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, May 1, 2015

Farmers at Heart

May 1st. 
The date gives us hope.
We realize that even after a very long, cold winter, summer will come!

My parents, Ed and Ibby, loved to garden. 
Mom was a farm girl. Dad was raised on property with an apple orchard which he tended as a young boy. 

My parents were most comfortable wearing old summer shorts and short sleeves, kneeling in the garden, planting or weeding. 

During the May rototilling they looked forward to August suppers of sweet corn, tomatoes, and green beans with a little bacon for flavor. 

In fact, as harvest time approached, the garden was Dad's first stop when he came home from work. He'd slip off his dress shoes in the garage and slide his feet into mud covered, grassy garden shoes that had lost their laces years before. Then he'd walk out to check on how the corn was tasseling and press his thumb firmly into red tomatoes to see if they were ripe enough for a dimple to be left behind. Those, he'd bring in for supper, even before he changed from his dress shirt and tie. 

In October Mom and Dad put the garden to bed by piling leaves atop in anticipation of enriched soil for the next growing season.

May 1st makes me long for the gushing first bite of one of Ed and Ibby's bright red, sun-warmed, garden tomatoes. None better. 

I plant about six every year because I love tomatoes, but mine never measure up to theirs.

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