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.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Small Town Living

Snow is predicted here over the next couple of days. We're ready, after all it's January in Ohio and so far we've had a Carolina winter.
Now that I'm retired, I've become compulsive about scraping and shoveling. I've slipped on ice before and injured my knee. So I don't want to be the cause of anyone hurting themselves in my driveway. 

However, always when it snows, I remember back to the winters Mom and Dad were still in their home and I was working full time. Hurrying in the morning, I'd bundle up in my boots, start my Jeep, let the defrost and heat run until I could scrape my windows, then I'd inch my way to school. When I stopped at the single traffic light in my little community, I'd hope and pray that my mid-80ish, fragile parents wouldn't venture outside in the treacherous conditions. 

I'd repeat the scraping and defrosting ritual at the end of the workday as I left school to head home. On my way I'd stop by Mom and Dad's house to check on them, thinking I'd probably have to shovel a path to the door. Instead, I'd be flooded with warmth and relief to find that a kind neighbor had plowed the drive and shoveled the walks. Now, that's small town love and caring. 

I'm so thankful to have been raised and nurtured in a small town where people know and care for each other.

Even though I've moved from that small town to a smaller town—we don't even have a stoplight, just a roundabout—neighbors care for one another. We trade baked goods, babysitting, and fix-it talents. We watch each other's homes and gather mail when anyone is out of town. And inevitably when there is a big snow, I hear a tractor in the driveway digging us out.