Through a weird coincidence, I discovered a new friend today. A very good friend of mine, who works retail, was speaking to a customer who was also an Alzheimer's caregiver. In their conversation they discovered that they had someone in common... me. My friend, well, it's obvious how she knows me. The customer's name is Billie Jo and turns out she is a reader of this blog.
Some time ago, a mutual friend of Billie Jo's and mine suggested that we become Facebook friends because we were both Alzheimer's caregivers. But, that is as far as I thought it would go as I thought she was just being kind. I had no idea that she actually reads my blog.
Today, I messaged Billie Jo and we had a beautiful conversation. She is a kind woman who has offered me hope, a shoulder to lean on, prayers, and an ear to listen to me. What priceless gifts these are.
In our discussion she said this about Alzheimer's:
“You cant shower, grab your keys and run to the store for a quick gallon of milk when your out. You can't go to bed and get a nights sleep let alone a good one... You can't do anything that's normal.. A 5 minute break to regroup.. Forget that it's not going to happen. It's the simple things people take for granted and don't think twice about. Those are the luxuries we miss.. I had been using dish towels and wash rags and was asked by someone, " why don't you just use paper towels?" Well... I don't know when I'll be able to get out to the store to buy more...”
This description is just so perfect! It is all of the little things (and a LOT of big things) that can just make you feel so defeated and alone.
So, I found a new friend today. Someone who gets it. I am sorry that she had to travel this journey. I am thankful that her loved one is at peace. And I am grateful for her kindness and offer of understanding. Thank you, Billie Jo.