Beautiful. Me and Pops, laughing, joking, holding hands, talking. I am so grateful for days like these. They happen less often, and from my research on Alzheimer’s they will happen less and less as his illness progresses-but yesterday was a gift.
I had been at wit’s end trying to cope with my issues, and his anger. He had been totally rejecting the people who now come here to help; swearing, coming out in his underwear, telling the aides to leave and slamming doors. But most of the ugliness has been directed at me, and I had been spiraling down into the black. So I went online to the Alzheimer’s Association website, and refreshed my memory about how this awful disease twists Dad’s brain up, and how he needs compassion and love. I realize now how fearful it must be to have your mind slip away, and to know that you can’t do any of the things you used to do that made you feel needed, useful and strong. As I read the articles about these changes I became so sad, and I realized that I have totally been wrapped up in my own issues, and only thinking of how Dad’s illness affects me.
It is so easy to get tunnel vision, and I think humans have an ingrained tendency toward self-centeredness, but I want to fight this in my life. I only have a short time left with my father, I don’t ever want to regret how I treated him during his time of crisis.
What this all amounts to is that I took what I read to heart and made an effort to treat him with compassion and respect. He responded so fully that my heart swelled up with love, and suddenly the hurt slipped away and we transcended the disease and our physical selves, and we bonded again as the loving father and daughter we used to be.