The times they are a changing. That may not be great English but it speaks to what is going on in our lives.
Several of you have asked me recently about Chris’s brother, Carlton, and how he is doing. I have not shared a lot on the blog about him for the past several months primarily because it is just difficult.
As many of you know our sweet Carlton who turns 49 on April 20th has had a really tough couple of years. A diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s has changed his life dramatically. It is a pretty tough thing for us to understand how Carlton can change in such a short time but it has happened and continues to happen.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that we moved in with him after Chris’s dad’s death in August 2011 and I found notes like this almost every morning.
When he moved in with Chris’s sister and brother in law he loved having his own suite in the basement. He was happy and loved being part of their family.
He always loved his birthday and we always made a huge deal out of it. This one year we got him an Ohio State Buckeyes watch and you would have thought it was the most expensive watch in the world. He LOVED it.
We were able to have him spend a week with us in Iowa a couple of years in a row and we had such a great time with him. He and I were buddies and he loved doing arts and crafts with me.
But now those days are gone and I must admit I am having a really difficult time with it.
I love that Colleen sends us pictures of him but they make me so very sad. He is basically bedridden now, sleeps most of the time and is losing mobility, body functions and the ability to communicate is getting more and more difficult. Our last visit with him was in March and since then he has declined rapidly.
Saying goodbye to our sweet Carlton is going to be one of the most difficult things I will ever have to do. I am trying to prepare myself but I just can’t.
So many of my readers have been so kind over the years and sent cards and gifts to Carlton and I am so grateful for that. He has brought so much joy to so many over the years and I am so happy that others have had the chance to experience the unconditional love and enthusiasm that Carlton always shared with those he came in contact with.
I want to celebrate his life to the fullest and even though he can not really respond to me in the way that he used to I know that he is still that very special guy that I love deeply. His body is just wearing out but I can see beyond that and know that he loves me in just the same way as he always did.
Hold those you love a little closer today and never forget each opportunity to share your love with them. The times may be a changing for you as well.