Surprise Fourth Of July

The day dawned, so beautiful it almost choked me up looking out the window as the sun rose. A perfect day from Papa. I just lay there, the breeze shuffling the sheets, the birds singing. A perfect day…

I’d checked with my kids to see if anything was on the docket for the 4th. I remember the old days when we would gather at Beth’s cottage on a tiny lake, not much more than a large pond. We’d have a bonfire, the kids swam in the lake, we played Euchre or double Solitaire up in the cottage. We’d have burgers & dogs, and later hobo pies over the fire.

Someone always had a stash of Indiana fireworks. Dusk came, and we’d settle in for our own celebration. Then kids tucked into the loft, we’d say Good Night to the 4th of July.

So, for the first time in a long time, I was ready to be with my family. No Bertha Lake exists for us any more, but my kids have a boat in Grand Haven. I wanted more than anything to be there with them.

But they all said they had plans. I hinted that the sister who lived near me and I would love to come over. They said they had friends they were hanging with.

Disappointed, I texted my daughter, who said she was on her way to her sister and brother’s. Just after that they sent photos of themselves on the boat in the beautiful harbor of Lake Michigan.

In that moment it was like lightning struck & split me in two! A rage began in my gut, and spread throughout my body. An anger so hot it scared me. And I was over my head in sadness. and I needed to close FB and get away.

The day continued, bathed in rage, throwing things, cursing, weeping, screaming. It was like someone else was driving me. And then the dystonia started just as fiercely. I almost pressed my emergency button twice. Eventually, exhausted, I fell asleep.

I want to tell my family I’m sorry, but a part of me cannot yet. The embers of my anger are still easy to flare up.

I hope they know it’s not me. It’s the evil on my rotting brain.

4th of July

I know they have a right to a life without me. Each does the best they can given their lives. But I’m not ready to be without Vicki. I miss her, too.

So, Happy 4th of July weekend. I celebrate, by accident of birth, that I landed in the best country on the face of the earth. I am ashamed of my reactions, but there was/is nothing I can do when the other side of Vicki takes over.

Blessings. Papa, it’s me, Vicki

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    • Judy Ferguson on July 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm
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    So many times I have wished (and told Jim that I wished) I lived closer to you. I would celebrate the 4th. of July with you (already celebrated July 1st. here in Canada, fireworks and all). Not very long ago I was telling Jim about when I visited you (seems so long ago now) and we wanted Tim Horton’s coffee but I didn’t know where Tim Horton’s was. On my way to finding it I saw a police car and KNEW that they would know. When I asked directions one of them said he would drive ahead of me and show me where it was.

    OF COURSE cops would know where Tim Horton’s is!

    I have never forgotten that or the visit we had together – so special, God’s appointment. And I pray for you every day – one of my rosary beads has your name on it! May God send you a special blessing on this day! And lots of love from me!


  1. Vicki, it’s good that you can remember good times from the past. Your writing about your family’s gatherings at Beth’s cottage on the 4th of July paints a picture for me of peaceful times with your family. I can see your Indiana fireworks.

    I know this disease has affected you in so many ways. There have been blessings, but a whole lot of pain (of all kinds) too! A lot if the time it’s hard to see the blessings. (Sorry, Papa.) I’m glad you shared about yesterday, the 4th of July. I pray for you a lot. And maybe I can find some Ohio fireworks for a delayed celebration.

    Hugs, Jim

    • Sue Schnipke on July 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm
    • Reply

    I felt the same way as you and I don’t even have any children, sometimes we just need to know we are loved.

      • Vicki on July 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm
      • Reply

      Sometimes, Sue, we just need to know someone still remembers us. I love you and hope we can get together. Old farts are the best ones, eh? Blessings, V

    • freda colley on July 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm
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    Blessings to you too Vicki. I wish I had remembered to send you a message on the 4th! I hope your family read and understand it is the illness not the you , their Mom.Hugs

    • deacon john cunneen on November 11, 2014 at 10:49 pm
    • Reply

    Vicki, we’re all getting nearer to Papa’s House, though by strange and different roads. Your dementia is one of the strangest. My cancer is far too common. But in their own ways they eventually are leading us Home. We had many laughs and much fun in our PDS days and we will have many more with Papa. See you then….

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