Hokte and Aunt Sis

8/6/19

My grandma is the oldest of 7 kids. I adore my great aunt and uncles. I remember running around Creek country with most of them. Today I took grandma and her baby sister out to eat. My aunt sis, to be honest I never knew her real name for the longest time. Seems like once you get a nickname, it sticks. Hokte is my grandmother’s nickname that her siblings and cousins have call her for years. So when trying to create the name for my blog, Memoirs with Hokte came to mind.

Grandma and I wanted to get out of the house today. I asked her what she wanted to do, she told me ” I want to see my sister”. I said “yes ma’am”. At lunch today we caught up on the latest gossip which wasn’t much because at their age now they don’t remember what is what. It made for a good laugh though. Dang grandma might not always be there in her mind but as soon as I say, “Hey grandma, guess what??” Boy she pops up, “What?!” I usually never have anything to tell her so it makes for a good laugh as well.

It’s never easy watching your loved ones age. I’m always thankful that I’m still able to take my grandma and great aunt out once in awhile. Oh I forgot to mention how ornery those two can be! I tell you what they can shame me out sometimes lmao. It’s all in good fun. I’ve been watching my grandmother these past few weeks. These articles are not as easy to read or accept. Mind you my grandmother has had dementia probably longer than when the doctors first diagnosed her. Her mobility is not the same. It takes her a little longer to get off the couch. It’s takes her a little longer to get up the stairs, etc etc etc. I have a link that connects with some of the symptoms she’s having. I’m not saying she’s too this point yet. It’s just somethings I have noticed and that you might notice as well in a loved one.

https://www.dementiacarecentral.com/aboutdementia/facts/stages/ this article goes into links of the stages of dementia. I’ll never be prepared for the day my grandma forgets my name. I pray we never have to put her in a home as well. I can not predict the future. I’ve had many people tell me that one day she will forget my name. She will forget who I am. For now she still brightens up when I walk in the house. Always remember to tell your loved ones that you love them. Everyday is becoming harder to walk out the house and telling her goodbye. She’s always in a cheerful mood when I leave. You never know what day could be their last. So I encourage you to take the time to spend with your loved ones. I thought pushing myself away could fill the void. Instead I rather be here for the rest of her days.

This following article I have attached is another blog that is called “Dealing with Dementia” https://dealingwithdementia.wordpress.com . I started following this blog to help me and what is going on in my life. I know I’m not much help myself but this blog is a good asset to have. I highly encourage you to give it a follow.

I’ll always try to end on a positive note. It was a fun day with grandma today. Another day in the books. Some days I feel like this blog is my saving grace. It might not be much to you but it means a lot to me.

Cooking with Grandma

Today I was watching the evening news. Of course every news station was covering the mass shootings that had just recently happened. Everyday is a new day for grandma so when watching the evening news she was shocked. I guess that’s the best word describe how she felt. She asked me where it happened and what happened. I finally got sick to my stomach from this one story that stuck out. A woman was with her mother. Her mother was 91 years old. She had to help her mother under the table to hide her from the shooter. She had a video that made it on the evening news. The whole situation from this weekend of the mass shootings can make anyone sick to their stomach. The hardest is part is realizing it was a regular day for those people. We’re never promised tomorrow but I put myself in their shoes. I would do anything for my grandma. I didn’t mean to get off subject but just in general praying for those affected.

After hearing that story I changed the channel and went on about our business. Grandma thinks she can still cook, even though there’s signs in the kitchen telling her not to cook. There’s signs my family has put up to remind grandma of things she can and can not do. She’s a bit of a rebel I suppose cause today she was determined to cook. So for the first time in a long time I stayed with her in the kitchen. Growing up she always taught me how to bake and little things here and there. She made sure I knew how to get by before I left the nest many moons ago. I always cherish those times growing up. Especially when it came to baking the cake! Everyone loves to lick the spoon haha. We mostly hung out at the house today and got little things done around the house. She does pretty good when you keep her busy and as per usual she took her afternoon nap.

Just thinking about a lot today. I didn’t mean to take a two day break but life happens. I haven’t found what I’m looking for writing this blog, if I’m even looking for anything. Just a lot going on in the world and for those suffering tonight I pray for you. My grandma is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and growing up I always heard this hymns. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WIwkzUZUMIk&feature=youtu.be I hope you can find some peace with it as well.

Remember, self care

Grandma and I had a wonderful day! We went to BINGO l, didn’t win but that’s alright she had a wonderful time.

I’ve been feeling defeated about my blog already. But I made a promise to myself to write everyday so I am.

Sometimes as a care giver you can feel defeated as well. So I’ve attached a link to help care givers. Because it can be hard but as I keep saying remember, you’re not alone. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia-aging/tips-for-alzheimers-caregivers.htm

Here is another helpful article with tips for care takers as well https://www.crisisprevention.com/Blog/August-2017/6-Easy-Caregiving-Tips-When-Dealing-With-Dementia

I’ll keep it short and sweet tonight. I’m praying for you that have recently lost your grandmothers as well. You’ll be in my thoughts.

