by Howard Diamond
To begin, I propose a question. What does June mean to anyone? Maybe it is the beginning of summer. Then perhaps, it is the month of Father’s Day. For others, it signifies the end of the school year and the start of summer vacation. And for many it is June brides and grooms. But for all it is just June and only June.
For me June is the beginning of the pool and beach season. Although I do not spend much time on an actual beach. My preference is being at an outdoor pool while basking in the sun with blue skies, with sunblock protection. Also, I like to spend more time walking on the boardwalk, enjoying the warm weather, the longer hot days of the summer and free outdoor concerts at night. Nature needs to get wet, so let it rain overnight. Hopefully, most days are full of sunshine.
Unfortunately, in June 2015, my life changed for the worse. For the first part of the month, I spent almost every day visiting my significant other, Maureen in the hospital. She had a brain aneurysm and was being treated by a series of quality neurosurgeons. On the tenth she had a procedure that would reduce her problem in the brain. By the next day, she went into a coma and never recovered. On June 12th, 2015, she died and on the 16th, she was buried. So much for having fun that June. Yes, I still miss her a whole lot!
Four years later, in June 2019, my existence got even worse. My mom was in an Assisted Living Residence a few miles from my place. At the beginning of February 2017, she was transferred from the hospital and after her adjustment period, she did reasonably well there. Although, mom needed a rollator to get around, she attended various activities, went to three meals daily and mom was at least content. In addition, she made a couple of friends which made her time there better. About a year and a half later, mom fell and was brought to the local hospital and were told she fractured her shoulder, sent to a rehab which improved her arm, but it still hurt and she returned to Assisted Living. Towards the middle of middle of 2018, mom was starting to forget more and more and was diagnosed as having Dementia, which by 2019 was getting real bad. Often after visiting her, I wondered if she knew who I was. Mom died on June 19, 2019.
Right now, I take things one item at a time. At least, in most cases. Basically, that is all I can handle. My tasks for the day are broken into segments. Yes, just like an orange. Each portion is either one person or one hour of assorted things to do. Also, each piece of my twenty four hours are handled separately and each situation or my time on the computer is different. This way the whole day does not become overwhelming and keeps me better focused.
It is hard to believe it is two years later for mom and six for Maureen. “They” say it gets easier, but in my way of feeling about this, it is still difficult. Way too difficult, but who is “they”, anyway? I would like to meet, “they”. Anyway, since this time, I have been working and trying to take my life one day at a time. During the last month or two, my anxiety and my OCD levels have been higher, so my nurse practitioner recommended to change my medications in an effort to control the symptoms. I’m glad that I disagreed.
As I write this piece, it is about seventy and mostly sunny. Later, I hope to be on the Long Beach boardwalk and try to relax. Maybe, I will do more writing or attend an online group. Unfortunately, most days are spent alone, nights are making and eating dinner, watching reruns or baseball. It is not as enjoyable when my team is playing poorly, but it is only one inning or game at a time.
LET’S GO YANKEES! LET’S GO YANKEES!
This June, my motivation is getting through the month, like every month the best way that is possible for me. That is all I can do. It begins with June 1st and ends with June 30th, but I take one day as it comes. I miss you, I love you, Maureen and I think of you every day. Yes, every day. MOM, of course, I love and miss you, too. For everyone out there, enjoy your June as much as possible. Also, have a healthy, joyful and safe 4th of July.
See you in the NewsBlogs.
Howard Diamond is a New York State Certified Peer Specialist from Long Island