Three years later

August 20, 2016

"I run for peace, strength, health and balance. I run because I can and she cannot. I run because there are days when the heartache is impossible and I must extract something to be grateful for." 

 ~ Tina Zarlenga

Today marks three-years since the removal of Deb’s brain tumor, the timeline where doctors roughly estimate your recovery stalls to nothing, but that does not satisfy us, if there is more to build on, we will uncover it.

Her days are filled with water aerobics, assessments, strength training, and support groups, while mixing in volunteer work and of course endless doctor appointments. For fun we visit All fired up where painting pottery has become her new calming craft, encouraging pride while creating quite the collection of pottery this endeavor distributes joy to both of us.

Establishing a routine in her days forges a repetition to stimulate her brain and support her memory. Calendars and planners are situated throughout the room as daily patterns are implemented to remind her. Despite the organized day, doctors and medications, the struggle still continues, especially with no short-term memory.

A great day together ends in frustration when she does not recognize home, and although she reluctantly gets out of the car, she is not convinced that this is where she lives and a feeling of desertion comes over her.

The walls are graced with family photos but even this does not deter her strong will which stubbornly stand between us. Most days her confusion rejects the facts I attempt to instill and she is certain she forgot something or needs to be elsewhere leaving many purchases packaged for when she goes home, and even though she is already there I cannot convince her otherwise.

Awareness lingers from the past to the present with the echo of questions she holds onto. Sure in her observations she battles to convince me of her understanding while I seek the ways to align her view. Without memory of the present you lose the ability to consider the future and few discussions arise for subsequent plans since thinking about the future requires memories of the past.

The previous three years formed a new normal for us all and we each support her days however we can. But through it all we always return to laughter where she shares the best pieces of herself in stories, sayings and sound effects delivering a punch line like no other and more reasons why one never gives up.

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  • August 20, 2016 @ 11:57 AM EDT
    By Julie Meyers
    Tina, beautifully written.
  • August 20, 2016 @ 8:36 AM EDT
    By gordon
    thanks

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