Skip to main content

My Father will be 88 tomorrow.  He was born Jan, 10th.  Alzheimers is a very cruel  and  heartbreaking disease.  I hear so many people say, You still have your Dad, you are fortunate".
I don't have my Daddy.  I  don't have the Daddy I knew all of my life. I talked to him on the phone last week as tears welled up in my eyes as he kept asking me over and over who I was.  I said, it is me Daddy, Amanda.  He obviously was having a bad day and didn't recognize anything about me and it would have made no difference had I been there with him.  My sister told me that in the last three months that his good days had been fewer and he remembers very little.  He had said all last week that he did not know her, as she was just one of the nice ladies who came to see him.  I wondered tonight where his mind is.  Is in the past of good memories of his three little girls playing and running in the backyard or was it in the days of his childhood of the great depression.  I wondered if it had gone to some bad times as a soldier.  I pondered over his life as a minister.  A minister who was not judgemental or rich but just an old timey preacher who loved God.  A man who never raised his voice to his children or grandchildren.  A man who was giving his last dollar to help someone else and would do without himself to help another.  My Daddy  was a  man who worked for Avon Products in the shipping department for over 30 years to reap $35.00 a month retirement.
I wondered if he went to unpleasant places in his mind or if it was just a jumbled sense of another dimension.  I wondered so much tonight and I thought if ever there was someone I should pay a tribute to, it should be that grey haired Daddy of mine who does not remember me.  
Please follow me below the jump.....

My father, Fred Little.  never had a great deal of money.  He never had a stock option or portfolio.  He and my Mother worked for over 30 years to have a nice home and raise their three girls.  We were considered middle class in the 60's.  My parents worked very hard for that status.  They eventually became small business owners of a little drive in restaurant, much like Arnolds on Happy Days.  It was called The Tigers Den.  The little restaurant did very well for about 4 years until Mama one day just lost her mind IMO and threw everything away and ran away with someone else and broke Daddy and our hearts.   We were all grown but we were still heartbroken that she screwed up so badly and she did and had much regret later on in life,

 Several years after the 34 year old marriage breakup, Daddy went legally blind over a botched laser surgery and his eyesight never got better.  He had several strokes due to high blood pressure but was never heavy.  He recovered from his strokes and continued living on his own until 2004 whereas my husband and I took him home with us and cared for him..He actually cared for us in many ways.  We made his life as comfortable as possible.  Things started changing in 2006.

  His early dementia had turned into something else.  He was wandering off from his apt. we constructed downstairs.  He would tear things up and then hammer in the middle of the night.  My sister came over once a week and we had to pratically fight him to take a bath.  He started becoming agitated over the smallest things and was dragging in wood from everywhere and constantly building but what it was , was always a mystery.  He was happiest when he was listening to his old tapes of his ministry or gospel singing and the loves of his life were the chidlren.  He loved those great grand kids.  He had helped take care of them most all of their lives. After a visit to the doctor for a checkup, the doctor ordered him into a nursing home.  He needed medication and 24 hour supervision as he was given the dreaded diagnosis of Alzheimers. He was more fortunate than many nursing home patients as we were very familar with the home he went into.  My relatives on my Mother's side had founded this assisted living home.  We could check him out and he can spend time in our own space with us.  He just has to be back at a certain time to get meds and checkups.  Most of his congregation from the little church is at the home and up until recently, he fit right in there more than anywhere.  His long time friend and neighbor was a resident there as well.  
I remember so much about my Daddy.  He was a lifelong democrat.  He absolutely detested George Bush..both of them.  He couldn't stand Reagan and basically never forgot the money havoc from the Hoover years.  He was an FDR man.  He always wanted a union in Avon and Avon the Corporate whore of back then never allowed a Union presence. Not in Ga . anyway.  
Daddy was not much of a strong diciplinary figure.. He wasn't big on restrictions.  He was opposed to spankings.(My Mother wasn't) and he was not a hollering type.  He was a quite spoken man with a good sense of humor.  He had been a farmer for years.
He worked in cotton fields and cotton mills up until he became a man who worked for the shipping dept of Avon Products.  He worked on the Box line.  I adored him.  He had the blackest hair and blue eyes and kindest smile.  My Mother said to her dying day that he was the best Father a child could have.  She knew that he was a very good Daddy in all ways.  Not abusvie in any way, shape or form.  Her complaint was that he was not a good provider, which if you measured in monetary terms.  He wasn't,  He would give away his last dollar and I have to admit that could wear on one's nerves as Mother had to fill in on holding to the dollar to make up for Daddy's over generosity.

