Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The one to be thankful for...

Many of you know, my Papa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years back. It’s been a rough few years and even a tougher month. I’ve always heard of the disease, knew a little bit about it, but never truly understood what it was all about (and I still have a lot to learn). My Mamaw has been taking care of him now for a while, on her own, and just recently had to relinquish the control and let someone else take care of him. He had been falling a lot at home, so she’s been quite familiar with the rescue guys and just couldn’t continue taking those risks.

So for about a month now, Papa has a new home, its called Elmcroft. It’s not as cozy and doesn’t smell like chicken casserole (which is a good thing if you’ve had it!), but he’s getting adjusted, as are we. The kids and I were there today, since he won’t be joining us for Thanksgiving this year {bringing him around a crowd is stressful on him and unsafe without a trained caregiver}. The kids are too adjusting, it’s hard to explain why Mamaw and Papa don’t live together anymore. But to them, right now, it’s a cool new place, with a new bed to jump on.  I’ve been stocking his room with crayons, coloring books and games. They even have an outdoor patio for visiting, I think we will play soccer there next.

Anyway, today as we were leaving, I gave him a hug, told him “Happy Thanksgiving and I’ll see you in a few days, Love you Papa”. After a minute went by, he finally responded with "I love you". And while I don’t think he totally knows who I am, I think he knows I’m family. It’s so hard to see him sitting, with almost no emotion or expression. Selfishly I think this disease is more difficult for me than it is him. He doesn't know what he doesn't know... But I know, He was always this man who was into everything with me. We built birdhouses, teepees, dressed up like police officers, romped through the woods and would sing “far far way, or down by the river”- his personal favs. He loved being outside and was into things in his workshop. Today was a hard realization looking into his eyes and knowing he would not be at the Thanksgiving table.

However, I am thankful I got to grow up with him by my side. I am thankful we had many many good memories, many I am able to share with my own children and many values he taught me that I want to instill in my own family. But what I am most thankful for is I can still wrap my arms around his neck and tell him I love him and to that I can be at peace...
Our visit today!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

No comments:

Post a Comment