This is for you, Pepaw
I've decided to join the ALZ Alzheimer's Assocation in honor of my Pepaw, Bill Pool. He suffers from Dementia and was recently diagnosed with Esophageal cancer. It has been hard to watch this disease affect his cognitive function. This disease has taken his memory, his ability to care for himself, and the true ability to communicate. He will be celebrating 61 years of marriage this June and is loved by the most amazing woman! She continues to take care of him and reminds him he is loved everyday.
My mom once told me something I'd like to share...
"My daddy's dementia has affected my life in many ways. Two conflicting emotions I have in dealing with Dad's demenetia are love and grief.
I will always love him no matter what.
When he started to forget little things, I loved him and gently reminded him.
When he repeated the same story 1000 times, I loved him and listened as if it was the first time hearing it.
When he said he did things, that I know he did not do, I loved him and marveled at his great ability.
On days he thinks I'm his mother and can't remember me, I love him like a mother, but still need him like a daughter.
When he can't bathe himself, I love him and help him bathe without making him feel ashamed.
When he has no words to say or can't remember words, I love him and sit in silence with him.
When he's scared, confused, and lost, I love him and comfort him as he did me once upon a time.
The grief...is huge. It's hard to explain grief while a person still lives.
I grieve the slow fading away of the strongest, gentlest, funniest man in my life.
I grieve his day to day losses; things he used to know how to do and now doesn't.
I grieve the loss of his memories.
I grieve that sometimes he doesn't know who my mom is and wants to go home to his mom.
You can easily see how dementia has affected my daddy in so many ways.
You must find the glimmer of sunshine delaing with dementia. Dad no longer has day to day worries and axiety that life brings. He no longer shoulders the burdens of caring for the family and all that entails. He easily laughs and feels emotions. He cries when there is good news and when we talk about heaven and God. It's fun to see the surprise on his face when he hears how old he is or how long he's been married.
Each day with dad is a special gift and each visit brings surprises. Some joyful, some painful; all in all, his warm presence, infectious laugh, and beautfiul smile are things we are not ready to lose. I pray for a cure for this terrible disease."
My sisters and I will be running in a half-marathon on November 13 in honor of our Pepaw. By participating in this event, we have committed to raising awareness and funds to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association®.
Please support our efforts by making a donation. All funds raised benefit the Alzheimer's Association and its work to enhance care and support programs and advance research toward methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer’s disease!
Please Note: Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.