Tomorrow he will be 88 and his life has been long but it has not been easy.  His children adore him.  His grandchildren and great grandchildren adore him.  His mind is no longer with us anymore and there are not many good days left anymore.  He is the best Daddy a child could ask for.  He taught me patience (what little I have). He taught me kindness.  He taught me laughter.  He taught me respect for my fellow man.
He taught me the true meaning of searching for faith.  He taught me the gift of gab.
He taught me how to reach out and help people and how to appreciate what I have.
The day we packed and left for Florida, I knew that would probably be the last time I saw my Father.  It did not matter if I was 9 miles or 9 million miles away.  He didn't know me anymore,  I am his favorite I have always been told.  That may possibly be true since, everytime I moved during my property management days he was a UHaul behind.  I hope his memories or mind is in a safe place.  I hope that all he does remember is all the good memories.  I hope he never has a bad thought.  I wish that for him more than anything else because I don't know where their mind goes and I just can only hope it is in a better reality than most of us deal with.  He could not endure the times we are in now.  There are some strong realities I just don't think he could handle in today's world.  For that I am greatful.

God bless you Daddy.  I will always remember you.  I will talk with you tomorrow and I hope you remember me one more time.

A video I made almost two years ago in 09.  My husband and me are doing all the music and singing in this video.  ( was just a little more personal that way)

Originally posted to Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Surviving Alzheimers and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Dementia is such a cruel affliction (19+ / 0-)

    because the person dies multiple times as the intellect dies and the personality dies and finally the body succumbs.  As yet there are no cures for it or anything except palliatives.

    However, not all AD Dx are accurate.  The MMSE is accurate 90% of the time when it is AD  but is only 50% accurate when it is not AD.  All too often AD is a catch all  term which is used to describe any dementia in the elderly.  Actually there are multiple types of dementia, all with different prognoses so it is worth while pursuing Dx beyond the level of your local FP.  While only an autopsy can authoritatively diagnose AD, PET scans and MRIs are accurate enough for most diagnostic purposes.  

  •  A horrible disease (25+ / 0-)

    For me, it was like watching my mother dying alive. I kept bracing and preparing myself for the day that I would walk in to see her only to realized she didn't know me. The day it actually happened, all that preparation was for nought. I was completely devastated and totally unprepared.

    Despite all that, there were lucid moments up to the end. I learned to grab on to, hold, and cherish those moments.

    Keep loving him as you always have. He's your Dad.

  •  Beautiful, birthday gift to your Father's (16+ / 0-)

    Life. Alzheimers is a horrible disease, my aunt had it.
    It robs the person and the family of the present. My aunt, we just went to whatever moonbeam she was living on when we visited. It truly broke my heart to see her slowing fading away.

    Hugs and prayers to you.  Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man, and richer in more ways than most.

  •  He Knew You When You Most Needed Him To. (25+ / 0-)

    And in the Great Ultimate, he still does and always will.

    This is so hard for those of us shepherding our parents as they wind down. My mom though seriously demented is evidently mostly an arterial case, so she's cheerful and cooperative and probably knows who everybody is, though almost entirely incapable of communicating it especially if forced to assemble and volunteer a complex answer.

    It is what it is.

