Today is Thanksgiving Day, 2008, and in spite of the day itself, I found myself feeling an overwhelming sense of thanks to God for all the blessings He has so graciously bestowed upon me ... Blessings of friendships of which are more like family than friends, friends and relatives who I know love me, a terrific (and hopefully secure) job, a warm home with a fireplace for the winter nights just around the corner, my wonderful pets, the knowledge of and love for my Lord Jesus Christ, and my twin sister Elizabeth.
In the wee hours of this morning, our beloved cat (of 14 years) Java Bean Galine died. Even though she was only visibly ill for a week, the progression of what happened to her is a long story. At this hour, I am able to simply say she was our “Kitchen Cat” who will be missed dearly. My greatest dilemma sitting in the Veterinary ER was “what will I tell Elizabeth?” You see, in the past when we have lost a pet (and there have been many because we both LUV animals), my sister’s responses have varied from the most practical to the most detached form of despair which has resulted in either a total inability to express herself verbally or to function on a most limited cognitive level. Everyday with Elizabeth is different these days, and I did not know what to expect or how to tell her the news when she awoke this morning. I chose to wait until she came into the kitchen for breakfast, and I asked her to sit down with me because I had something to tell her. Yes, her reaction was different than it was 2 years ago when we lost our beloved Ali Dog. Elizabeth simply threw her hands into the air and then slapped them down onto her legs, and asked, “Why did God do this?” "Who is going to sleep with me now?" "Can we get another one?" And then she wanted her breakfast.
I broached the subject a few times during the day (probably because I needed to talk about it more than she did), and each time I merely got a brief expression of exasperation from her. Yes, totally different. And Elizabeth is different in many ways. Hopefully the readers of this blog will learn a bit about what it’s like to live with an adult with Downs Syndrome as well as the process of dementia characteristic of adults with Downs. It’s my understanding from the research I have read that my journey has and might continue to be totally unique to Elizabeth. Time will tell, I would suppose.
Elizabeth loves to drink a cup of tea after dinner and tonight not only did she LUV the tea itself; she was totally engrossed with the cup. This cup was white with a decorated border of pears, leaves, and other fruit around the top of the cup. My sister sat totally focused on this border for a good 20 minutes. She held it in both hands as she turned it around and around and around, all the time expressing glee and pleasure at the pretty cup. Interestingly, some one at the table suggested that it must be nice to be into one’s own little world like she was at that time and not to have the cares of the world like most of us. I’ve been pondering that statement for hours and wonder, “Could this possibly be true?”