Alzheimer’s is an ugly disease. Even comedian Seth Rogen recently tried to shed some light on the “ugly truth” and spoke of how his mother-in-law had forgotten “how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself.”
Within recent months, my step-dad has shown signs of dementia and it’s only getting worse. His mother recently died of Alzheimer’s and he wasn’t able to mentally articulate her death. It’s also been confusing: finding out that my biological dad has Alzheimer’s and then told he does not. It’s hard because we don’t live nearby. Our family will try to visit this summer but until then I can only guess through the short-lived phone conversations back and forth.
And then there’s his sister (my Aunt Betty). She is also a victim of Alzheimer’s. Here is a video form March 2014 of my Uncle Johnny telling her goodbye after a visit with her in Ohio – a beautiful picture of endearing love!
09/20/2014 UPDATE: Alzheimer’s took my aunt last night. Love and hugs to her family! Aunt Betty, you are suffering no more!!
I’m dedicating today’s blog to those who have a loved one who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. May God wrap his arms around you today and remind you of His deep love and of hope. “My soul melts for heaviness: Oh Lord, strengthen me according to your word.” (Psalm 119:28)
Here is my journal entry and a poem I wrote when I heard that my dad might have Alzheimer’s:
September 11, 2013 . 8:00am
It’s hard to know for sure what to think. He had a hard time speaking. “I waited till now to call you,” he said, “while I’m in the right mind.”
My dad called this morning. Haven’t heard from him in a couple of years, except a Christmas card signed by his wife. “I found out Friday that I have Alzheimer’s,” he goes on to say. It didn’t take long for the tears to flow.
“Plaques and tangles in the brain” is what Wikipedia says. That’s where I am. My brain is currently tangled. I was asked to contact my brother and dad’s family. I like spreading good news. This . . . it won’t be so joyous.
Love you Dad!
Why did my tears fall? Dad’s mind
never signified brilliance.
Our one-sided conversations never
accomplished anything much, yet
I will miss that which we did
have – those moments I wanted to get
away from. The news I received,
I knew it would arrive – Alzheimer’s.
I was not ready for it now.
The childhood cassette recordings and mumblings –
blurred now, never to return – now.
The other side – when we’re both in
heaven. I want to know his thoughts,
struggles, and most of all, who he
was and is, what he would have wished
to be. The tears fell. Dad’s mind
lost. I care for him still. Always will.