It all began the summer of 2010. I stayed with my parents part of each week during that summer in the hope of being a help to them. My mother has Alzheimer’s. I wrote a note on Facebook during this time that described it. (It’s published now here: Looking Ahead.)
One day, my mother smeared orange marmalade on her hot dog for lunch. “There’s the title for my book,” I thought. However, I probably will never write a book. I can, however, write a blog.
My mother came to stay with us a few times in 2011 to give my father a much-needed break. I was reminded repeatedly of the importance of keeping a sense of humor. So I attempted to find humor in the odd situations that arise with a person suffering from Alzheimer’s. If I wrote about her attempting to call someone on the television remote or putting orange marmalade on her cereal, I was not laughing at her; I was laughing at the strange situations. I was laughing to keep from crying.
My mother passed away in 2015, surrounded by family. Then, I stayed with my father in the house where I grew up. He died in that house in 2019, again surrounded by family. It was such a privilege to help care for them both.
I’ve kept the blog as an outlet for my thoughts, a way to stay connected with family and friends, and a discipline that comes and goes in spurts. Many of the early posts are now private.
Why Hot Dogs and Marmalade in the first place? My hope was that it could be an encouragement to others.