A few weeks ago my 84 years-old Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The diagnosis was not really a surprise, but hearing it officially was sobering.
When I left the United States I knew my Dad’s memory was failing. I knew there was a chance he wouldn’t know me when I came back. That was a hard good-bye.
When I was a little kid I thought my Dad could do anything. He built houses and fixed cars and
painted and did stained glass. He built a ski boat once, a row boat and tractor. My brother’s Cub Scout Race Car always won the Derby. My high school
dances always had a photo backdrop designed by my Dad. He designed cabinets and staircases for mine and my siblings houses. He took us hiking and camping and skiing and fishing. He was a do it all kind of guy.
But over the last few years he struggled with finishing tasks. I know now that he was silently struggling more than we realized for longer than we knew. We moved him out of his large house a little more than a year ago, trying to get him settled in a more manageable place before we left the country. But in the six months we have been gone my brother and sister saw him dwindle further.
So this Father’s Day my Dad is moving again. This time to a facility that can help care for him in the
months and years ahead as we watch and wait to see how Alzheimer’s will affect him. It affects different people differently. I just want him to be where he is getting healthy meals and some exercise for both his body and his mind.
It’s a hard transition watching your parents age. I talk to my Dad on the phone about every two weeks. He always knows who I am, but can’t remember
where I am. Heck, I have trouble with that too.
Our parents were very supportive of our¬†decision to embark on our world travels. And they continue to be. I just hope my Dad can find some peace and stability in the time ahead. What¬†more can we hope for anyone we care about?
This Father’s Day take time to remember whatever Father figure you had in your life, and be grateful.
Thanks for the memories Daddy. I’ll take good care of them for you. ¬†Happy Father’s Day. ‚Ě§ÔłŹ
(Featured photo at top, my family in 1966)