November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. 💜 If this disease has affected you and your family in any way, shape, or form, I offer you my deepest empathy! My dad had Alzheimer’s disease and my mom had dementia. I get it!
If you are in the midst of dealing with Alzheimer’s, may I recommend journaling? Writing down your thoughts and feelings just might provide some sense of calm in the eye of your emotional storm. It could help you sort through your fear, anger, confusion, hope, embarrassment, sadness, and yes, even peace and joy on those days your loved one is ‘with it.’
I stumbled upon a journal entry I had written when my dad was moved into the Good Samaritan Society because my mom was no longer able to take care of him.
As I read this journal entry from 2008, I shed a few tears. However, in an unusual kind of way, my penned words provided me with some peace. It reminded me that our family did the best we could with the situation we were given.
Below is my journal entry from October 23, 2008. I hope and pray you find a tiny golden nugget somewhere in these words.
10/23/08 Moving Day
Today was the day we moved my dad out to Good Sam. We all went out for lunch and then returned to our homes. I waited for my mom to call when it was time. Around 1:00 p.m., we headed out to Good Sam with dad. About 3 hours later, I was on my way back home…sobbing. There was a lot of activity, lots of papers for mom to sign. When we met back at Dad’s room, he was sitting in his chair, just like he did at home. Before I left, he looked a bit forlorn, like a sad, frightened child who has just gone off to camp and doesn’t want to stay. Dad asked, “Will I ever get to go home?” Oh, how that tugs on my heart strings and opens up the flood gates of tears. I think, ‘No, Dad, you’ll probably be here until the day you go home to heaven.’
Freedom comes with a price tag. That’s what we say about our country. I can say that for my mom too! She has been a prisoner in her own home for about 5 – 7 years, wanting to take care of my dad because of his Alzheimer’s and blindness. Now that he is out at Good Sam, she’ll have freedom to come and go as she pleases. Her price…a broken heart. A heart that is filled with heaviness and sadness because her best friend, her soul mate for the past 53 years, is now living somewhere else.
Loneliness can be heavy on your heart. I’ll need to make sure I call her often! Go see my dad often! And…pray often!
Wow, this has been a tough day. Friends like Lisa Hubers become a great ‘pain reliever.’ She sent flowers just to let me know she’s thinking about me today on moving day. She sent some to my mom too! What a beautiful friend. Thank you, Jesus, for friends like that.
My dad’s stay at Good Sam was just short of 5 years. He died in 2013. My mom ended up living there too because of dementia. She passed away only 10 short months after my dad. Now they’ve been renewed and dance together once again in heaven. 💃
Alzheimer’s…it is a frightening, cruel, remorseless, horrid disease. For those going through it with a loved one, I shed tears with you. I say prayers for you. I grieve your loss with you. I send love to you. For those of you who know others who are coping with this struggle…maybe send them some flowers just to let them know you are thinking about them.