Alzheimer’s Daughter introduces the reader to my healthy parents, Ed and Ibby, years before their diagnosis, then recounts painful details as our roles reversed and I became my parents’ parent.
Their disease started as translucent, confused thoughts and ended in a locked memory care unit after a near decade of descent into the opaque world of Alzheimer's.
I began writing Alzheimer’s Daughter one week after my mother's death––when I was stunned, realizing Dad had no memory of her or their 66-year marriage.
I write to pay tribute to the undying spirit at Ed and Ibby's core, and with the hope that the story of their parallel decline might be helpful to others.
Monday, May 18, 2015
I spend a large part of each day writing. Some of that time is spent connecting with others around the world who share an interest in Alzheimer's Disease. Also, I'm pouring time into a new children's series, Lexi's Triplets. Lexi is my granddog who helps her mom and dad take care of my two-year-old triplet grandchildren. I travel nearly every week from Cleveland to Columbus to assist Lexi and gather ideas to write her stories.
My life is full, never a minute of boredom. I squeeze time in for reading when my mind is too tired to create new material.
Beyond writing, I crave time to work outside, play in the dirt, creating beauty in my own yard.
This weekend my local granddaughters, age 7 and age 3, had a sleep over. What joy.
Even if we love every day of our work, our lives become a list of tasks to complete........until a sleepover. Every schedule, every list, every predictability is thrown out the window. Nothing takes precedence.
I thought so much about my own mother this weekend––about how her world stopped for grandchildren.
Both girls planted flowers. The three-year-old helped me plant geraniums and giant marigolds around a light post in my front yard.
The seven-year-old planted Impatiens in a redwood flower cart that belonged to my mom.
Later in the day, the seven-year-old asked me to dust off my forty-plus-year-old sewing machine to see if it still worked. I was amazed at her patience, stick-to-it-ivness, and lack of frustration while making a blanket for her younger sister from left-over scraps.
I felt the spirit of my mom shining down this weekend as her traditions were passed on, many hugs given, and I love yous whispered.