Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Smile...and Look at the Bright Side


My addiction to card making is taking front stage this New Year.  I love taking the time to figure out exactly where I want to place the various elements.   I'm obsessed with any stamps having to do with cameras and typewriters, so I was thrilled last year to purchase this vintage camera stamp.  The expression "1,2,3 ...say cheese!"  are words deeply etched in my mind, as they were constantly uttered by my photography loving father, right before taking multitudes of pictures during my childhood.  

Supplies used:
 


Here my son holds one of his grandfather's well loved, old Polaroid cameras.
 
 
On a more personal note...I haven't shared this information here before, but my 83 year old dad suffers from Alzheimers.  He was diagnosed several years ago, and has been slowly declining.  Thank goodness, he is blessed with round the clock care, while living with my brother and his family in Connecticut.  The hardest part for me is physically being so many miles away, here in Texas.  We do thankfully speak daily, but those conversations are becoming more and more difficult for him.  I must strain to fill in the words, that he can not push forward.  I must interpret his phrases, such as "I just dropped it" to mean he forgot what he was saying midstream.   My children make sure they say a few things to him each day.  We passionately pray my father never gets to the point that he no longer can speak, as that would be devastating to us.  However, it would be a lifeline severed only in one direction, as I shall then always insist that someone hold the phone upon his ear...to hear my far away words of love and encouragement.  Just like the gifts of supportive words he endlessly bestowed upon me, growing up and in my adulthood.  So, I struggle to "smile and look at the bright side," no matter how dim.  I truly hope none of you have been, or will ever be touched by this most difficult of diseases.

14 comments:

  1. Oh Maureen, This post brings tears to my eyes as I have come to know of this wonderful father through his photographs and your words about him. What a blessing he gave you through his love of photography.
    Be sure and visit Mussings by Kim K. for lots of fun Chinese New Years crafts for children.
    Wishing your much joy in this New Year, Maureen. E

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  2. My father had Alzheimers for 10 years. It was hard for sure. He was always a funny man but he still had us laughing til the end. He got so when we would laugh at him he would get such a kick out of it and he would laugh right along. We had some special times even during those rough times. I remember once we had quite a conversation. He wanted to know about how the bills were getting paid for my mother's medical expenses. I wanted to shout out to the rest of the family to hurry into the room. It was unreal. It was like he was back with us. It only lasted a few minutes but it was so wonderful. You just have to cherish each moment and remember that they aren't aware of how they are . (((((HUGS)))))

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  3. Hello, dear Maureen! I've come to your blog from the blog of one of my sweet commenters ~ you know how that goes ~ :) ~ My Daddy also had Alzheimer's; (he passed away at age 87, from an unrelated complication) ~ he'd had it for about 5 years; we were fortunate that he was able to stay on the farm and tend his beloved cattle up until the last year...he had to spend the last few months of his life in a nursing home, but he was never alone; if I wasn't there, my stepmom was, practically around the clock. It was a precious time, being able to spend so much time with him...like Debby's dad (the comment above) Daddy was always funny ~ a very dry sense of humor, which he kept until the end. It was so difficult seeing him struggle with things, as you said about your Dad...words ~ and one of the most poignant things that sticks in my mind...Daddy was always so "pro-seat belt" ~ bought them and installed them in our car in the early 60s...while he was still at home, we always went out to eat, just he and I (to give my stepmom a little break), on Friday nights. One night he went to put his seatbelt on and couldn't remember how to pull it forward to adjust it before buckling it ~ I could see how hard he was trying to figure it out and it just about broke my heart ~ something that odd and simple. Cherish your talks, even if they are mostly one-sided...♥ ~ Now following you!
    So nice to "meet" you!
    Hugs,
    Anne

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  4. What sweet photographic memories, Maureen...and I'm so sorry to hear about your dear Dad. My father-in-law had Alzheimer's as well. Such a hard thing to see your loved ones go through. How blessed he is to be surrounded by those who love him--and those daily phone calls mean so much to him, I'm sure. I know they can hear us, even if they can't respond--I believe that very strongly. You're in my prayers, dear friend...
    Julie

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  5. The card is so beautiful and a tribute to your father. My husband died at age 68 from the effects of Alzheimer's. He had always been such a kind, gentle person and that continued in spite of the disease. It's wonderful that you and the children can talk with your father each day.
    Lillian
    lillianscupboard.wordpress.com

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  6. So sorry to hear about your father. Alzheimers is a disease that affects everyone so differently. I'm glad to know that your dad is getting the care he needs and that you do all you can to stay in contact with him. That is certainly the plus of technological advances these days. Your dad's camera is a treasure and your card is very pretty. Have a wonderful day. Tammy

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  7. I don't much comment on blogs anymore, but I too feel like I've come to know your father from all your wonderful old photos. I'm so sorry to hear of his illness, we're going through the same thing here with my Dad, and it is hard, hard, hard.

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  8. Ahh..I am sorry about your dad..my friend's mom had it..
    As we get older..and not even that old..and sometimes quite young..we are faced with challenges..
    It's much more fun..and easy to see the bright side:) When things go well~
    But obviously..you can do it.... I love our stamp:) and the camera of course..Take care..
    Your work is really really cute.

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  9. Dear Maureen,

    So very sorry to hear about your dear Father, and it is lovely that you and the children can speak daily to your Father and have the contact with him, it is hard when you are so far away.
    It has been so lovely seeing all your old family photos and how wonderful the old camera is. I remember the words 'cheese' when we had our family photos taken.
    The card is really great and love that you have the words - Smile and look at the bright side.
    Sending hugs
    Carolyn


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  10. Hi Maureen,

    I´m so sorry to hear about your father´s illness and the hardship you´re going through. It´s a cruel disease indeed and I understand how difficult it must be for you to be so far away. I wish you and your family all the best. You have shared so many lovely stories of your father and reading them always put a smile on my face. I love how you have transferred those early memories of your father, his wisdom and beloved camera onto this beautiful card. I now see it (the card) in a different light than I first did.

    Many hugs,
    Sanna

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  11. My dear aunt, who's about to turn 80, has Alzheimer's - we can still talk, but it's surprising how difficult conversations can be. Just a simple question like what are you doing this weekend is hard for her to answer. I'm so sorry, and I hope you'll be able to keep communicating with him despite the difficulties. (And I adore your camera card and stamp!)

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  12. Hi sweet Maureen :) I totally LOVE this camera image..and also love cameras and typewriters..lol I am presently looking to buy a typewriter for journaling! So sorry about your dad's illness. Thinking of you and love your card.

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  13. Maureen your card is so retro and cute. Love that you were able to use the "123 say cheese" words that bring back such sweet memories.

    Danielle

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