What does it feel like to have dementia?

What does it feel like to have dementia?

  1. I feel confused
  2. I feel lonely and isolated
  3. I feel afraid
  4. I feel very frustrated and angry
  5. I feel very tired
  6. It’s a very hard struggle
  7. I need kindness and humanity
  8. I need acceptance
  9. I need understanding not judgement
  10.  I can’t remember things and this is very humiliating
  11.  I can’t express  myself well
  12.  I can’t think straight
  13.  I need you to go slowly and gently with me
  14.  I need prayer support
  15.  I need to try and keep my sense of humour
  16.  I am more than my illness
  17.   I am a human being and the same person I always was
  18.   A child of God
  19.   I am a ‘human being’ not a ‘human doing’

Remembering Ita

Ita Geraghty was one of Dublin’s great characters. She hailed from the Inner City, I think. At least, she lived there when I knew Ita.

She had two fine grown up lads with whom I have lost touch. Her pride and joys.

She was a great woman to pray and help poor people. She had a really fierce sense of justice and gut level genuineness and was not afraid to speak her mind vigorously. We all got a bit of the lash of Ita’s tongue sometime or other.

Her own health was not great, I think she suffered a lot, which might help explain her frankness at times. Even saints run out of patience.

She was one of the great heart and soul people of the early Divine Mercy Conferences in the RDS which is how we became such great friends.

She had a great sense of humour and mischief and was no lover of pomp.

Her belly laugh still echoes in my mind. And the flash of her smiling eyes.

For some reason, her passing went by without much fanfare so now, a few years later, I am putting pen to paper to remember her on January 15th, feast of St Ita.

Another of Ireland’s strong and vocal women.

buddy and the christmas chicken

Buddy, our dog, and the special Christmas Chicken

I had a brain wave to roast a big chicken for my mother, Mary, for Christmas day. Designed to impress the female side.  I did not know that my wise sister, Nora, was bringing turkey to Mam and that Nuala, my sister in law, would also give us a load to take home Christmas night after having dinner with her. It was my first time roasting a chicken, a big thrill for me and I even enthusiastically stuffed it with lemons as Maura, my wife advised. 20 minutes a pound then let it stand.

I rushed out to Mam on Christmas eve but left my all-important cooked half chicken behind in a container on the counter. A big mistake.

When I got to Mam in Howth, I realized I must have left my prized chicken behind. I looked in the boot of the car but to no avail.

I got home to Maura about 6pm on Christmas eve. Expecting to find my Christmas chicken where I left it. But Buddy, our opportunist dog, had got it, on the sly.

The whole half a big chicken had totally disappeared. Vanished like a ship in the Bermuda Triangle. Maura had kindly and indulgently halved it for me and for Mam. She had also stripped the other half for sandwiches.

Then, three days after Christmas, there was still some of Nuala’s turkey left over so I decided to use up my special chicken.

Again, I left it momentarily out on the counter. I went out to the shed to put my white nurse’s uniform in the wash. To get ready for work tomorrow.

When I came back into the kitchen, Buddy, quick as a flash, had gobbled the second part of my special festive roast chicken meant by Maura for sandwiches.

It would have been a nice change at lunch from all the turkey. With a bit of salt. And a cool glass of Heineken delicious non alcoholic beer.

“The sound of bitter mourning is heard in Ramah”

Buddy, the chancer, looked very guilty and cowered and I felt like giving him a toe in the behind but then it dawned on me. It’s Christmas for dogs too.

Healing for Dementia

Healing for dementia

    (15/12/2020)

Love can help heal dementia

and it’s often painful side effects.

it is primarily a spiritual battle,

it seems to me.

prayer can greatly help heal dementia

with kindness and care,

good humour and common sense. 

dementia prevention

the good news is that some dementia can be prevented

The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland (ASI) have a lot of free useful information

and they have a very helpful free helpline 1800341341

http://www.alzheimer.ie

If you want to talk to me, my first consultation is free too (about half an hour)

Phone or text 0872999241 to make an appointment, e mail paultwickham@gmail.com

or Whats App 0852548244, you will be welcome

Remembering Diarmuid

Remembering Diarmuid O Casaide, Howth (from Louth)

                                                       (RIP 14/11/2020)

Diarmuid was a noble gentleman.

