Changes In Latitudes

Changes in Latitude by Kim Campbell for CareLiving.org

In July of 2012, Glen’s Good Bye Tour landed at a beach hotel in Pensacola Florida for a show. While we were checking in at the front desk I told Glen that Jimmy Buffet owned the hotel and named it after one of his songs, “Margaritaville”. Glen’s reaction reminded me of Will Ferrell’s reaction in the movie “Elf” when Santa’s name was mentioned – “I know him! I know him!”
Glen spent the rest of our stay looking for Jimmy!

Glen’s childlike excitement, sense of humor and upbeat attitude inspired our whole family to accept the changes that we were going through with as much joy and positivity as possible and gave us the latitude to be light-hearted and happy.

There’s nothing like a Jimmy Buffet song to help you relax, accept what you can’t change, and enjoy the simple things in life.

It’s those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.
– Jimmy Buffet

Unlike Jimmy, we didn’t waste away in Margaritaville that weekend. We had a blast and made the best of every moment we had together. We ate cheeseburgers in paradise at LandShark Landing and watched the Blue Angels perform overhead as we stood on the beach.

Don’t let Alzheimer’s steal even a single minute from you and your loved ones. Laugh, love, embrace every moment, and change your attitude!

I shared more than three decades of love and happiness with Glen. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 years since that weekend in Florida. I want to share this home video of Glen and me dancing the day away back on July 11, 2012. It’s not very long, but captures a fun, loving moment in time – even with the shadow of Alzheimer’s lurking behind us, a simple change in attitude made all the difference. 

17 Comments

  1. Dan Keeton says:

    Glen is still around in my heart of memories. Never got to meet him always wish I had now that I’m in the autumn of my years. Thanks for all you do.

  2. I guess part of the trick is to acknowledge the changes taking place. The acceptance of the changes one sees in a loved one is a hard place to finally reach. Fighting it and trying to make them the way they “used to be” and feeling that sinking feeling on a bad day and optimism and relief on a good day. The changes feel frightening and painful.

    It’s hard to stop comparing how a loved one once used to be to where they are now…how smart, how sharp, how whatever…and kind of let go and try not to feel sad. One lives with someone all life long and knows” that” person and then there’s this different person one knows for a much shorter period of time who slowly starts to replace the memory of the old person and one wonders–who will I remember…the old loved one or the new one? And will I be able to remember the old one anymore? And sometimes trying to conjure up memories of how our loved one used to be or trying to reproduce situations that elicit one’s loved one’s old self to come forth again so it brings comfort and reassurance to you once again. And the realization that things won’t ever be quite the same anymore and the ensuing feelings of mourning one must work through. A tough journey.

    But to dance and just let go and release the grip, to have compassion and patience is really the only survivable way to be… to enjoy what is.

    Glen was having a grand old time!!

  3. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom and journey with us. I may need you soon and it’s comforting knowing you’re there if I do.

  4. Kim Campbell says:

    Absolutely. We hope these pages bring you comfort and a glimmer of hope and positivity along the way!

  5. Mark Massey says:

    I am 56 and Mr. Campbell’s music has been a part of my life since I can remember. My Mom had most of his albums. I have those same albums now along with DVDs and CDs of his music. I had a chance meeting with him in Spring of 1988 when both of us were standing in the baggage claim area at Gatwick Airport in London. He was standing alone and I walked over. Told him I had always been a fan of his music and that I was from Little Rock. He was engaging and most gracious and told me that he was a bigger hit in England that he was then in America. It was just a couple of minutes, but it was nice for me with just the two of us standing there. That memory is how I see him today. I am sorry that Mr. Campbell and your family had to go through this disease. My sympathy to all families who have to live with it in some capacity. I cannot imagine. Very nice and helpful website. Best wishes to you.

  6. Jackie Johnson says:

    I went through this with my father over 20 years ago. I believe my husband 69 has it. He’s a different person. He gets mad & sends angry texts if I can’t answer my phone. I’m 64 & work 40+ hrs a week to keep a roof over our heads. Sometimes I miss the person he was. We have to roll with the changes & make the best of it. He says he won’t go to a home, & will fight anyone who tries to make him. We’ll probably have to get his son who’s bigger than him to take if it comes to that. My father walked with a walker & was unable to leave the house without assistance. He died of a heart attack before his Alzheimer’s progressed too far. Thanks for being there. Jackie Johnson of Pontiac, Michigan

  7. We’ve been married 40 yrs this August…my husband has Alzheimer’s…H.k. Notes are what I am seeing in myself..fighting the changes…missing who he was…dealing with the anger outbursts,…hearing him not recognizing simple things. as a caretaker, it’s very isolating. This website I just found on parade mag today. It’s a comfort.

