Ron Hamilton Update - 06/09/2021
Seasons of life
We all have them. Accepting seasons of life should be as natural as accepting the rising and setting of the sun.
Some we like. Some we don’t.
Some bring laughter. Some bring tears.
The season of my husband Ron’s dementia has been a multi-faceted one. Yes, Nancy Reagan, dementia/Alzheimer’s is like a long good-bye. If Ron had been taken from me suddenly, it would have been a quick, unexpected good-bye. On the opposite side of the spectrum, however, I have had time to ponder on the multi-facets of my long, drawn-out good-bye with Ron. As I reflect, I can see the joyful benefits that have accompanied the sorrow. These multi-faceted joys shine for me like the brilliance of a diamond after it has been polished.
As I say good-bye, I have had time to reflect on every season of our life together—his antics in college, our six years of dating, our wedding, the reasons why I chose Ron to be my husband in the first place, the births of our children, camping trips, birthday parties, Hamilton family gatherings, Garlock family gatherings, weekend trips to New York or Atlanta—just the two of us.
As I say good-bye, I have had time to reflect on his slow-moving, gentle nature (which also caused us to be late to almost everything). I reflect on his humor, which brought me and the children much joy and laughter. I reflect on his patience with me, the children, and others. I reflect on his healthy disciplined food choices. I reflect on his disciplined physical exercise, including taking the children with him. I reflect on his never getting angry at the children or me.
(As I reflect on his humor, I remember him recording on our home answering machine, “Please leave a message. We are out by the pool sipping tea and eating bon-bons.” LOL.)
As I say good-bye, I have had time to reflect on the mountains of books, magazine articles and pictures, yellow legal pads with song lyric options, mounds of music staff paper with penciled melodies (covering the entire living room floor and furniture and the dining room table). I reflect on him taking that same furniture, turning each piece upside down and making forts for the children.
As I say good-bye, I have had time to reflect on the hours and hours of us sitting side by side, and me playing his melodies on the piano and trying to find just the right chords to make them come to life. I reflect on listening to him read me his lyrics, giving me all the options, and allowing me to help him choose the best. I reflect on the hours and hours of practicing his songs, him singing while I accompanied him on the piano. I reflect on the hours and hours of in the first years, writing every note of the arrangements and orchestrations on paper with pencil. Fortunately, since 1989 when we purchased the very first Finale program for a computer, the process of typing in each note has gone much faster. LOL.
As I say good-bye, I have had time to reflect on the evenings when he would rub my feet with lotion. I reflect on him making pancakes and scrambled eggs for Saturday morning family breakfasts. I reflect on him trying to grow tomatoes numerous times very unsuccessfully. LOL. I reflect on him taking each child, one by one, to the Holy Land and to Colorado for snow skiing. I reflect on our last excursion, Ron buying me two plaques. One says, “Kiss me at night.” The other, “Kiss me in the morning.” I have them mounted in his room and try to make both happen.
This is enough reflection for today.
We are entering a new season starting this coming Monday. After much thought, prayer, and advice from you my friends, I have made the tough decision for our next step to move Ron into Pendleton Manor Assisted Living for his care. Believe me this decision has come with many tears. The facility director has already warned me the move-in day will be one of the hardest days of my life. I have never wanted or intended for this to come to be. Alyssa and I, however, can no longer emotionally and physically give him the kind of care he needs at this stage of his dementia.
I have visited this facility four times already in preparation for the possible step. I gave my final decision yesterday to the director. An opening came available last week but I declined. I just couldn’t bring myself to say yes. After a difficult weekend of him falling, his inability to swallow, my still dealing with his insurance/nurse’s home care problems, and after hearing that some of our children tell me it was time, I made the call. The director had been out of town for a long weekend, so the room was still available. Pendleton Manor will give the care so I can be the wife.
I have peace about this upcoming season. Any of our friends and family can visit whenever they are able. There are no visiting hours per se. All that is needed for guests is to wear a facial mask and sign in with answering questions about your exposure to COVID. This facility is six minutes away from me, tops. And it is on the way to and from our MM office.
“Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. ... he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons.” Acts 14:17; Acts 20:18
The just shall live by faith. Love to you all!