    George Martin said of the Beatles, very approximately, of course we're sad for what we lost, but isn't it wonderful that we had them while we did?

    Your favorite spaghetti next Sunday Mom. You taught me to love and not fear the wind and thunder. A few years later as a young teen I steered you & dad safe through hurricane force winds in our little open boat.

    Sunday I'll teach you how to climb 4 stairs.

    But we'll still laugh and joke together in my heart.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:25:05 PM PST

  •  I can so relate having just lost my mom. (29+ / 0-)

    When I went to see her on (last) Christmas, she didn't know me (or seem to understand anything). Yep, I was pretty devastated alright. A day later, I had to make the painful decision to put her in hospice. 14.5 hours later, she was gone. She was buried last Thursday. I am still reeling.

    I knew when she entered the nursing home I probably didn't have a lot of time left with her, so went there as much as I could. I didn't expect to have so little time.

    I miss my mom of her 70s, 80s and very early 90s.

    Your tribute to your dad is lovely and I understand your sadness, wondering and fear. My mom had vascular  dementia complicated by delusions. These diseases are terrible.

    All I can say is make sure you are prepared for the unavoidable days ahead. I tried to be, but in the end, wasn't... at least emotionally.

    Hugs to you and your family. I know this is very, very hard.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:49:58 PM PST

  •  My father-in-law (17+ / 0-)

    had dementia/Alzheimers.

    The Father's Day after his death, my husband confided that the day wasn't nearly as hard for him as he thought it might be. He went on to say that he realized he had grieved his dad 1 year previously, when his dad no longer knew any family members and was declining rapidly. Much harder for him than when his dad actually passed away.


    Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

    by mapamp on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:58:04 PM PST

  •  My sympathies to you (12+ / 0-)

    My heart goes out to you.  If we had them 200 years, it would not be long enough.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:59:35 PM PST

  •  My father died of Parkinson's with dementia (16+ / 0-)

    Toward the end he could no longer even speak and didn't seem to recognize anyone.

    Dementia is horrible.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 08:02:16 PM PST

  •  I understand that..because I had (13+ / 0-)

    rather him be at peace than fearful or childlike with
    delusions and my Dad has those as well,  I watched my mother die physically and my Dad is dwindling mentally.
    I just don't know which is the hardest other than My Mom was sharp when she drew her last breath and knew what was going on and the pain.  I just don't know.  Daddy it seems, is extremely hard on me and when it comes to my family and helplessness I am not strong,  I am a coward.  I don't take bad news well at all.
    My entire family thought I would be the strong one in the family.  I have proven not to be the strong one.  Not when it comes to sickness or death.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 08:06:34 PM PST

    •  I watched GreatGrandMa,, GrandMa, and Ma (9+ / 0-)

      all go through Alzheirmers and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. All 3 in certain moments told me how terrifing it can be. I had a pact with my best friend about who would pull the plug and for what reasons but he died 6 months ago. I have been warned by Drs that I can expect it some day. To be blunt it scares me to death to be alone and at the mercy of strangers working for minimum wages.
       Every time I hear old of the old jokes about meeting new people every day I want to just slap the crap out of them. While I know how it feels to be asked my name 10 times in ten mins. , I don't know what it feels like from thr other side of the curtain. They all went while with loved ones but I am the last of the last. I wonder if i will remember when or how to pull the plug when the time comes ?

