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Missing dad
Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2012 11:20 AM
Joined: 4/1/2012
Posts: 2

Hi, It's been a long time since I have revisited these boards. Dad passed away on Oct 13, 2006. I still miss him terribly but I have learned to separate the disease from dad over time and remember him for all his years as being my father. The great wise man I turned to so many times in my life.

I was hoping someone out there could help me locate a poem of sorts I wrote in his memory in 2006. I have misplaced it and long to revisit it. I have tried unsuccesfully to search for it here myself. It goes something to the effect of...I used to think alzheimers was a dirty ends with I now know....

Thank you friends and God bless you all for the journey


p.s. my user name was different then though i cannot remember what it was

Posted: Sunday, April 1, 2012 8:11 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 84

Hi Mar--

I think I found it...and it is beautiful. I just lost my mom on February 1st (she had AD) and my dad also has AD. Your words can be mine in so many instances...I'm so glad you asked about this and I was able to find it. I think your user name was M4 in case you want to try to find any other posts.



Alzheimers taught me something about myself, and how to live. This is my final tribute to dad. I warn you it is a little lengthy.

I used to think Alzheimers was something that happened to other peoples families

I used to think that somehow Dad wouldn't be fully affected by the disease the way others were

I used to think Alzheimers was something you didn't talk about. That it was dirty word that meant you lost your mind, and your dignity.

I used to think that as the disease progressed, I would lose my Dad as I knew him, the man I'd grown to love

I used to think I'd never be able to talk to him the same, or hear his words of wisdom.

I used to think that loving someone with Alz. meant they were already gone, and all that was left was what you could give them or do for them

I used to think when the days turned into months and then into years that I was not strong enough to continue to care for Dad

I used to think it wasn't fair...I'd measure how much care I provided and become angry at my siblings who were able to continue to live their lives untouched by this terrible disease

I used to think their comments to take Dad for a ride, or offer him his favorite pie after he quit eating were comments that felt like a slap in the face because it demeaned the care I was giving Dad. Didn't they know I had tried EVERYTHING???

I used to think I couldn't play the game anylonger, living in Dads world, pretending I was his sister, or picking items up off the floor that only Dad saw

I used to think I couldn't go for one more ride in the car so that when we returned home, Dad could re-recognize his home as his own

I used to think apart of me was dying with him, hour by hour as I sat for my 24 hr. shift isolated from my family and friends

I used to think it was my duty. That as his daughter I owed him that for all he'd done for me in my 46 years on this earth

I used to think it would never end, that I'd go from raising children to caring for Dad to caring for mom into my own old age

I used to thinkthat someday I'd get a call to come to his side, the end was near, and that when that call came my feet wouldn't carry me

I used to think that dying would be swift, that in an instant we would be forever seperated

I used to think I couldn't survive Dads death. That I wouldn't be standing, my knees would buckle, the tears would flow and I'd never be the same

I used to think I couldn't bury Dad. I would make a spectacle of myself, laying across the casket trying to hold on to something in which I had no control

I used to think that I was alone. That the burden though sharred with a few siblings was uniquely my own experience

I used to think it would never end........but it did end

Death came like a theif in the night. What I'd known as my truth for so long became unraveled and now...

I now know Alz. does touch the lives of people I love

I know Dad was affected by it like millions of others and I could only watch as he became progressively worse

I now know Alz. is something you must talk about. You need to learn as much as you can, so you read about it, you talk to others who experience it on web sites, and you try to help your loved one the best you can

I now know Alz. isn't a dirty word associated with mental illness and Dad wasn't crazy. It's something that happens to you like cancer, or a car accident. It begins to rob you of your memories and knowledge but Dad was still there, still Dad just different Dad

I now know the man I'd grown to love never left me. He was never out of site for long. He appeared from behind the disease, peeking out occassionally to say something Dad would have said. He held my hand, and spoke through his eyes. Sometimes he muttered I love you when he was able, and for this I am thankful

I now know that loving someone with Alz. wasn't what I could do for him, but rather loving him in spite of what he could no longer give me

I now know that I was strong enough to survive this disease. I didn't quit, even though I complained at times that I couldn't handle it. I dealt with my guilt, and my inadequacy, and I made my peace with Dad. I did all I could do, and would do it again if I had to

I now know making the decision to be a caregiver isn't easy. It means sacrifice and dedication. The road is long and lonely. The decision can only be made in love, one for another. And though it isn't fair when you have siblings to carry the burden alone, or with a select few. It is in the end a blessing to have known you walked with your loved one until the end. There is a special bond I now share with y sisters, a gift to know we walked that road together for Dad

I now know I played the game long enough. I did all the right thing. went for the right amount of car rides, offered the right amount of drinks, enough pie, enough prayers, enough I love you's. Everything was exactly as it should have been, because I did it in love, and because it was all apart of Gods plan. His will be done, not mine

I now know the pieces of me that were dying with Dad were supposed to die. Self-centeredness, guilt, and remorse to name a few.Dad was still teaching me how to live until the end

I now know that although it was my duty as his daughter to care for Dad. It was a privilage to hold this great mans hand in his final days. A privilage to help him take his final bow

I now know that the purpose for my life is to be there for my family. I believe we are not in this world alone, and we will all need the helpof others at times.

I now know that when that dreaded call came that late Sunday evening to come to my fathers side my feet not only carried me, but I was able to run the swift race ahead before me

I now know I can and did survive Dads death. I remained standing. that there was still much to do. And though my heart grieved for Dad, my mind knew he was in a better place with my Lord and Savior. Smiling down on us gathered at hid bedside, proud of the love we'd shown him

I now knowthat burying my Dad was apart of my life. I walked with honor behind the casket that my sons hand carried with the other pallbeares

And finally, I now know that I was never alone. God walked with me every step of the way, and when I became weary, he carried me

Inow know that although the experience was uniquely my own, I was never in it alone, my sisters walked side by sidewith me, and mom, and Dad throughout his illness. Theor love and care for Dad was exemplory. We were family, we collective few became a pact, bound by blood, determined to continue the fight until the end. We will never be the same, for each one of us were motivated by love, and there is no greater gift than love, one for another.

I now know that love doesn't have degrees. Love is love. All 7 of us remaining children loved Dad as best we could from where we were. Dad understood that, and now so do I

It did finally end, father, my daddy, died in his home surrounded by his family from Alz. Oct. 13 2006. Our hands were joined in prayer, my eyes closed, and somewhere in the middle of the prayer Dad passed quietly.

I thank God for knowing him. For the privilage of being his daughter. For the blessing of being one of his caregivers.

And lastly, I know Dad will never truely be gone. He lives in my heart. In the memories I treasure. He is apart of me, and through my voice his words will be spoken to my children. I will see him in the guestures of my brothers, or in the eyes of a new grandchild. His legacy lives on in all of us!!!

godspeed to all of you-------Marlene