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.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
How young. How thin. How cute they are. Filled with hope patriotism, and love of God and country.
Alzheimer's Daughter starts with this letter from my mother to my father as their commitment was just beginning.
I'm curious as to why Mom didn't realize how she felt about my dad before he left for the Army. In their case, absence really must have made the heart grow fonder.
They build a long-distance relationship through letters and weekend furloughs. That foundation lasted for 66 years, through Alzheimer's disease, even when they didn't know me or know their own names, until my mom's last breath.
I'm thankful that love formed me and their positive spirits live within me. I hope I'm able to pass that spirit on to others each day, even if it's only through a smile or a kind word.