Alzheimer’s was the evil plaque in Dad’s brain that changed him from a hard-working, easy-going man into a cranky, ill-tempered couch potato.
Alzheimer’s was a thief. It stole Mom away a piece at a time and left me to grieve a loss that went on for years.
Alzheimer’s was a twisted comedian that made me laugh at the ridiculous things Mom did while I cried inside because of the reason behind her antics.
Alzheimer’s was the demon in my head that made me impatient with situations that were no one’s fault and angry at an opponent I couldn’t defeat.
Alzheimer’s was the monster in the closet or under the bed that changed our lives forever once the doctor spoke its name.
But Alzheimer’s was also the loser.
In spite of his difficult final years, Dad left a legacy of peace and love that lives on in the family he left behind.
While Mom’s past disappeared along with her memories, she also forgot the social anxieties and fears that had plagued her all her life and became a real party girl.
The wardrobe mishaps and other silly incidents often led to shared laughter and hugs that made life feel almost normal if only for a moment.
As the good days became fewer, I learned to cherish them when they came.
When Mom’s vocabulary was down to only a few words, one of those words was Jesus; and even to the end, she always responded to music.
Both Mom and Dad passed from this life without a struggle and with peaceful smiles on their faces as they looked into the face of the One who cares for the least of these.
I have found solace in knowing that my task of caregiving was completed not perfectly but well, and I have found comfort in sharing our story with others who are going through the same thing.
Read more about my family’s fight with Alzheimer’s in Mom’s Long Goodbye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort released by Anaiah Press on March 12, 2019. Ebook now available at Amazon; print format available soon.
Buy it at Amazon