      "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

      by SmileySam on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:12:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  a beautiful tribute to your dad... (15+ / 0-)

    he sounds like a very sweet man...even though i don't 'know' you yet, what little i do know of you i can see comes partly from being raised by such a man.

    i hope he remembers you, too. my parents are 80, beginning to show signs of 'dementia.'

    the video was just too cute! what a good grandpa! glad you have this memento (and i love your duet with your husband!). i couldn't keep back the tears.

    thank you for sharing-and happy birthday to your dad!!

    i'm not aware of too many things-i know what i know, if you know what i mean-e.b.

    by shesaid on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 08:33:03 PM PST

    •  thank you so much...I am so glad (12+ / 0-)

      we took the camera down there as we were celebrating the kids birthdays that we always tried to carry him a little something as well and we tried to go every Sunday or Saturday.  Even if the wee one picked flowers ...we always brought him a surprise,
      I have been sick the last day or so and for some reason this birthday of Daddy's is getting to me more than the others.  Maybe it is because he is getting more and more frail.. maybe because I am so far away...maybe I just need to hug my Daddy tonight,  

      Hugs from you all are so wonderful and I appreciate your kind words,

      I haven't uploaded the very last video of moving day last year but I do have the one at Christmas last year,,,,,
      which was only 4 weeks earlier than moving day.....I will post it,  These are our grandchildren we adopted legally and my sister carrying him back after the presents being openid at our house we lost, or wealked away from or was stolen.. (whatever one calls it)  our house before we moved,

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 09:10:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beautiful post (16+ / 0-)

    With Alzheimers you lose your loved one incrementally. My mom started forgetting me five years before she died. But that didn't hurt as much as seeing the vibrant forceful woman disappear before my eyes. Cruel terrible disease.

  •  Thanks for sharing, Vetwife--How I could be in (16+ / 0-)

    tears and still enjoy your beautiful singing, I don't know. My dad is 89 and declining, and it is hard to accept, although he is doing better now than he was doing a year ago. I don't know how horrible it must be for your dad not to recognize you. It's so sad. sniff

  •  Maybe the sweetest and smartest person I ever knew (11+ / 0-)

    was my Mom's eldest sibling, Uncle Fred.  Watched that poor guy waste away for 25 years longer than most do once Alzheimers kicks in.  Thank you Vetwife for saying so eloquently what hopefully few ever have to understand/endure.

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 09:27:06 PM PST

  •  It is so hard to comprehend (11+ / 0-)

    when you see the person you have known all your life go into this state,  As I understand it and I think we had a doc on here posting a bit ago, some die because they forget how to swallow,  at least I have heard that,  I hope they find a cure for cancer and dementia and diabetes,  Top of my hopes list.  I have reconciled myself that war will always be with us but if we could fund research, maybe some of the smartest people would not have to suffer so,  World peace fell off the tops list a long time ago,  So sorry about your Uncle Fred.  My dad's name is Fred.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 09:46:47 PM PST

  •  Amanda, tomorrow would have been my father's 79th (14+ / 0-)

    . . . 79th birthday.  I lost him on April 14th, 2010.  My father was a firefighter who spent 50 years of his life dedicated to battling the dragon - from his military service to a career to some years as a volunteer.

    I lost my dad to the Alzheimers/dememtia combo.

    That your dad can still talk to you - that you can still hear his voice is more than you will have eventually.  For the last year of my father's life, he didn't know me (his first born), my siblings, nor anybody else, couldn't speak, and I hoped for a fourth and final heart attack to take him so that the shell that was once my father would not be forced to live in that state.

    It never came.

    His wife (not my mother) finally had the tubes disconnected and he dehydrated to death before their eyes.  I had stopped even visiting some 6 months before that, knowing how many times he'd told those he loved to not let him die the way that so many of his relatives did.

    Dad forgets who you are and it isn't his fault.  We both know that.  Have him tell you stories from his past - he'd like that.  Listen to his voice and remember the sound if it.

    Happy Birthday to Your Dad and to My Dad.

    We miss them both so, don't we?

    Celtic Merlin
    Ron's Son

    Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

    by Celtic Merlin on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 11:26:57 PM PST

    •  Follow up. (12+ / 0-)

      Dad was born on January 10, 1933.

      Our fathers share(d) their birthday.

      Isn't it odd how much more they had in common - including a couple of kids who found their way to this board?

