In Sickness and In Health

 

linked-wedding-rings-clipart-wedding-rings“I think until you see Alzheimer’s firsthand, it’s kind of hard to conceive how brutal it really is.”  Seth Rogen

I read this on the Alzheimer’s Awareness Facebook page and I have to say that I agree 100%. If you have not experienced Alzheimer’s or dementia first hand, you have no idea how cruel the disease is. You have no idea how hurtful the disease can be and you have no idea how painful this disease is. I hope you never find this out first hand.

My mom commented one day that of all the things she and my dad thought they might have to face one day, this disease was not one of them. For my dad it was like someone turned the light out one day. We did not notice a gradual decline. There was no “ah ha” moment. It was just like someone took the sunshine away. Forever.

If we take a moment and look back at some of the “weird’ things that happened over a twelve month period, my sister and I might have figured it out. But in the big scheme of things, we did not see anything alarming. We just noticed little quirks that we could explain away.

This has not been a great week. Plenty of wonderful things have happened: Maggie went to be a “buddy” at Bethany’s Kids at Camp McDowell. Vann and I have spent some quality one on one time together. Sarah Hayden is home from a long summer in Greensboro, AL. Douglas’ classroom is coming together. AND . . . My dad thinks my mom has a boyfriend! WHAT?!

I told my sister today that I know that I am not supposed to argue with Daddy. I know that I cannot reason with a person with dementia. But I cannot help it! It breaks my heart that my dad thinks that Mama has left him for another man. My parents have always been in love. They have never wavered in their love for each other. I only remember one vacation where my parents were not together and that was a girl’s trip with fellow teachers to Blue Mountain. My parents love each other. For better or for worse; in sickness and in health.

Last night, my mom asked me to talk to daddy to try to settle him down. I was upbeat and he tried to be upbeat. But in the end, he told me that his marriage was over and that my mother had a boyfriend. I was SUPPOSE to agree with him or distract him but how do you not disagree with a statement like that. So, although I knew better, I told him he was wrong. Mama would never have a boyfriend. Dad was her boyfriend.

It did not matter. There was nothing I could say to change his mind. So, I told him I loved him and would talk to him later. I felt bad for my mother because she could not leave. This was the sickness. This was the worst part of their marriage vows.

This has been going on since Sunday and today is Wednesday. I am hoping it is the full moon. I am hoping this will fade away and things will return to our “new normal.”

I know that I cannot convince my dad that it is this cruel disease that is making him think this way but I cannot “NOT” try to tell him that my mom is there. She is present. She is by his side, holding his hand, kissing him goodnight and taking his ugly comments in stride.

If dad was in his right mind, he would never talk this way to my mom. He loves her even though he thinks she is gone.

This is a cruel disease and I hate it.

Hate it!

Hate it!

I hope you never know how cruel this disesase can be.

You will hate it too.

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