We’re always looking toward the future. What will be tomorrow? How will we age? No matter how you try to focus on the here and present, you cannot help ponder what the future holds. And with that, you can look to your family to help get a bit of a forecast of what is to behold.
A recent conversation with Caraballo had us discussing our minds. Both of us have grandmothers who suffer from Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. Over the years, we’ve shared our concern that that may become our futures too. That we may be part of the family history, where our memories evade us, loved ones faces become strangers and our comfortable surroundings become unfamiliar.
It’s a terrifying thought. But during the conversation, Caraballo said something that has stuck with me ever since, “I should start trying to be a kinder, better person now so it’ll reflect in my character later.” We chuckled at such an idea because, we are who we are. And some of the worse of us can be on display if we lose our firm grip on our minds. We both have stories; seeing the good and sometimes the horrible in women who were matriarchs of our families. We hope (I really, really hope) that if that is what the universe deigns to be our future, that we will be the best persons we can be. But the thought, if I can truly have an impact on that now, has been needling my mind.
Recently, I came across this TED talk. It is one of many talks that has moved me. Someone else, outside of my circle, is talking about preparing for Alzheimer’s. As in, she is aware that she may fall into the same fate as her father and wants to do what she can now, to go through the experience later as best she can. And I cheer her!
Because to sit ideally by and think ‘It won’t happen to me’ is silly. We know that it is a hereditary disease, just not exact how it is passed down and who, in a family of five, will be the unlucky hosts.
So, I too, am taking steps toward bettering myself. I’m trying to find activities to help with ideal hands. Of course, I’ve tried knitting but am working to get better at it (and am even trying my hand at crocheting, just in case I’m better at that). I continue to listen to music because that is the activity my paternal grandmother finds most interesting (humming songs that she loved from the twenties). And continue to be a kinder human being while fighting the desire to gossip or judge people rentlessly (I do that quietly to myself). Because in the end, either the good or bad will be on display. And it is kindness, good memories and love that will keep people by your bedside through the hard times.