Monday, November 17, 2008


I took a semi-spontaneous trip, far away from Big City this past weekend. The trip was planned for about 2 days before it happened, and I was fortunate enough to have Friday off work in able to go with my dad to visit his father, suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's is an awful, horrible disease. I hate that it has affected our family in the way it has...

I wrote about it once before, in January when I last saw Gpa. This time, I received no glimpses of the old grandfather I once knew; the one who would save paper towels incessantly, the one whose life was full of church events and photography, computer problems and family.

No...this was not the grandfather I visited with this weekend. Instead, it was one who hobbled around with a walker, a nurse on either side of him- so unsteady that when we took him to lunch, we brought a wheelchair along. One who, when asked who he lives with, replied "Mom and Ben"- his mother? his wife? his brother Ben, or his son Ben? No one will ever know.

And through it all, sadly, you have to choose: tears or laughter? There really is no alternative, not anymore...

Some of the things he said this weekend:

"We need to find the apostles, so they can tell us the best price for pie."

"Do you see my yellow bookcase? In there I keep Mom, Uncle Yaya, Aunt Pattsie, and everyone I want, so that when I need to talk to them I can take them out. It's very convenient."

"We never did turn on the heat to say hello"

"Is anyone else with us?"

"As long as the pencils and pens keep working we can pull up there on the left and put on a circus...I can see how excited you are about that."


Yes. That, my friends, is the "new" grandpa. The one who didn't even notice us when he was wheeled by us in the Alzheimer's unit at the nursing home, even when we waved.


1 comment:

  1. That's so sad. Aren't you happy you saw him though? I bet his spirit remembers you, and he felt generally better when you visited.



Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Comments warmly welcomed! :-)