      C M

      Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

      by Celtic Merlin on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 11:31:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you as tears stream Celtic (14+ / 0-)

      I know what you mean and thank you for those words.
      My father does not know that his baby brother recently died and his other brother is battling cancer.  There are some things I suppose the memory fail is a blessing.  The
      nice lady who sees him everyday, my sister now and the other one down here, who saw him last week are giving me updates daily.  One sister takes her cell phone into the home as his visits are getting less and less with her and they call me but he doesn't know what to say and I hear much more that breaks my heart.  My Dad said last week to me, Now who is this again.  Oh yeah yeah.  My heart broke.  Just 6 months ago he would have said when you coming up....I would say soon.  This was not a lie because Daddy has no concept of time and has not for a long time but now he would not know if I came.  I do not have regrets about not going back.  I am just not that strong to see this lovely person fade away.  I admire those who stand till the end.  I got to the point with all my going on in my own family I would have to go to bed and grieve and cry after almost every visit right before I moved.  There were some real good days but the bad ones put me down.  I understand why you couldn't go for 6 months.
      The hard part people will not understand will be this part which I have not shared.  When the time comes if I am still in the land of the living......I won't go back for a funeral.  I will be talked about...I will  face wrath but going back then woud be for my sake, not his.  I have a sick husband, immobile now, and don't plan on going back to the state of Ga.  I honor my father's life,  I won't go up there to have a lot of people I have not seen in years come knowing that my sisters and this family are the only ones who have done the visiting, crying,loving and taking care of him for years and years.  I just won't
      do it.  That may be wrong in the terms of respect but I believe funerals are for the living not for anything else.
      I may change my mind but when I kissed him last year I told my husband..that's it.  When we crossed the state line I said again, I don't plan on returning.  I was driving and my husband said, "I know".

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 11:45:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I commend your wisdom in choosing not to go back. (5+ / 0-)

        I agree with you, funerals are for the living. Remember the good times with your dad. And if you change your mind, that happens.

        It's hard to see a parent failing. I miss my dad every day, but he was starting the downward slide mentally and physically and his body gave out first.

        You wrote a lovely tribute, Amanda. And you have enough on your plate between your husband and the kids.

        I often think of Ricky Nelson's song, Garden Party. "You can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself."

        “In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose. Molly Ivins

        by glorificus on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:11:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ahhh thank you for understanding... (5+ / 0-)

          the last day I was with him..he was alert and making jokes.  whatgodmade (a friend and kossack here ) remembers as she sat and talked with him for hours.
          that is how I want to remember him.  We were packing and that Saturday was not as cold as it had been and we all had a picnic of sorts in the garage.  I choose that day to remember seeing him for the last time.  It could not have been better.  My husband had his guitar and we were singing and packing and Daddy was smiling.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:30:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  From the first day I met your Dad (5+ / 0-)

            You had told me he was not like he used to be - but he was a preacher - so that first day we sang some christian songs and I could see a flicker of light in his eyes as he remembered that there is a life out of the darkness he was in ... but that day he came to your house right before the move - it was like he was back to his old self again. I am so glad you could say goodbye that day. You were quite a mess as I remember and I had to encourage you to be strong for him - but it was killing you to have to leave him in GA.  And I am so glad that as I was on the phone right now with you - when you got the call from you Daddy - you were like a kid again missing him so much. No one would ever doubt that you adore your Dad so much. I am thankful you can still talk with him at times when he's coherant and able to be that Daddy you know and love.

      •  Aw, now ya got me doing it too. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, Amber6541, ladybug53, nomandates

        And that makes it hard to type - ya know?

        My last six or eight visits with Dad ended with me holding it all in until I got into my car, then sitting in the parking lot until my eyes and face dried up enough that I could drive.  After the last visit, I couldn't bear it any more.  I couldn't force myself to go any more.  It ripped my guts out, Amanda!

        "The nice lady who sees him every day" is a brave woman.  She's on a journey which she knows has a difficult destination.  Help her as you can.  She's going to need somebody to talk to as this gets worse.

