Who wants to play a game?

Frances with Blue Crab at a camp in 2011.

Frances with Blue Crab at a camp in 2011.

Our family loves playing games. We play board games, card games, sports games, video games. It seems it really doesn’t matter, as long as the game is some form of competition.

Last night it was pouring rain so all other activities were cancelled. I seized the opportunity to stay put at home and actually fix a nice meal and hang out as a family. By 7:30 we were all trying to figure out what to do (we don’t watch much tv). The kids suggested we play a game, so I sent them off to find one, which they quickly did. Monopoly Deal. We have played this game several times, but as usual, the kids understand and know the game much better than either Jim or myself. No problem. They quickly re-capped the rules for us and we were off to the races. Well. 3 of us were.

This became another one of our much more frequent “ah-ha” moments. Have I mentioned lately that I don’t like these “ah-ha” moments very much? Have I mentioned what a smart, insightful person Jim is/was? Yes, I know I have. But it doesn’t stop these moments from just being raw, head spinning, throat catching and worst of all, real.

As we were playing the game, I soon realized Jim was a little confused and unsure of what he was doing. He is very adept at staying under the radar so it isn’t quite obvious that he is not completely comprehending what is going on around him. The man has skills.

So, during one of his turns, when he just seemed a little out of sorts, I offered to look at his hand. Wouldn’t you know, I played the correct cards for him, which quickly put him in the lead and when his turned rolled around again, it was he who won?

At first, when I played the card that showed all of us the way the game was turning, Brad and Frances quickly were complaining that I was helping him. ONE look from Mama bear and they fell silent. Then, magic happened. They seemed to follow my lead and started getting excited that Daddy was winning and that he beat us. What a great job he did! The mood shifted, everyone was happy for Daddy and it was soon time for bed.

Brad goofing around, April 2010.

Brad goofing around, April 2010.

Another moment that transitions our family. Another proud parenting moment. Another devastating realization.

So, as the saying goes,”you take the good with the bad.” Yes, we have good all around us. Our friends. Our family. Our home. Each other. There are times I have to look really hard to see these good things, but eventually, it finds me. And I realize it has been there all along. I just have to keep my eyes open to find it.

Actually, every time I look at Frances or Brad I see the good in my life. I see the good that I am doing. I see my reason for living and for trying my best to become the person I am meant to be. When I stop and think about Jim not being able to tag along for the ride of watching them grow and become the people they are meant to be, it just strips my soul. We are blessed. In so many ways. Yet at the same time we are cursed. What a wicked world we live in. To be blessed and cursed all in the same breath.

Tomorrow brings more games. Softball games. Baseball practice. And the trickiest game of all: Life.


posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Who wants to play a game?”

  1. Diane says:

    I know the feeling oh so well with my mom. Something as simple as ordering from a menu when we go out to eat at her favorite restaurant and she has no idea what she always eats there. The menu could be written in Chinese as far as she can tell. Today is bittersweet for our family….for the past 18 or so years the entire family has gone to the beach together….rented condo’s and enjoyed getting together for a week of relaxation. This year mom and dad can’t go. 9 weeks ago dad was admitted to the hospital with a severe UTI and my sister and I became 24/7 care givers for mom. Dad is still in rehab/PT and mom is in a memory care facility while we take a much needed R&R. We know they are not up physically for making the trip but at the same time this is the first year without them. We will call every day to check on them but it won’t be the same. God bless you and all the families that are traveling down the same road we are…..just at a different pace. Let’s find a cure for this awful disease…..kick Alzheimer’s to the curb for good.

  2. Lee Ann says:

    I know a lot of people that did activities at the special care unit where I worked played a lot of Uno. They have an easier time with color and a number, but usually forget to knock and say “uno” when they get down to one card left. Uno, go fish. Making things easier for everyone.

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