Why Even Try?

I don't know exactly when it started. I would fill plastic eggs with candy at Easter and hide the eggs around the living room. We live in the northeast. It's too cold to hide anything outside. There was a meme when we lived in Buffalo that said we color eggs so you can find them in the snow.

I also had Easter baskets for the kids with presents, treats, and something that we could play with together as a family.

Why even try?

It was my daughter's idea. She asked why not hide the baskets, too? I could make clues to find where each basket is hidden. I had made a few scavenger hunts for them - that was a big hit.

One Easter, I hid my son's basket out in the garage. The clue written on a 3x5 card, a la the old concentration TV game show, was a big Y like the logo for the YMCA, where my son had a summer job the year before. A bunch of numbers, 2-4-6-8-10. And a drawing of Yoda. A line through him? I forget. And a question mark.

It was a challenge and really fun watching him try to figure it out! The clue meant "Why (Y) even (even numbers) try (Yoda's famous saying, "There is no try, only do.")

I know. I have a random, tortuous streak. Dear reader, would you ever find the basket?

But it meant something to him — all of it. I had hidden his basket in the garage. That's where the extra freezer is kept. That's where the ice cream is. That's where he can't be bothered to go. He says if it's in the garage, it is dead to him. So, why even try? That's where he needed to look for his reward.

Receiving an Alzheimer's diagnosis

When you or a loved one receives the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, your mind careens, grasping for solid ground.

You may feel cut off from all of your plans, your imagined future. A life that may now feel dead to you. You may wonder, "Why even try?" As the air is sucked out of the room.

That's when you need a posture shift. A perspective shift. A redefining of life and success. It's not dying with the most toys and winning. It's not two people sitting in their bathtubs admiring the view. I don't understand that commercial.

Being able to look at things in a different way is helpful.

Value and treasure time with family

My mom lives with us. I have learned to value and treasure the time I have with her and with my family, and the time my family gets to spend with her.

In other countries, generations of families stay together, even under the same roof. Americans tend to all go our separate ways - our own on a quest for independence. On the one hand, it sounds like freedom. On the other hand, it can be isolating.

I think we have all grown closer together with my mom being here.

A care partner

It's true. Mom isn't going to get better. We have lots of doctors to visit and medications to take. We still need to find a speech therapist. Why even try? She does better with help.

Her meds are supposed to slow the progression. I'm glad for that time. I'm glad she can still do a lot of things for herself. I'm not ready to give up on her. I am her care partner, not just a caregiver. It's not just a one-way street. I think she is enjoying herself, too.

Raising kids to be good givers

My kids aren't ready to lose their grandmother. They still see her as a person. They have learned respect and responsibility and to be good givers and not just takers. They know the value of dignity. They are shaped for the better. We all are, by our care of my mom.

Rising to an occasion builds strength and character. This Easter, I hid baskets again. My clues were hilariously and obscurely obvious. I hid two extra baskets. My adult kids wanted their significant others to be there, too. I think if it were terrible for them, they wouldn't want to bring their loved ones in. Plus, I "hid" one for my mom on the bookshelf by the buffalo statue.

Her clue, "Look by where we used to live." We all helped her find it, to her delight.

Good memories is why we try

Why even try? It's hard. It's a challenge. You will have good memories even in the struggle. You will bond with those you let in. You might have some laughs amidst the tears. It's an adventure. There are unknowns. You will learn good and bad things about yourself. You will spend money you might have spent anyway. And there is candy! You can't take it with you.

How do you answer the question - why even try? Are you still looking for an answer? It's ok. It's hard!

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