Alzheimer's Daughter

The Story

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.

Friday, September 21, 2012

World Alzheimer's Day

If one speaks honestly about Alzheimer’s disease and its ravages, the details aren’t pretty. Alzheimer’s changes personalities. During times of conflict, Mom and Dad drew inward, to protect each other from what they perceived as any assault. Mom fought to protect the man she’d loved all of her adult life––to defend his independence and dignity. Dad protected Mom––love-struck by his bride until her last breath.
In the midst of difficult times, I often envisioned Alzheimer’s as a silent monster looming behind Mom and Dad, inching closer and closer, threatening to over take them. Ibby and Ed saw only each other. They never acknowledged nor succumbed to the disease. They rose above it, protected by the armor of their love and faith in God. Ann and I ran frantically ahead pulling them, or behind pushing them––always trying to shield them from the invisible beast.