Karen Quemby, MA Alzheimer Society of Muskoka"Writing is hard, very hard, especially when the situation is so close personally. You have to balance your emotions and memories with detachment and that takes GUTS."
Janet Lewis, Professor Emerita, York University, Toronto"Dear Tony is a real story of love and passion - how two people must navigate together the loss of health and the inevitability of being separated by life's course. I found myself waking this morning wanting to hold my husband close to me, as Emmy's story reminds me that this is a fate we all must live as we age, in one form or another. An inspiring read."
June Elder, B.A. Gerontology, B.A. Sociology
When he could not, would not, or did not complete a task, frustration exacerbated his proverbial short fuse. Tony’s outbursts became more predictable – the slightest variation from his set routine or anything unexpected raised his level of anxiety to extreme. He thundered with exemplary sound and fury until spent, followed often by tears of […]
Tony’s physical well-being became tenuous, with probability of fatal incident. In between bouts of cancer, further investigations of his heart identified additional blockages. “We need to discuss and make arrangements for my future,” he suggested. “I don’t want to leave everything for you to do”. He made several changes to his funeral wish list as […]
Immediately after the departure from my profession in November of 2013, there was a flurry of E-mails and phone calls in reaction; now the phone was quiet and I dropped from the line of vision. Chance meetings at the grocery store or bank seemed too infrequent – my peers were on a completely different timeline […]
Dear Tony, Today is Wednesday, June 10th. I’ve just turned the key in the lock of our home for the last time. I walked away without looking back. It’s been a hellish six months since you died. You know I’ve always been a go-getter with a lot of guts – knowing you’re still cheering me […]
…..Incontinence came to Tony in spurts and drips, with much ado. The probability of an accident raised his levels of apprehension when we considered an outing of any kind, however short or close to home. The first time I came home from shopping with a selection of protective underwear, Tony’s reaction was palpable! That irrefutable […]
…In the back of my mind was a nifty phrase, “change the channel” I’d heard on Canada AM, a morning TV program. The subject was not about pushing a button on the remote; it was switching one line of thought to another. Astute reporters and commentators are keenly aware of the flow of conversation in […]
…I read a miserable story online once about “an elderly gent whose poor eyesight and shaking hands made it difficult to eat. After several plates had been broken and glasses spilled, the impatient son and his wife made the old chap sit away from them and eat from a wooden bowl. Their young son was […]
…Preparation for any outing from the house required significant planning ahead and increased patience. “Come darling, it’s time to start getting ready to go out. I’ve set out your clothes. You look like an old grizzly bear, how ‘bout a shave first?” I would coax, to start the ball rolling. Sometimes I helped Tony get […]
There were a couple of mix-ups when Tony took the wrong medication at the wrong time, or not at all. It was simply too scary. “Here are four small containers with your pills, Tony. The tops are easy to unscrew. The blue one is for Breakfast, the green one for Lunch, the red one for […]
I’m beginning a series of posts which address Important Decisions. Please comment if there’s a subject you’re struggling with… Tony fretted about the requirement to take a driver refresher course and written test when he turned 80. He always felt anxious when he had to make a written report, or at exam time. His education […]