A duine uasal

Good at the Irish and the singing.

Full of wisdom about our ancient culture

and full of stories and sayings.

full of soul and prayer

and with a kind heart and a cheerful manner.

A great family man.

I enjoyed playing music with him for Charlie Mc Dermott  

He blew a mean harmonica.

Ceart go leor

Tribute to Eamon Doogue

Eamon Doogue Remembered

(21/9/2017)

I really did not know Eamon very well

but he was always at the RDS Divine Mercy Conferences

and Sr Briege’s big Masses in Phibsboro.

I really only bumped into him.

But he was always cheerful. A gentleman.

With a soft and crinkly face and smiling eyes.

And i remember his beautiful playing of the violin.

I always felt i had a friend in Eamon.

In prayer and in faith-filled music.

God, he stuck it well.

A great ad for the healing power of spiritual songs.

He never missed a Conference until he was well into his 90’s.

The stuff of legends. Dublin legends.

Carlow legends.

(You can see Eamon with Br Aloysius in the photo of one of the first Conferences. I am only 30 years old in this photo)

Tribute to the legendary Br Aloysius

Brother Mary Aloysius C.S.S.P.

           (Andrew Montgomery- September 23rd 1926- May 31st 2005)

From 1992, the very first conference, to 2003, Br. Aloysius helped greatly in the work of the Annual Divine Mercy conference in the RDS, Dublin, in the careful preparation of the adoration chapel and in liturgical services.

He was based for many years at Blackrock college where he was sacristan as well as heroically helping the older, more feeble members of the Spiritan community. He previously had served as bursar and was in charge of staff.

He loved Our Lady deeply and loved to pray very, very much.

Like his young patron saint, St Aloysius, he cared especially for humility, charity, chastity and penance. He was concerned very much about young people today and was well aware of their real difficulties and temptations these days.

He did not care what anyone thought of him. He pursued his own rigorous program of lots of prayer, sacrifices, fasting and hard work regardless of those who saw this as excessive. He suffered much misunderstanding from people because he refused to compromise his own highly dedicated way of life and devotion. This constant rejection never deterred him, however.

He stood up to be counted on pro-life issues. He promoted devotion to the Two Hearts and True Life in God and the Rosary, Fatima and Medugorje.

He struck one as always cheerful and joyful with a boyish sense of humour.

Everyone loved him but his high expectations of personal holiness made it a little uncomfortable to be with him. It was like being in a sauna to be near him. Cleansing and very refreshing but a little too hot to bear!

It broke his heart when people did not live up to Gospel standards as he so wanted to please Our Lady and felt keenly her sorrow at sin and ungratefulness.

He had the ability to laugh at little human weaknesses and enjoyed poking fun at the pretentious. His spiritual individuality made him popular with many because he was like a breath of fresh air. He was a character. He had good friends and was a good friend to many. The death of his friend Fr. Michael O’Carroll, a member of the Blackrock community and brilliant Marian theologian, really knocked the stuffing out of him in 2004.

It would be easy to give examples of his exceptional acts of virtue but the main thing about him was his beautiful love of Mary and of Jesus in the Eucharist. He spent hours and hours in Adoration. His last call to me was to console us about Chris O’Dowd, our beloved head steward from Balgaddy, who died just before him

His devotion to the Divine Mercy left him with little fear of judgement. As he said himself, he looked forward to running up to his Mother Mary and embracing her forever.

“Unless you change and become like a little child…” (Matthew 18:3)

Br Aloysius is dressed in white in the photo