        I went to Dad's funeral.  He had asked me years before to be one of his pall bearers - just as I'd been one with him for his father - and since I knew how he felt about funerals, I felt that I had to be there.  Not for anybody else - for Dad.

        I'm glad I went, but not for the reasons you may think.  All of that socializing bullshit - I didn't need that.  I didn't want anything to do with all of that, but I put on my game face and endured it.  

        No, I'm glad I went for one and only one reason:  Because Dad and I were firefighters.  Two different fire organizations sent apparatus to escort the funeral procession.  The volunteer company requested that the route to the cemetery go past their station house.  Dad had the volunteer squad wagon, their pumper and a pumper from the City of Pgh. leading the way.  As we passed the Bower Hill VFD station house, they blew the station's big, loud siren and held it at top pitch until everybody had gone by.  They'd have taken him there in the hosebed of their pumper instead of the hearse (a very high honor for any firefighter usually reserved for those men who have fallen in the line of duty), but his wife refused.  So Dad's procession had three apparatus leading the way and one at the end - all with their emergency lights going like Hell and the flashers on.  For me - a former firefighter - it was a grand send-off for him.

        Since I had been a firefighter, I'm glad I went so that I could see how Dad's fire companies honored his passing.  It was worth it for me.  Nobody else in my family understood what was done for him, but that's okay - I did.

        I have not the slightest problem with your decision to no go to GA again.  Had I been at the time in your situation, I'd have probably done the same.  Leave yourself the option of changing your mind.  You might not, but let yourself have that option.  You're right about funerals being mostly for the living.  If you decide to stay home, don't you dare feel bad about it for one second.

        I can't believe how long it has taken me to type this.  I've had to stop a couple of times to "dry off" before I could continue.  Please excuse any typos I've missed.

        It sucks to lose them while they're still alive, but that's what happens - you lose them while the shell that they lived in lives on.  That's what tears you apart inside - being able to see them, but having to deal with them not being in there any more.  You're better off in FL.  Trust me on that one.

        I wish I could give you a hug, Amanda - mostly because I think you could use one and partly because I sure could use one right about now.  It has been good for me to chat with you about this.  If you want to talk to somebody who has been through it and understands what it's like to watch it happen, feel free to get ahold of me.  Contact me any time you want - my e-mail is in my profile and I'll call you if you want.

        Good Luck, dear.

        Celtic Merlin

        Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

        by Celtic Merlin on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:37:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  What a wonderful bit of adivice and have I (4+ / 0-)

          thanked you and your Dad for your service?  I think of 'those who fight blazes are heros and put their lives on the line as the military does.  Explains why so many leave combat and go into the FD.   Thank you for your kindness and I appreciate the hugs and love I feel coming through the intertubes from all of you.
          Thank you Ron's son for your kindness anf offer.  Today is hard for you as well.

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 08:01:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It is strange.. My Dad's birthday is 1923 (6+ / 0-)

    They were 10 years apart.  Now on this date my grandfather died in 1973.  On my and your Dad's birthday.  Strange they were born on the same day and had the same disease.  God Bless

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 11:49:47 PM PST

  •  OMG ..Daddy will be 89..not 88 (6+ / 0-)

    thank you dear Celtic ...

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 11:56:29 PM PST

  •  ((( Vetwife ))) That is the second time I've seen (5+ / 0-)

    that video of your dad with you and your husband singing. I just love it and your daddy and you and your family. My son even came over to watch it and wanted to know all about you all.

