Give Me Back My Jim Please

Jim and Frances hanging Christmas tree lights, Dec. 2007.

Jim and Frances hanging Christmas tree lights, Dec. 2007.

Would someone please give me back my husband? Even if for a day? Can I please have the man who swept me off my feet with flowers and cards and love letters? Can I feel his arms around me, strong and steady and making me feel so protected and secure? Can we please, please have another day of carefree happiness and conversation? Yes! Conversations where he has an opinion and we have easy banter back and forth for hours.Hours that seem like minutes. A voice strong and clear and gentle and warm.

Frances and Jim having fun at Brad's 5th birthday party. March 2009.

Frances and Jim having fun at Brad’s 5th birthday party. March 2009.

Can I please hear the wisdom in his words and the clearness of his voice? Will you please give me a day to lay under the stars in Vegas again dreaming together of a life yet to unfold?

Who can capture the many talents our children’s father had so they can learn from him and remember he was a jack of all trades? Will you please let them see he was one of those special Dads? The kind that has patience and energy and love and wisdom and talents to share and do so willingly.  The Dad who helps coach their teams and is PTA Vice-President. The Dad who takes off work to attend doctor visits. Give him a day to teach Brad woodworking and firemaking and how to work on a car. Let Frances see that a man can be strong and yet help around the house and iron his own clothes and mend his own socks. Show both kids the man who volunteered at their schools and was a big kid himself. Let them witness his natural athletic ability and give them more chances to play ball with the man who would love nothing more than to do so. Let them laugh at his sense of humor and memorize his laughter.

Jim walking with Brad for his preschool Halloween parade. Oct. 2007

Jim walking with Brad for his preschool Halloween parade. Oct. 2007

I am begging you to let them have their time to learn and remember….remember him as the father he was, not how he is. Remember the nights he was up, holding them and singing to them. Remember the books he read, the baths he gave, the messes he cleaned. Remember his laughter and the twinkle in his eye and the wit in his words. Show them the Dad who would spend hours playing ball or working on a puzzle or whatever tickled their fancy.

Why are you taking their Dad from them? Why are you being so cruel to these innocent kids? Why are you leaving me alone and searching for a way to survive?

Please give me another day of hearing Jim up first thing in the morning, starting his morning routine and getting more done before I thought of getting out of bed than I would accomplish all day. Let me see him in action, installing the sprinkler system in the backyard and building a shed and rewiring an outlet.

Can he please drive us again to a movie that he will be able to follow and enjoy? And can he take my hand and hold it, making me feel special and loved and wanted?

Will you please let me see Jim, with his back ramrod straight, so rigid and proud? So sure of himself and capable of anything…..a leader and a good, good soul.

Jim and Frances having some fun in the snow, March 2009.

Jim and Frances having some fun in the snow, March 2009.

Will you take away the burdens I face each day so I am able to just focus on him and see him for all he was and still is?

Please take him to the 3 states he has left to make it to all 50. Give him back himself long enough to be able to travel and enjoy the views.

Please give him a day to enjoy the awesome children that belong to him; that he raised and showered with affection for so many days. Let him hear them say “I love you” and to say it back. Let him watch their ball games and their school shows  and understand how amazing they are. Let him enjoy their music and their jokes and their laughter. Let him not get irritated and quiet. Let him speak so they can hear his stories so they will be able to recall them to their own children one day.

What can I do to let you give me back my best friend and my biggest fan? How come you have taken him from us? Please give him back, if only for a short time.

Jim helping Brad build a shed. July 2010.

Jim helping Brad build a shed. July 2010.

Stop. Stop taking him. Stop robbing him of his family and his life and his abilities. Stop being so cruel.

Stop making him a victim. He is not a victim. He is an amazing person, with an amazing ability to do crossword puzzles and to remember jokes and  to build things. Please give Jim back his natural smile and quick wit. Please stop robbing him of his natural easiness. He has lots of it and you shouldn’t be taking it away from him. And you shouldn’t be taking him away from his children.

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (12)

12 Responses to “Give Me Back My Jim Please”

  1. Janet Urgo says:

    I pray for all of you. I wish i could do something to make your life back to what it was, and free Jim of the nightmare he is faced with as well. Unfortunately life is challenging you all. Continue to do your best as you are doing , and continue to remind sweet Bradley and Frankie of ALL of these wonderful memories you still have of their Dad and their young memories on days that those memories are hard to reflect back on. You are incredibly stronger then you realize. I pray for you to keep that strength you struggle with daily. Know you are thought of and loved by so many Karen. Life is ridiculously difficult and unfair so often. Hang on to your faith,friends and family for support as often as it is offered. Love Jim each day for who he is on that day and hug him and reassure him during his short moments of clarity that he may still have. Deep within he still wants to be that man you married, Im sure of it. :) love to you all, From CT, your friend, Janet Urgo. i wish i could help with more then my words of concern. <3

  2. Andrea Spencer says:

    God loves you and your family. Things may not make sense and seem unfair, but God is perfect and loving. Your foundation will be a blessing to many families in the future and it would not be a reality if your husband did not have Alzheimers. Something wonderful has come from something horrible. May God bless you and your family.