  8. Jaime Elizabeth Meyer says:

    My husband has Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. He is 58 and I am 56. I miss him.

  9. Deborah Smith says:

    My mother has the disease. She’s 83 yrs of age. My father her husband same age says he’ll take care of his own wife. But he doesn’t do anything to help her. He lets her sit in the house all day and stare no activity. She is slowly loosing muscle mass. He is stubborn. I her daughter get her twice a week to give her a bath. I praise you for such good care Glen had. I’m say for my mom. What advice if any do you have or suggest.

  10. Marilyn DeBoer says:

    This may be the caregiver’s support group I have been hoping to find. We are 87, and will have our 65th wedding anniversary in September. We are not dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease, but with MDS, myelodysplastic syndrome…….a bone marrow disease, treatable, not curable. My husband has been in treatment for 3 years now, with no real improvement. He is mentally alive and sharp, but a very low hemoglobin has robbed him of any energy. Daily tasks are a real chore for him. H.K. expressed it so beautifully, and, like Jaime writes………I miss him.

  11. Leslie Basham says:

    What a wonderful reminder! I’m so glad that God has taught me to enjoy moments with Drew ( diagnosed with FTD and PSP diseases), that way I will not have that to regret. Just simply being there with
    him- in the good and bad times. (-:

  12. Vicki Pickard says:

    I’m so glad to find this on line. I just read your story in a magazine that my cousin brought to me. Remembering Glen Campbell. My husband of 45 years has dementia. I am having a really hard time dealing with this. He was a very smart business man. And now to see that he can’t even pay a bill. Everything is on my shoulders and I feel overwhelmed. I’m 14 years younger than he and I’m glad that I still have the energy I need to take this on. Sometimes I don’t even feel like dealing with him. I’ve lost my temper and I know he can’t help it. One good thing is in 5 minutes he doesn’t remember I was mad. Thank you for your story and I will keep reading and finding ways to adjust to my new life and the new man that he has become. I miss the man I married.

  13. Mr. Kim Klickna says:

    Kim– I just wanted to thank you for all you did for Glen. I loved his music. I was lucky enough to play percussion in the orchestra when he performed at the Illinois state Fair 20(?) years ago. It was a real thrill for me. Good luck to you.

  14. It’s awesome that you’ve set up this wonderful resource for Alzheimer’s. My wife and I volunteer at our local Hospice and a number of our patients are memory challenged. Too many families struggle with caring for their loved ones holding onto them to the point where that person isn’t getting proper care. When a family or specific caregiver is making choices that totally compromise their own quality of life, in many instances the loved one’s quality of life also suffers. We as a society need more education such as what you have done with this website and the beautifully done “I’ll Be Me” film. While Alheimer’s disease has become far more mainstream in last decade, we still have a long way to go in educating attorneys so that they properly guide their clients in crafting proper wills and in the education of families and spouses in how to care for the loved ones with this disease. Thanks for all you’ve done and are doing!

  15. Tonya Ramos says:

    H.K. wow, you really nailed it. I’m going thru this with my husband of almost 34 years . He’s 75, I’m 53. Reading comments, knowing I’m not alone somehow helps a little. At least for a moment.

  16. ELIZABETH BELTRAN says:

    I read your article this past Sunday in Parade and it really hit home. My father was diagnosed with Dementia 7 yrs. ago. Everything you shared is exactly what care giving is about. Faith and love is what’s kept my siblings and I continuing the journey with our father. We recently decided to put him in a facility because we had to face the harsh facts that: we are not professionals cannot provide him the quality of life he deserves.
    It isn’t perfect. We’ve had a few behavior issues. We know his illness will only progress with time. The important thing for any person that is a caregiver to loved one is to create your own little village! We sought out anyone that could connect us to someone that could assist us in any which way possible. He is our father that provided for us, took care of us. We make sure we tell him every day we love him!

  17. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am just stepping into the role of caregiver. My husband is not accepting his diagnosis but I felt relief in being able to put a name on all the changes. I have some catching up to do but this will be a big help. I already know it is a lonely road and that support is key. You are doing incredible work for so many.

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