Good Saturday to you all. I am so excited this morning. I remember telling you that I published another book called Rosemary & Antonio. Well I put it on Amazon and their promotion for the next 5 days a person can get it for free. I checked the ratings and it looks like I have given away 70 books so far with the ratings of 2,427 in the free kindle store and #62 in kindle store fiction historical romances. I am so excited. I know you probably think I am crazy, why give a book away for free? I just want to see if people
will read what I wrote. My books are going slowly and a lot of that is because I don’t have the money to really advertise. So maybe if they like what they read they will purchase my other books, just a thought. Anyway I am excited to see these books go. Well on with my story.
We had a good Christmas and most of my kids had to leave after our trip to the museum. I decided to have a big family get together with all the relatives like they do with the family Gaeta picnics. Jimmy and I were busy cooking and baking and on December 27 we had everyone over. It was great to see everyone, especially since we had been gone again for a while and missed some more of the family picnics. Dad sort of stayed in the shadows. People would go up to him and say hi. I could tell he didn’t really recognize all of them, which broke my heart. There was so much noise and laughter in the house and I was hoping we weren’t scaring him. When I finally found him sitting quietly in his chair with a dazed look on his face I decided that we should do karaoke. Dad got up and had fun with that. He didn’t sing but he danced so one of my kids would sing and me and dad danced the night away.
January finally arrived and it was Jessica’s birthday. She hadn’t gone back to school yet. My life was so different now, and no one really around. I found that people were avoiding us, because they didn’t like to see dad with his Alzheimer’s so I brought Jessica to a restaurant with Grandpa Joe for her birthday. I whispered to the waitress that it was Jessica’s birthday, so after we ate the waitresses came over to our table with a balloon and ice cream and sang happy birthday to her. Dad was charming and flirted with the waitresses. This was one of those times you could not tell he had Alzheimer’s and I knew I had to treasure this moment because once dusk came, the bewitching hour dad would be lost again. I was missing my parties that I love to throw for birthdays so I got sneaky and for Jimmy’s fiftieth birthday I planned a big surprise party for him at a place called The Wild Olive. One of Jimmy’s cousins’s owned the bar and he reserved a room for me. I passed out invitations to the relatives again and to his co-workers and to my surprise a lot of them showed up. I decorated the room and had a huge birthday cake plus I had the food catered. We had a lot of fun talking, dancing and playing pool. But the best part was when my father in law decided to take me into the main bar and dance with me on the dance floor. He still knew how to do the two step and twirled me around all over the floor. He looked so happy at that moment in time.
I was at least once a month taking trips with my father in law to see his sisters in laws and having lunch with them. Aunt Ann, Aunt Yolanda, Grandpa Joe, and I would first go to the nursing home to see Aunt Betty, and then go on to lunch. They all seemed to treasure these little field trips plus I love those ladies so much. It was just an excuse for me to get to know them even better.
I tried to keep dad busy, with strolls in the mall or at the park. One afternoon Jimmy and I picked up Aunt Ann and took her to the park with us. Dad really enjoyed walking around this excursion with Aunty Ann. I also put dad in a new day care that was closer to the house. It was only the second day he was there that I found the front door locked to the facility. It seems that dad would wonder out of there so they had to lock the door to keep him safe.
I remember one time in February when I got a phone call from Regina. Jimmy and I both were working but I was getting off and dad was supposed to be sleeping along with Gina. Gina called saying that Grandpa had been up since 5am and mad at her because she won’t call the bus company. I kept her on the phone until I got home and then I proceeded to take care of dad. I got his coffee ready for him but he was so upset. He ranted on that the bus just left and there are no more drivers! A woman is waiting for the bus. I had no idea what he was talking about which made him more angry with me. Finally he accused me of getting him fired from his job. Sometimes dealing with life was pretty difficult. I had to comfort Gina also who was upset with Grandpa and his accusations.
March came and it was time for Regina’s sixteenth birthday. I wasn’t sure how to make it special for her, after all none of her siblings were living with us or around us. We asked her what she wanted and her reply was she wanted to spend it with her best friend Lindsey from Oklahoma and go to a Bulls game. So that is what we did. We flew in her girlfriend and Jimmy got them matching shirts and hats and the three of them enjoyed the Bulls game together. I couldn’t go because I had to watch dad, but then I am not really into sports, except when my kids played them.
In April I decided to plan a special wedding shower for Betsy, my Erik’s fiancée. This was actually the first time I was at home where relatives live to have a big shower like this. Well plus that fact that this was only the second wedding in our family and we didn’t live by Kristina when she got engaged. So it was planned and a lot of the women showed up along with Betsy’s mother. My father in law looked a little loss with all these women around. I really tried hard to keep a normal life while taking care of dad without upsetting him to much or getting him off his routine too much. The older women, my Aunt Anne, Aunt Yolanda, and his sister Aunt Mary kept conversation with him and that really helped.
On May 23, my newest grandchild was born. Damien Michael Morris to my oldest daughter Kristina and her husband Arin. Of course I had to take a trip to see all of them leaving Jimmy and Regina to take care of Grandpa Joe. Jenny was still living in Oklahoma so I got to see her and Adias also. I forgot how wonderful it was to hold such a small and precious child again. My mother instincts kicked up and of course the empty nest syndrome hit me again when I had to go back home.
I decided to volunteer at the day care center so I brought in my beauty supplies and would do some of the women’s hair for free. I really missed doing hair and this was so much fun to see their smiling faces as I showed them how pretty they looked when I finished. I also got to do a sneak preview on what dad does when he is there. To my surprise he has a nick name of Smoky Joe, and no he does not smoke. Only he doesn’t recognize any of them so he smiles and waves when they say hi. After being there for maybe an hour and a half he gets his coat on waiting to go home. They try to get him interested in their games or exercising or even painting but it is no use. He will listen to the reading of the news paper and than just fall asleep. That really broke my heart, but I still brought him there five days a week for four hours to give myself a break.
Well I think that is enough for today. I hope you all have a great weekend. Keep smiling and counting your blessings.
I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &