Tag Archives: Christmas

Sharing Christmas

christmas 2We have a blog this week written by one of our Co-founders and Co-chair Jan Pitts, on how she feels this year this Christmas season.

We had decided for December this would be our theme for all blogs, expressing the varying feelings and emotions.

Christmas is not easy for everyone, and it can be particularly distressing for people with dementia and their families. It is great to be able to start by sharing a positive one.

Thank you Jan for sharing your thoughts, for your thanks to all Dementia Alliance International (DAI) members, and for your wisdom.

“Is this Christmas ho! ho! ho! or bah humbug?

I am very happy to announce that so far I have found it to be a resounding ho! ho! ho! It is actually the first year since my mother passed away on December 23, 1999 that I have felt this way.

So why the big change all of a sudden? I think there are several reasons I am feeling so good. The first would be my recent engagement and approaching marriage to my partner of 22 years, the fact that it is now legal in the State I live in, which means many of my friends and family will be able to share the special day with me!

I also seem to have come to terms with the bigger picture of life and death. After spending nine years in an apathetic state, I realize this was one thing that was causing me to stay there. Do I live to mourn those I have loved and lost, or do I live for those I love and still have. I came to the conclusion that I don’t have to choose, everything in it’s proper place and time. I also concluded that I do not need to become overwhelmed by my own mortality, what a relief!

Very important and dear to my heart is what DAI has done to change me. It is so much bigger than me, but with each success I feel it encompass me in a warm embrace. As it grows I grow along with it. The organizations success is my success. All leading up to the point that meaning and purpose has been restored to my life within this last year.

My sincere thanks to each and every member of DAI. I will never be able to repay you and I am humbled by what you have given to me.

Merry Christmas and holiday wishes.

Jan Pitts

Copyright Janet Pitts and Dementia Alliance International

Thanksgiving and Christmas

As the Editor of Dementia Alliance International and also an Australian, I either remember nothing, or know very little about the tradition of Thanksgiving! Hence, I have had to look it up. Wikipedia says: “Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving was also celebrated nationally in 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S.,

Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.”

So, happy Thanksgiving to all our American members, I hope the Turkey and all the other trimmings were wonderful?!

Firstly, sincere apologies to all the DAI members from the USA for adding this information. But for those of us who not steeped in this tradition, I thought it might be useful. Thanksgiving is just over, and now Christmas is almost upon us, and so I thought it fitting to focus the next few blogs on Christmas and Dementia.  This week, Mick Carmody has given us permission to publish a poem he wrote recently about Christmas and dementia. His blog Journey of Discovery: Shine on is a great read too.  Mick wrote:

As a person living with Dementia, what does Christmas in 2014 mean to me?

Like most people it means, planning, purchasing presents, stuffing the
turkey, stocking the liquor cabinet you see
Decorating the tree, the house inside and out
Uncle Bill calling, hey Mick, it’s your shout
All this excitement makes me tired, hand shakes, smiling, laughing,
kisses and bad jokes
This inebriated Bill is normally a good bloke
Then out come the uneducated experts who majored at the school of
nothing and failed
Saying he is to young for Dementia, that is for some one seventy or
more whose boat has sailed
Uncle Bill and Aunty Vi who come every year empty handed for
goodness sake
All I can do to stay awake
Kids and Grand kids all running wild
Remember the naughty is only a child
Uncle Bill shouts Sue save me a leg would you darl
The answer is ok with a snarl
All in all its been a good day now the best part, for the time has come,
to wake up and GO HOME for another year
Aunty Vi looks at us both and sheds a tear
I am sure Stigma is rife in your family just like mine
If only family would listen and take the time
For some reason, don’t know why christmas reminds me of old

Thank you for allowing us to publish this Mick.

Author: Mick Carmody 2014

Editor: Kate Swaffer