Looking Ahead

A complicated tale of money, violence, crime, racism, lies, traffickers,  a story of misery, tragedy, heartbreak and death:  Immigrants on the Italian- French border.

I met this friendly young man from Guinea in Ventimiglia. He told me he fled his corrupt, poverty-ridden country by boat from Tunisia. He wanted to continue on to France where he hoped to find work since he speaks
French. He was very proud of his flashy red sport garb from Guinea where he was a “footballer” and also a sports reporter.

There are similarities to the dreadful situation on the Mexican-US border.  Thousands and thousands risking their lives to escape conflict, persecution, famine, death. The journeys are dangerous, often plagued with violence, theft, and hunger.   They only want a chance at life, to have food and shelter, to work, to live in peace.  They deserve that chance.  Will they get it?

Relier volunteers filling food sacks for the immigrants.

I live in France just 20 auto minutes from the French-Italian border.  I recently started  volunteering  with a French organization, Relier, offering assistance to the homeless immigrants in Ventimiglia, the Italian border town. The majority are young, black males  from dozens of different African countries .  Most want to enter France, perhaps proceed to other European countries.  In this part of France, they are not welcome.

Immigrants in Ventimiglia enjoying a free meal provided by Relier, a volunteer organization .

It is a complex topic. I plan to write a more extensive article/blog soon.  I need more time and research.  Watch this space.

Another topic I am very involved with is Alzheimer.  For four plus years I have watched this cruel disease slowly destroy my husband.  I will write more on that too, with a focus on the dedicated caregivers devoted to the lost and confused.

Bob Update

Bob brushes a rabbit at his new home. Rabbits, cats and dogs visit once a month to the delight of the residents.

I had hoped to post a blog on one of the above sooner,  but since that has not been possible, and it’s been so long since I have posted, I wanted to give a preview of what’s on my agenda.  And, an update on husband Bob since my last post:  Christmas without the Merry.

The helpers I mentioned in that post,  Kyle and Paola, were fabulous, although Paola quit after three days.  Apparently, it was too much for her.  I could not have survived without Kyle. He managed Bob with perfection and helped me keep my sanity. It was not easy for either of us.  The accident (fall and broken pelvis in several places) greatly accelerated the Alzheimer.  Bob was confined to a  hospital  bed in the living room.  He was difficult, especially  at night when he was very agitated and slept little. 

This restaurant at Les Citronniers, Bob’s home, is for the non Alz residents. I can accompany him there from time to time for a tasty meal, with wine of course.

After three weeks, Kyle and I, both exhausted,  came to the same conclusion.  We could not continue.  Fortunately, I found a place for Bob in a near-by EHPAD, a type of French medicalized senior citizen home.  He is in the Alzheimer unit with 14 others.  The staff are patient, caring.  The food is good, very French with four-course meals and a gouter (snack) in the afternoon. The ambience is pleasant–  bright, clean and spacious. He has never asked to leave, to come home.  I don’t think he remembers our apartment nor realizes where he is and why. That is sad, but probably a blessing. I visit daily. 

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27 thoughts on “Looking Ahead”

  1. Thanks for the insight into these two very important topics, Leah. I look forward to more.
    In the meantime, just know that you are doing a great job both with the immigrants and with Bob. Here’s to a little R and R for you in Camogli!


    1. A sad posting indeed, Leah, and Joan and I have only kind words for you and Bob. It’s a blessing you found such a caring place for him and that you have the perseverance to do all that needs to be done. Thanks for keeping us up to date.


  2. I loved reading all the previous, supportive and admirative comments and agree 100% with all of them. You are an amazing, strong, kind woman Leah.


  3. Leah, I love the photo of Bob with the rabbits! The rest of your message made me cry — for Bob, for you, for all the young people seeking a better lot in life. Thanks for writing this important piece, I look forward to the next installment. Much love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anne. You have been down this road with Carl. It is heartbreaking. I think Bob is in a good place. I now have a bit more time for other things, namely the immigrants.


  4. What more can I say; You’ve lived with this for so long, not fair for you, and especially for Bob/. As you said, he really doesn’t understand what’s happening. What a burden!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leah, I am so glad that you found such a wonderful care home for Bob.
    Alzheimers is such a terrible disease. I watched my father deteriorate with the disease when I was 23 years old a in University. My mother and I couldn’t cope and had to place him in a care home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You understand, Sandra. It is wicked and takes its toll on the caregivers as well as the victim. I hated to put ‘Bob in a home, but it seems to be a good place. it is best for both of. us


    1. Thank you, George, It is not easy. I m glad I have so many memories of life before Alz when we did lots of rewarding and fun things together. As you grow old, you have to accept the fact: Nothing is forever.


  6. Leah, both vital topics for our world’s and our lives. I applaud you writing/blogging/researching when it would be so easy to retire to your home and focus on the day-to-day physical and emotional demands. Kudos to you along with giant hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You both are in my prayers. Finally getting back into my own volunteer work. It is satisfying. ALZ is bad stuff. A cure would br most welcome. Keep with the great blogging and with the updates please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am always happy to. hear from you. On that exciting African adventure, we were kindred spirits — and still are. I am gad we have kept in touch. The volunteer work is important snd satisfying,


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