Staying Positive

There are times when I speak with others about Lyn and there is, inevitably, an expression of condolences for her diagnosis.  I am appreciative of those expressions even when they are accompanied by a statement declaring Lyn's situation as tragic.  I don't see her Alzheimer's as a tragedy.  It is not a cause for extreme distress or sorrow. 

Tragedy is the accident in New York earlier this week that took the lives of a young couple and the child they were expecting.  Tragedy is the abuse my youngest survived before coming into foster care and into our lives.  

Lyn's life and the approaching end of her life are not tragic in much the same way that our Grandmother's passing was not tragic.  They lived.  They worked to their potential.  They achieved what they could or what they set out to achieve.  We may want think that Lyn's life is tragic because she is only 42 years old or because she was born with intellectual disabilities.  But, would she consider her life tragic?  I don't believe she would even if she was able to grasp that concept.

Lyn is, fundamentally, a happy person.  She adores being the center of attention.  She loved her job and seems to have no regrets about not working any longer.  She enjoys going out, being with friends and bowling.  She does not sit around and mope.  I don't think she's got the time to do that.  

I would be lying if I said that Lyn's Alzheimer's and the changes it is causing do not cause us grief.  They do.  We ache to see her struggle organizing her thoughts or to see her using just a spoon to feed herself.  However, I am comfortable in saying for both Mom and myself that we would not change this course she is on.  

This disease is terminal.  There is zero percent survivability or remission.  So, why struggle with it?  Why rage against it?  Struggle and anger do not help Lyn and they do not help us.  Why not, instead, choose to be positive and help her enjoy her days as best as she is able and to enjoy them as she chooses?  

If you want other perspectives on the deliberate decision to be positive in the face of a terminal diagnosis, consider watching a video from the "My Last Days" series produced by SoulPancake.  I particularly like the one about Christopher Aiff.  If you do decide to watch, have a tissue ready.  You might need it.  


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