When my life went askew


alzheimer's 1One night, when thoughts of Alzheimer’s stopped me from falling asleep, this is what I jotted down.

Your voice is stilled, your joy has, gone memories comfort and linger on. You managed to play a fair game of bridge then sometimes stacked crockery in the fridge.  I searched for signs of the man I once knew, so sad it was, as there were precious few. Living day by day with your dementia, felt like being married to you in absentia. I know that my life went askew, yet your warmth and your smile remained part of you.

Our daily sharing of active living soon evolved into lots of care-giving. The agenda you once had was long gone as hours of inactivity stretched on and on. There were many times when things were ‘normal’ – your behavior acceptable and often formal. It seemed to me that in some strange way, your mind was working like in the old days.

I used lots of patience and dedication, very often with some frustration. You knew that something was very wrong as you languished through days puzzling and long. There was heartbreak in your plaintive pleas when you asked repeatedly; ‘What’s happened to me?”

Oddly it seemed that in some strange way, you were working on projects from former days. Stamps, coins and books once occupied you for hours, you derived pleasure from music, plays and flowers. Having no agenda, there was no way, to project any interest for the following day. You didn’t deserve Alzheimer’s in your life – you, who helped others in times of strife. “Why our Dad?” the children asked, but, to reply to that was an impossible task.

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