Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oligated, Odors, and Obsessive

Here is My A To Z Challenge. An adventure. My attempt at telling you my story. I care for my husband who has end-stage Parkinson's disease.
We have good days and we have bad days. Hope you will follow along....A TO Z!

I feel obligated.
I'd be a liar if I didn't say that.
I take care of him everyday.
Out of obligation.
I said that vow when we married.
You know the one.
In sickness and in health.
For better or for worse.
For richer or poorer.
Until death do us part.
I said those words without thinking.
Like so many of us do.
No one ever thinks it will get like this.
Then we are surprised.
Like we had no clue.
But obligation is real life.
Part of being a wife.

Odors are part of it too.
Good odors and bad odors of everyday things.
Odors that please and displease.
I've learned ways from being a nurse.
To battle those that seem like a curse.
We often don't think about the odors
Of the ones we love.
I will miss his smell when he is gone.
I will cling to his pillow, long after it's done.

He has become so obsessive.
Or was he like this before?
Maybe I never noticed.
I had lots of other things to do.
He folds and re-folds anything close by.
I silently watch as the Kleenex becomes a pile.
Or the napkins by his plate reach nearly a mile.
He likes things just right.
Lined up next to his chair.
And we shouldn't move it.
Not even a hair.
Yes, I am obligated to care.
For his obsessiveness and the odors
And I try not to despair.


  1. But so many people took those same vows and when "times got tough" they walked away; I know you are obligated, but I think you also do it out of love.


    1. Well, yes of course, love is mixed in. I promised that love and to cherish!

  2. All of us do so many things out of obligation. Though it may seem obligated, the love and the happiness in doing it could be felt only by the individual :)

    1. That is right. But first we have to understand and honor the obligation

  3. Obligations are something we tend to overlook these days, they go with commitment, and love.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you Jemina. Never can one have enough love!

  5. Whenever I think of the word "obligated" it reminds me of the movie Jungle 2 Jungle. There is a scene in there where Tim Allen's son from Africa overhears Tim say he was "obligated" to keep him. Earlier in the movie, referring to a work obligation,Tim had explained to his son that "obligated" meant having to do something you really don't want to do". I, too, feel obligated to Mom. No one wants to see someone they love get old,, get sick, lose their minds, lose their functions....It is right that we feel is because we love them so much....just like we were obligated to change our baby's diaper even though it was not something we liked to is something we do out of love.

  6. I have noticed that mom has lots of new obsessive rituals - folding tissue is one of hers too! She also will spend 5-7 minutes after taking off her shoes and socks, putting the socks 'just so' inside each shoe and then lining the laces up and tucking them inside under the sock. I've never seen her do that before, but she is obsessed by it and can't move on to anything else until it is done. I wonder if it will still be part of her routine once she gets out of rehab? So many things in common....

    1. It is all part of a mind with dementia. Gives them something of meaning to do, I guess. We used to give them a basket of towels to fold when I worked at the nursing home. Then we would walk out of the room, unfold all the towels and take them back. Most of the ladies enjoyed the activity. One day one lady, after having folded the basket of towels once, pushed it back at me and said "I'm not going to do anymore of your damn laundry".....hilarious!

    2. I bought 20 washcloths and every time I do laundry, I put them in the dryer so mom feels like she's helping. It really makes her happy. She counts the grapes for the kids snack bags for their lunches too. Takes her forever, but it's one of her favorite things to do every Sunday.

  7. Hi Paula - yes certainly someone needs to move up to the plate - a husband, or a wife ... and in my case a daughter rather than her sons - but that's life .. except it's tough for you - alzheimers, dementia - very challenging to cope with ... and you're giving us awareness of other aspects ... the folding laundry you mention ...

    Cheers and with thoughts - Hilary

    1. Thank you Hilary.....yes there are many out there who need to step up to the plate. Our nursing homes are filled with people who COULD be taken care of at home.

  8. This was the same way with my mother. She could resist being perfect and blaming imperfections on anyone else. Obligation is a good word and works for this. It is challenging to say the least.
    Katy Did

    Life's Ride In Between

    1. It is a challenge. The biggest one I have ever faced in my life

  9. Come to think of it, my own mom was obsessive like that. I wonder if they don't derive some sense of comfort in sameness?
    Like me, there's so much that I can't control, I take an almost obscene pleasure from little things I CAN control.

    1. Maybe that is me too Myra! OBSCENE PLEASURE! I love it

  10. It's love. With Mother Teresa, it was love. With committed people, like yourself, it is love. Maddening, excruciating, and relentless as these situations become, love is the only thing that sees us through it.

    1. I think it must be...I can't imagine going through this for any other reason


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