

I have no words of wisdom or advice for anyone who has suddenly become a caregiver to someone they love.  But I will say that self care is critical, you can pull from my list here.  Don’t neglect yourself, don't emotionally eat (hello candy corn), and say yes to help!  That was a hard one for me at first but now I’m letting friends and family help me.  And thank God for my daughter.  In September Mike started attending adult day care during the week which has been an amazing relief for me.  Help and support is critical!

And even though I think I’ve moved into the acceptance phase, there’s still that moment every night, when he's sleeping next to me looking so normal, when I retrace all the steps, and all the tests, and all the signs, and I ask myself that rhetorical question for the thousandth time… Is this really happening?

to be continued.....