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The "Jim-i-sphere" Concept




One day, I was sitting with my mom at the table. She expressed deep concern that my sweet daddy, Jim, was "'backsliding' into his old ways." She told me how he "wasn't sleeping like he used to, he never wanted to leave her side, and nothing she did was good enough to make him happy." After listening to her point of view, Daddy came to the table for a cup of coffee. I asked how things were going. He looked at my mom- begrudgingly- before pointing at her and saying, "She is driving me bonkers! I am stressed to the MAX". Daddy went on to list his grievances: "She never ever wants to spend time with me!... She keeps moving everything around!... She always says 'no!'" I could see that my sweet daddy really had his feelings hurt- so I followed him to the garage for a "smoke break." My daddy went on to explain that mom was not coming home from work at the same time. He also brought up that she was not taking him to the grocery store to buy blueberries for smoothies. Then he mentioned the home renovations, and that was when it hit me... See, Daddy was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease in 2019. COVID Quarantine began in 2020, and for the first several months of "lock down"- my mom was there to provide everything my dad wanted. My mom, being the naturally routine person that she is- had created an incredibly stable, routine environment for my father. However, when the restrictions started easing up, that routine was broken. Add in the home renovations... and we have "Daddy stressed to the max!" I went to my mom to report my findings. I brought up my 4th-grade science project about hemispheres and asked if she remembered. She laughed and said, "Oh yes. You should have gotten an A on that!" I explained that during COVID, Mom had created a "Jim-i-sphere" that had routine, organization, and all the things that made Daddy happy; however, with all the recent events- it had been disrupted. "I can't control COVID or the fact I have to work." Replied my mom. I gently responded, "We cannot make the world the 'Jim-i-sphere,' but we can make this house the 'Jim-i-sphere.'" Thus, it was created and naturally evolved over the years as Daddy's needs changed. Some examples of things in the "Jim-i-sphere" included shifts from blueberries to Chobani yogurt but never less than six eggs; coffee and cigarettes always at the ready; furniture shifts slowly, Daddy's Living Room, Mom and The Grandbabies Den; Calander reflecting a change to Out to Eat on Thursday, any out of town trip, or reason mom would be late outlined well in advance and discussed; respect for Daddy's wake up time, nap time, and bedtime; set amount of cash in wallet. We also introduced additions to the "Jim-i-sphere," slowly such as his shower chair and wheelchair. The best part was when we learned it was "portable" and used it as we vacationed in Destin, Disney World, and Gatlinburg. While it sometimes seemed monotonous... these little tasks contributed to a better quality of life for my father and strengthened our family bond. When Daddy passed away, so did the "Jim-i-sphere." Strangely enough, it has been one of the parts of Daddy I have grieved for.  So, to honor him, I thought I would share this little bit of experience in the hope that someone will find it useful and create their own "_-i-sphere." 


Love, Jamie

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