  3. Wendy Sweigert says:

    I understand…the only blessing in this for us is that our girls were a little older than your children and they have had their dad healthy until the youngest was in high school. There is nothing fair about any of this. Each day he loses another piece of himself and our history. Last week he looked at me and said “what made you take on raising my girls”…I looked at him and smiled sweetly and said they are OUR girls. I met my husband at 18, I am now 52. It breaks my heart. I keep so much from him now. Like how I will lose everything when he is gone. He has no life insurance, we live on his SSDI but the gov’t comes and takes back the final check you get. I can’t have him obsessing. I just have to take this one day at a time

  4. Kimberly Smith says:

    I was reading a post the other day about anticipatory grief. It started for me when when we got the diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Effective immediately no driving, start taking these pills and I’ll see you in six months. There are so many emotions, like the ones in your blog this morning. Why us? I’ve ran that one over and over in my mind a thousand times. We miss so many things and worry about what’s to come, thinking my to myself, my God it’s going to get worse? All we can do is live day, sometimes an hour at a time. Hugs, k.

  5. Lee Ann says:

    Right now all of you are in the midst of it. Its difficult for all of you. But I am positive as can be that your kids will remember their Dad from their younger years. I was 5 years old when my Gr grandmother died. She told my Mom once that she knew I would forget her as I was the youngest at the time. I never forgot her. I can remember her smell, her smile, her laugh, her hands, I am 62 and still remember her as if it was yesterday. There will always be memories of their Dad in their mind. But right now, its kind of overshadowed by the difficulties.

  6. Ena Williams says:

    This has been the most difficult of your post for me to read. My husband and I have been dealing with Alzheimer’s for the past eight years. We celebrated his 59th birthday this past August. I cry because I can feel every word you say. I used to cry because I was loosing my best everything. Now I cry because I’m so thankful to have him just one more day. I was just telling our son if I had known that our last conversation would have been our last conversation I would have memorized every word. As it stands I have no idea what we last spoke about, and he can’t tell me. I will say this, I am Ricky’s spokesperson. I am his advocate. I am his notebook. It is up to me to tell our children and grand children all the things about him that they will never see or hear for themselves from him, for he no longer has the ability to verbally communicate. My heart is broken for my own loss, but I will be the best us that I can be for our family. I have accepted the way things are as my new normal and although most days he doesen’t know who I am, I find joy in the fact that he loves this strange woman that he spends all his time with anyway. My prayers are for you and your family to stay encouraged, know that you are not alone, stay strong. Know that twinkle in his eyes is still there for you. You just have to look from a different angle, and it is okay to not be okay just for a little while. Know that as long as we are still here, “God’s not done with any of us yet.”

  7. Joan says:

    Amen! I miss my husband so much too Karen.In
    his place I have this confused man who becomes more
    dear to me as his dementia advances.How will our last
    days unfold? Only God knows,take care and cherish each day,your Jim sure looks happy!

  8. Jeri says:

    I cried the whole way through this post Karen. I cried for you and your children, I cried for myself and my sweet husband and I cried for everyone who is going through or has gone through what we are experiencing now. Less than three weeks ago Dwight had what they called a mini stroke and spent 4 days in the hospital. The day after his release he had another episode. Needless to say, I had never be so scared before. Dwight is now in an assisted living home and after some rough days of adjustment, seems to be doing well. My days of adjustment? Well, they’re ongoing. I go visit him and have lunch with him everyday……and he’s always so glad I’ve come. His mother is there too……isn’t that just the saddest thing-a mother and her youngest son in the same home together. I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around it. But Dwight needs so much more care than I could give him at home, so I have to be alright with it. Karen, I contnue to be amazed at the things you accomplish. Thank you for being the strong, determined woman you are…….we will all benefit from your strength and determination.

  9. Shirley says:

    Karen, cried through it all! Although my kids will remember their dad, our new grandbaby on the way will never know the grandfather they could have known! The One we planned together to spoil and love! My heart is hurting for you as well as for us! Thanks for getting the word out there!!!

  10. Grace says:

    Heartbreaking. ..

  11. Ena, I never have thought about my last conversation with Joe. I like you would have memorized every word. I do have 3 CD’s Joe made for me and have them playing at all times in my car. I close my eyes remembering the night he recorded.
    To all couples record your conversations there may come a day like all of us on this journey when the sound of their voice will become your treasure.
    Hang in Karen. As difficult as it is you know as I know, “Today is his best day”.

  12. Ann says:

    No words, Karen…. Just love and prayers for you, for Jim, and the kids. xoxox

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