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, March 4, 2016
My sister lives in Florida, I in Ohio. I remained the home town girl, living within one mile of my parents. Even though my sister lived 1000 miles away. She was actively involved in their care prior to and throughout their illness. She often flew in specifically to be the bad cop, so I could remain the loving caregiver.
She helped with three moves, first relocating Mom and Dad from their long-time home to a senior facility, second to assisted living, and last to a locked memory care unit.
When she wasn't with me, she was my therapist by phone. I called her on my drive home after every visit.
We felt so lucky that she was able return home in time for both Mom and Dad's passing, only made possible by the keen awareness of Hospice caregivers.
Today marks the sixth anniversary of our mom's passing. Although my sister and I talk by phone regularly and have seen each other a couple of times a year since our parents passed, we've not been able to be together to mark this anniversary since the morning we held Mom's hands as she took her last breath.
My husband and I are on a short vacation in Florida, staying about two hours south of my sister's home. Tonight we are driving half way to meet for dinner.
I'm taking my sister the scent Mom always wore in hopes that we both feel her kiss when we spritz.