This past year has been, singularly, the hardest year of my life. I have watched Kris lose more of herself everyday. I see too much. I see so many things that cause pain. But, I also see things that are truly amazing. I see, hear and experience things that make me smile.
It makes me smile when Kris tells me “I’m beginning to like you more today” or “I love you more and more”. It makes me smile when I open ice-cream and Kris claps her hands. It makes me smile when Kris says ” I like people, lots of people” or “I know a lot of stuff and I don’t know a lot too” (Very profound). Just today kris told me that she “Loves loving me”.
I makes me smile to see our children rally around their mom. It makes me smile when Jessie comes from Denver every Saturday to be with us and cook & shop and just spend time. It makes me smile when Mandy, who lives several hours away, uses her vacation time to come home and spend time with us. It makes me smile when Zach comes over and it just makes Kris happy.
My adult children make me smile because they each bring something with them. They are great and they are each a blessing to us in their own unique way. Jessie brings the provider, caretaker passion with her and just goes at it cooking and shopping for us. She comes for her mom, but is such a blessing and help to me! Mandy brings a sense of calm and peace that has such a good effect on her mom. She can diffuse Kris’ agitation with a word. Zach brings excitement to his mom. She is sometimes giddy when she finds out he is stopping by.
It makes me smile to see the support that my kids get from their spouses. My sons and daughter-in-law give up their time with my kids so they can be with Kris. They adjust schedules, make adjustments to life and are simply the best a father-in-law could ask for.
It makes me smile to see the support we have received from our church family. I don’t know how to describe the feeling, but it makes me smile. Friends in our church ask what they can do, they ask non-stop! When I ask for help they are always there for us. Taking Kris on a walk, out for coffee, having us over for dinner, hanging out with Kris when I can’t be home, walking the alzheimer’s walk with us, cleaning our house, praying with us, letting me vent, introducing me to other people who are on the same journey as I am, and on and on…
It’s these things that make me smile. In the hardest of times, it’s the people in your life that make you smile. Kris and I are truly blessed.