In 2015 my husband was one of the Alzheimer’s National Advocates. Only 4 years later he’s in care and I am re-learning how the magic of art enables me to break free from the bonds of both my own Multiple Sclerosis and my husband’s Alzheimers.
May 2018 my husband’s Alzheimer’s disease had gotten worse. He had more and more forgetfulness and wandering episodes. The grief and disbelief I felt upon hearing the healthcare team tell me “it’s time” was more than I was able to bear.
Multiple Sclerosis had me in the hospital again. It was first relapse I’d had for 14 years! While I was there John was moved into an apartment in the ‘dementia unit’. He was fine, but I returned to our now empty apartment.
I fell apart! It was a desperate time for me. I had been sober for 30 years. I knew drinking was not the solution! But there did not seem to be a way out of my downward spiral of emotions. The ground under me was shaky.
In the cafe for breakfast I turned to my friends and bemoaned, “Who am I now? I’m married, but my husband is not here. I’m responsible for him, but others are caring for him. I’m no longer a ‘caregiver’. So who am I now?
They asked me to tell them more about ‘who I was’ before we moved here?
I told them about my artwork and how they were in galleries and shows in the 90s. They challenged me to take it up again.
First I started by re-learning a bit about drawing.
Then I moved on to his working with acrylics. But I hated them!!!
One morning I was at lunch and grousing with my friends. It’s so good to live in a community of bright, loving women. One of them suggested I try water soluble oil paints. Who Knew???!!!
I was hooked!! Immediately I began buying starter sets until I found ones I really wanted to work with. I got canvas.
So I looked for more online courses. found several and just painted, lots, and lots, and lots!
I was having fun with the paint and the colors and just getting the feel of being with my art again. What a joy!