Thursday, May 30, 2024

Did I Miss Out On Those Moments of Joy or Just Do What Was Expected of Me?....

It has been about a month since my last blog entry.  Plenty has happened during that span, including Mother's Day, a Sista's Lunch, and most recently, Pam's Birthday.  The problem was that I could not muster up the energy or the desire to write.   Pam continues her slide into the endzone in her battle with Lewy Body Dementia.  We all know what awaits at the end of this battle.  We can not change it,  We can only make it drag on.

As we approach the end of this journey, I reflect back.  It was less than three years ago that Pam was diagnosed.  This is not even thinkable.  The average life expectancy of a Lewy Body patient is five to eight years.  Her decline has been extraordinary.  Courtney and I have looked at photos of Pam over the past three years and the decline in her physical appearance has been dramatic.  Just as stark has been the weight loss in just the last few weeks.  

I had no expectations when this journey started.  I knew that she wanted to stay home and not be sent to a nursing home.  I could not imagine the work, the energy, or the stamina it would take to fulfill her wish.  I only knew that it was my job,  my responsibility,  my duty to fulfill that wish.  I see the joy of others as they move their loved one to a facility.  They elate in the daily visits and the moments of being together.  Am I missing that joy because I kept her home?  I don't have any feelings one way or the other.  I did what I needed to do.   I did what she needed me to do.  No regrets.

But, it is so hard to see that blank look on her sagging face.  Every day.  To look at her struggle to know who those people are.  People that have always been part of her life.  Her sisters.  She does not know them.  Our daughters.  She does not know them.  The look on her face.  The blank look in those blue eyes.  You can see a mile into those eyes.  There is nothing there.  Every day she struggles to get up out of the chair.  Bouncing up and down building momentum that is never enough.  The withering of fifty two years of marriage.  I consume facial tissues.  I am consuming my own emotional energy.  What will be left of me for those that love me?  Time will tell.

Many have told me that I have done a wonderful job.  They say that I should be proud of what I have done.  That I am some sort of hero.  I don't feel that.  I just did what was expected.  My grandparents taught me about personal integrity.  They reinforced the importance of a strong work ethic.  My grandfathers taught me to hold the door for women.  Although I did not understand it at the time, they were wonderful role models.  They inculcated the so called "Rozett Attitude".  That I am proud  of.   What I did for Pam came from those traits.  I only did what I promised to do over fifty years ago.  Nothing more, nothing less.  No medals or campaign ribbons.  Just teary eyes and wet tissues as I stare into those blue  eyes.


  1. I am not at the stage you are now, but I do worry/wonder about that future decision point for myself. When I think of "that day" that she may need to go to a facility, the guilt already starts. I know we have had others in our group that have had that struggle and have handled it in different ways. It is a personal decision for us all and we are all different. I can tell that you were raised right and I see the "Rozett Attitude" in the way you care for Pam. Stay strong my friend.

  2. The Rozetts are lucky and proud to have you as one of them. Love and a wish for peace for you and Pam.

  3. Sorry, Bruce, but you do deserve to be considered a hero. I know that journey that you are taking and I know how it can brutalize people, resulting in them acting out of character. You stay committed and engaged! That alone is hero territory!! Make accepting earned accolades and give yourself credit for the extraordinary effort and the love that you are showing. Make that part of the Rozett Attitude!! You are a hero in my eyes!!