At first I was confused and even angry as my highly intelligent, strong, fun, magnanimous dad struggled to communicate and exhibited behaviors that contradicted who we knew him to be. As the disease progressed, I mourned the loss of connection with my dad. I was sad when he forgot basic skills, like how to use silverware. I was devastated when he stopped saying my name, stopped recognizing me, and lost all of his language. I was shattered when it no longer made sense for us to bring him home for family dinners or holidays and when he could no longer walk. Somehow I thought that grieving all these little pieces over time would make the end less painful. That has not been my experience.
I'm heartbroken. I'm angry that he wasn't able to be the grandpa he was meant to be. I'm haunted by memories of pain, confusion, and loss while I struggle to access who we were before this illness came into our lives. This disease has taken so much from our family and while there have been moments of light and gratitude, the weight of the loss is overwhelming. So, here we are, doing what we can to fight back.
Early in our journey, my brothers and I, ranging in ages from 27 to 35 at the time, turned to the Alzheimer's Association of Indianapolis for guidance. They were phenomenal. They connected us with organizations to assist in caring for our dad and every interaction we had was filled with empathy, knowledge, and compassion. This journey can be extremely isolating and we were grateful for the loving kindness of this organization. So it is for the caregivers, for the sick, and with hope for a cure that we humbly ask for your support.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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