The Visit

As you know if you’ve read Denise’s latest blog entry, she and Bette visited me last Sunday. Now, I don’t get a lot of visitors; in fact, I have not had one since I moved in here in March 2010, except for Mary’s daughters on their brief weekly visits. So I was very excited to have these two, especially, pay me a visit.

What I had anticipated as a warm and fun visit turned into something very profound for me. First, there was the fact that two people who had never met me (except through my blog) drove more than 10 hours to the boonies to see me. Second, Bette showed up with a beautiful basket just stuffed full of food for a Thanksgiving dinner (and beyond), including the gravy and the napkins. Also included was Denise’s Book, “Take Comfort,” of which I am reading one page a day. Third, they understood. Mary is not in a difficult phase right now—pretty tough morning and evening when she’s most confused, but manageable so far.

But Mary is all I have here, day in and day out. The isolation from functional, thinking people is deadening. The daughters vaguely understand this intellectually; Bette let me know she understands. Really, really knows what it would be like to hear the same words all day long, day in and day out, to say the same words.

As we spoke with one another, there was real listening. Denise coached me on some forgiveness stuff, and made a real difference in how I was looking at the issue, so now I know what you folks mean when you talk about how enlightening  and helpful your coaching sessions with her are.

The support that I received from both women has buoyed me and had a profound effect on me. I am truly blessed.


8 thoughts on “The Visit

  1. Jane

    Hi Kristin:

    What a blessing for you. I loved the pictures so much. You are such a blessing to Mary even though she may not show and/or know it. There’s not many people who would do what you do for a friend.

    It makes me sad that you feel so alone and you get no visitors. I can understand how this feels. I feel totally invisible and alone a lot. I don’t deal with dementia but I am still a caregiver.

    I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I have been so blessed by listening to you interview with Denise and also reading your blogs.

    Jane ~ mom to Nicole, 17 yo, VSD, PAH, Eisenmengers, BHJS
    “If you don’t like something change it, if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

  2. Avatar of JoJo

    Cool Beans,

    Happy for you Kristin. Sounds like an early and well deserved Christmas gift. I too hope Thanksgiving was a blessing for you.

  3. Avatar of Bette

    Kristin it was so wonderful to meet and spend time with you.

    You are truly an inspiration to me. You are right, there are more manageable times than others, but dementia seems to hover in a way that is so difficult to explain.

    Thank you again for our visit. I do hope you will head this way if you get a chance – even a last minute opportunity is fine – we are right here.

  4. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Hi Kristin–Your visit reminds me that we are lucky to be where we are, just as we are. When we are, we have that magical opportunity like last Sunday. Thank you!!

  5. Avatar of Roaring MouseRoaring Mouse

    Dear Kristin,

    You were truly blessed by getting both inspiring and compassionate fellow caregivers at your door over Thanksgiving. It’s always fun to start the holidays off in a special way…and hopefully this will lead to more smiles for you.

    I don’t know intimate details on Dementia, but I do have a contact who heads up the Leeza Gibbons Alzheimer’s Foundation (that also addresses Dementia) if that is something you think might help you. I have known him for over 20 some years.

    Side note…not having visitors can …after a while make your mind go a bit loopy…but that is why I learned to communicate on the net and via phone calls. I’m glad that you reach out to a site like this.


  6. Trish

    Kristen, You are amazing for doing what you do. What a special person you are to take care of a family friend and to make the sacrifices you have made. It was wonderful to read how much the visit by Denise & Bette meant to you. What a family Denise has created here! Many hugs to you. :-)

  7. kristin

    Thank you for all your kind comments and encouragements. Roaringmouse, your suggestion about phoning people is a good one, and one I have tended to avoid. I always think folks are too busy, don’t want to be interrupted, are watching their favorite TV show, etc. I will make it a point to reach out this way. I email a lot of folks, but this is not the same as hearing a voice.

  8. Avatar of KathyKathy


    Your visit sounded wonderful!

    I’m so excited for you that you were able to connect with Bette and Denise and that you feel refreshed in your spirit :)
    I too understand dementia so I know what you mean by the isolation and the day in and day out. If it weren’t for the internet I wouldn’t have contact with many at all, let alone people that “get it”. So happy to have found this site.
    Trish is so right in her statement, What a family Denise has created here! I’m happy you are part of our family Kristin :)


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