My Dad’s Memory

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

My Dad as a teen

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

My Dad as a Young man

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

With my living siblings at my dad’s 80th birthday

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

My dad at the ancestral cemetery Durkee Idaho

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?

My Dad as a little.

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. ❤️

(Featured photo at top, my family in 1966)

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  • Reply Michael Söhlke

    It is so nice to read your loving memories and gratefulness…!

    My Dad unfortunately passed away in 1996, a long, long time ago. Your lines on father’s day make me realize how much memories have already faded… still there is so much left, some of it in memory, plenty genetically in my own behaviour. My Mom, too, is gone now since 5 years. Yes, it’s hard without them, but they have given me so much and I learned so many things from them. Since my Mom’s death I am the oldest in the family and that (still) is a very strange feeling with three kids approaching the 30 year age mark…

    Enjoy family time whenever possible – I wouldn’t want to be without it, neither in the past, today, nor in the future. Love to all the families!!!

    June 17, 2017 at 4:08 pm
  • Reply Nancy Rimel

    Loving tribute to your Dad. Thank you.

    June 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Such a difficult journey for both your Dad and you. I lost my Dad years ago to this disease. Cherish his memories for him.

    June 13, 2019 at 9:06 am
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