Onward Haskell!! ( Memoirs w/ Hokte )

8/1/19

Grandma and I are just relaxing today. We’ve had a few good laughs this morning. We cleaned house and had lunch. She’s reading a new book I brought home. I’m not sure if I’ve said this or not but grandma went to Haskell Institute, now known as Haskell Indian Nations University. (Onward Haskell) She graduated back in 1949!

I first left for Haskell back in 2013, I asked her and my mother to help me move up to Lawrence, Kansas. I was scared. I never lived in another state away from my folks. Well I’ll be dang, grandma told me

“When I left for Haskell, I didn’t have anyone take me. I had to ride the train and I only had one suitcase.”

I thought to myself… Ok, haha all sad girl but before I left she did tell me this,

“You can’t be scared to leave the nest. There’s nothing for you here and you’ll do good things up there. You’re goin be alright Jess. After a week or two you won’t even miss me. I was scared too but I didn’t have a choice. My parents dropped me off at the train station and away I went. When I got up there, I forgot to grab my suitcase off the train. So I didn’t even have any clothes when I got to school.”

Luckily when grandma arrived at Haskell they had spare clothes for her. I remember as a kid she would always go to the Haskell Alumni meetings here in Oklahoma. She made a number of friends while she was there. She showed me her yearbook as well. I thought that was pretty cool. I sat down with her today and told her what I was writing. I asked her if she had a story she wanted to share from her time up there…..

She replied “Oh I got a good one. My friends and I were in line for breakfast. The rules were, you could only have one biscuit. Well dang it while I was in line I dropped my biscuit. I picked it up and looked around. I ended up putting that biscuit back and getting a new one. My friend behind me didn’t see what I did, and he grabbed that biscuit I dropped.”

Laughter makes the world go round and boy I tell you we laughed pretty good about that. After laughing I at least asked her if she told him?

“No, but no one else told him either.”

Once again we laughed. She still remembers her Haskell days pretty well. Somethings are in and out of course but over all she still likes to reminisce. On a side note, I started to wonder if she was the only one from her class still alive? I’m not sure who the oldest alumni is but I’m going to have to say she’s getting close. I’m hoping some of my Haskell friends will take the time to read this and wonder as well… Who is the oldest?

Anyways another story she told me was that they were having a fire dire one night. She lived on the 4th floor of her dorm and slept on the top bunk. When the fire alarm started she woke up and jumped off that bunk bed…. Just to land on her roommate below her, who was also getting out of bed. Haha, we laughed again. She told me ” I felt so bad for falling on her.” I just told her its alright you didn’t mean it.

This one is my favorite. One of her northern friends said “wasté”, to her and she didn’t know what that meant. Grandma went on after that and gathered up her clothes. (Lmao) She thought he was telling her it was wash day instead of “Wasté”. Her friend seen her later with her clothes and he asked her what she was doing with them. She said, “Didn’t you tell me it was wash day?”

Haha, I’m just happy I knew what it meant before she told me. If you don’t know what “Wasté” means, it means good in the Lakota language. Over all today we’ve shared some good laughs. I told her some of my Haskell stories. I only told her the ones that are ok for grandmas to hear. (lol) Other than that it’s about that time for her daily nap. I hope you take time to spend with your elders. They enjoy reminiscing and can be pretty funny.

Onward Haskell!

You’re my sunflower ( Memoirs w/ Hokte )

Busy busy busy…. Just busy day today. I wasn’t able to see grandma today. Honestly some days she’s too cool. I had somethings to take care of so I stopped by at least say hi! When I was living in Norman, I would call her just about everyday it seemed like. Well anyways, grandma is having an eventful evening. My aunt is a film maker and has a new documentary she’s been working on. She recently showed the film to my grandma. Grandma requested that she show the film to her friends at the Tulsa Creek Indian Community. We just call it “the center”.

My grandma has been going out there for a number of years, probably as long as I’ve been alive. She’s well known there for her volunteer work. I would always ride with her out there growing up. She spent a lot of her time there and I’m happy she did. Some of my favorite memories are from out there. My aunt did as requested. They had a viewing of her film at “the center”. They had a good turn out about 30 people showed up. I know that made grandma happy. She really enjoys her activities and her friends. I’m so happy she’s still able to enjoy things like that.

I started to think about what other activities I should try with her. We’re already scheduled for BINGO on Friday. I’m super excited about that. (lol) Other than that I told grandma that she needed to get out the house even its for 10 minutes. I told her “you’re my sunflower, I gotta make sure you’ve had enough sun and water.”

She laughed but I ended up looking up some fun activities for people with dementia. I’m looking forward to trying some of these out with her and I’ll be sure to update you guys. I know she loves to read so I brought her a nice amount of books over Native American History and what not. Other that I have attached a link with some fun activities to try. https://www.alzheimers.net/2014-03-06/stimulating-activities-for-alzheimers-patients/

Here’s another link as well that has some activities https://www.alzheimers.net/2014-03-06/stimulating-activities-for-alzheimers-patients/

Here’s another day to give thanks…. I hope any of you going through something similar makes the most of the time you have left.