Hello my name is Misty Fitzwater an this story is just a little part of my life that this disease took from myself and my family. My Daddy Bob Leonard got to the point to where my Mom,my (brother)Robbie,my(sister)Rebel my(sister)Shannon and my(husband)d.j an myself just couldn't give him the help an pertection that he had to get.He needed a place to where He couldn't get out and get his medicen straightened out.He was getting to where he would sneak out of the house and be gone and mom would call us kids to go look for him if she couldn't find him. Most of the time he wasn't to far away.The worst day of my life came when mom was in bathroom an it was her an him when she came out she realized he was gone again but this time it was earlie in morning an very cold out. She called us an we all went driving around looking none of us could find him. At this time a couple hrs went by. With three of us out driving an my brother walking around the apartment buildings u would thank we wouldve found him but we didnt.So we ended up calling the police.Mom an dad live right on the state line but in Va.So she called Bristol Va an they where right on it Virginia called Tennessee cops and got them looking on there side of town.. They had it aired on radio stations hoping somebody would come across my daddy. A little time went by and finally the detective got the call that we was wanting a man was driving down the road an seen a man that looked like who they described on the radio and thank the Lord that man just got out of his car and stopped daddy and just started talking to my daddy like they knew each other for years. We all went to where he was an With me I just ran up to him with tears flowing and held him like never befor. He was laughing loving the attention he was getting from all the cops around he didn't understand what the worry was he said he just went for a walk. But I thank God for that man being my daddys angel that day and not turning his head. We are so thankfull and greatfull to the stranger we did not know.Also the police was hands down great getting the word out there fast both Bristol Va anTn. But that day I really realized that It wasnt fair to my mom she has been going threw alot an dealing with alot.An I didn't want to hear about the way daddy was really hurting her cause i knew what that meant and i wasnt going to go for that..To me I just thought all the times she told me she couldn't do it no more that it's hard on her an she didn't know how much more she could handle. I really thought she was being stubborn Lord I was so wrong. As soon as i realized that I made it worse on mom not beleaving her I told her i am so sorry plus more. I just wasnt going to send my daddy anywhere in my mind.That day we all talked about what needed to be done cause it's time for mom to take care of herself befor something happens to her an to get help and stop daddy from getting violent with people and running away. I am an will always be daddys little girl so it was really hard for me I took him to doctors apts an made sure his meds where right for long time. My brother and sisters helped too I dont thank I could have done it without help. I picked up the phone and strarted calling nursing homes and other places that was the worst and hardest thing I've ever done.Finally after we went to a few places and found out the cost of some places was way to much for any elderly I thank. My sister Shannon finally found one that has a lockdown area for Alzheimer patients he has been there almost 4years now and is doing good he has a routine down he knows his way to his room he is alot better. And my mom is also.But I know now that it wasn't fair to my mom at all. I thought we all could do more and that mom was giving up on him. But I understand now and I told my mom that she did the best she could we all did and nobody is mad or thanks bad of her. She worries about people thanking she's a bad wife for putting him there. But she's not I told her I was sorry for not listening to her sooner.My parents where married on July8th 1966 53years ago And still going.. My mom talks about the hardest time for her is still going to bed and him not being there when she goes to roll over.But she is the greatest,very brave and wonderfull wife,mom,sister,sister-in-law,mother-in-law and the Greatest Nan that the Leonard family could ask for.My dad is doing GREAT even though I would want him here no matter what but it's not meant to be. This disease called Alzheimers is the cruelest thing to watch loved ones go threw and have. He always asked me years ago when he was getting worse Misty im staying so confused and losing my mind I don't know what's going on an who is who. Im not myself anymore and it's getting worse. We both set outside (he loved that an his rocking chair) and cried and I lied and told him he would be ok that the medicen would slow it down. Just not fast enough.. My daddy is the greatest Daddy,husband.brother,father- in-law,brother-in-law,uncle and of course GREATEST Pappaw and friend... In my heart the love I have for him and my memories of watching western at movie place on State Street in Bristol Va.an so many more I loved it when my little hand holding his mostly all the time and even being the women that I am now that is a great memory.We did alot togather he loved collecting baseball football basketball cards and comic books and mostly whatever there is to collect. I will never forget those great moments that we had togather..The man that some people called Bob I had the honor to call my daddy. Im so lucky that I am the little girl who gets to call him daddy.The hardest part is that he doesn't know who his baby girl is anymore not like he use to he doesn't remember anyone really. Im lucky that he knows my son he calls HOT ROD my 12year old son Matthew they where close witch my daddy thought the world of all his grandkids him an mom took them every where. Of course he is starting to forget his Matthew's full name but sometimes he can remember alot unfortunaly it's not to many times. So far he still recognizes him.He has been fighting this horrible disease for almost 10 years.I hope to raise donations and walk for the greatest man an my hero that I've ever met an will ever know my daddy.We all need to help people with this disease so please help donate or do what u can. My family will be out walking on Oct.19 2019 at the Pinnacle if you would like to join the walk just go to websight alz.org...And you can fill the registration form out there or just come to Pinnacle(Bass Pro)at 830am and register there. Then we will have cermony at 930 then we will start the 2mile walk at 10:00am. We all are trying to walk and donate for one day a white flower will be giving to the first person to survive thats are hope and prayers. Thanks to all..We all love and miss u daddy..
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