    •  I thank you and your son so much (7+ / 0-)

      Well, my husband was a professional musician who
      toured back in the early 80's with Marty Robbins and The Oak Ridge Boys and even the Commodores.  He was with The Wally Fowler show.  They later were the Tennessee Ten.  He plays just about every instrument there is and a darn good songwriter.  His agent orange took him down.  As for me, I have written songs since the 60's and seventies.  I sing a little, drum a little, play piano a little and he is the true entertainer.  He has played with some of the best and very humble but I kid you not ..He's not shy.  He is a perfectionist though.  He has gone downhill this year but I am thinking he needs some med adjustments.  His music hasn't went downhill though.  He has a guitar piick on him at all times.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 02:10:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am sorry that you have too much (7+ / 0-)

        on your plate, between husband and father. And I know about the "strong" daughter who just has too much to deal with.

        My mother turned 92 yesterday, so far only short-term memory loss with her.

        Hugs coming through the innertubes at ya.

        Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

        by riverlover on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 02:37:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you riverlover and that is (6+ / 0-)

          woderful that your Mother is doing so well with her memory.  My grandmother, Daddy's Mother died in 2000 and she was 92.  She never lost her memory or had any problems except for asthma.  never had High BP, no heart disease, cancer or dementia.  She just died from an asthma attack at home.  My aunts stayed with her around the clock but she stayed in her own apt. with no hospice at all and just passed quietly one weekend.

          Thank you for those hugs.
          I am not caregiving to my Dad at this time.  My sister has taken over that job with the nursing home but I miss my role as caregiver but he was too fragile and sick for me to give him the care he needed,  I am not strong....I am pretty weak when it comes to my family.  I just love too deep.  I can't stand to see them suffer,

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 02:49:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well the love you all have for each other just (7+ / 0-)

        shines like a sunny day. I hope the best for all of you. Life can be really tough I know. Downright awful sometimes.

  •  Vetwife, this is a wonderful piece of writing. (7+ / 0-)

    I am sure your Dad is very proud of the daughter that he raised. It sounds like you didn't fall very far from the tree, sweetie!

    •  That is one aweseome compliment Angie (7+ / 0-)

      There is a song called The Reverand Mr. Black.  Everytime I hear that song I think of my Dad.
      Back in the early 60's, my Dad was pastoring a new church.  They were having a conference meeting and they were discussing the rules of the church and bylaws regarding not bringing some certain literature into the church.  It would be too easy to fall into that kind of confusion if one started bringing different theologies into their association in paper form.  As the meeting came to order under the same Rules as the Congress uses, I remember when one person had the floor, my Father who was the moderator said calmly, that one of the people interrupting was our of order.  The man, who I remember distincly even though I was just 9 or 10 walked up and cursed my Father and then slapped him in the face.  What a mess.  I had never seen anyone hit a person, especially in a church.  I wanted to fight.  My Dad calmly just turned the other cheek and said, You will have to deal with God not me on that behavior.  I saw the man just killed with kindness and then I heard my Daddy ask the man if he wanted anyone to pray with him.  My Mother was ready to just belt the guy but Daddy never blinked.  The man turned and walked out.
      My Dad and the elders carried on the meeting and I was so angry and did not understand.  He upheld the church constitution bylaws and would not resort to violence and if you have not heard that song that is as old as the hills and it is done by Johnny paints the picture to me of my Dad as a minister.  Never judgemental of anyone.  One time..Just once...he said to a preacher, who was a die hard right winger over W...that he was no preacher if all he could preach was politics.  They should not be mixed.  I was shocked that Daddy stood up to that man who had stopped by our home.  He was a friend but Daddy did NOT believe in mixing the two up.  Separation of church and state alltogether.

      I fell further from the tree than I should have because I probably would have slugged the guy who hit me in the face..but then I wasn't a preacher.  thanks for the awesome compliment.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 06:58:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My best to you, your dad, and hubby (8+ / 0-)

    My mother went through the same thing.  Toward the end, someone told me, "It's not so hard on her.  It's hard on you seeing her this way, though."  I never quite figured out what the person who told me that meant, because (at least in the early stages) it was very hard on her, losing her independence, having lucid moments and then totally lost days.  And yes, it was hard on the rest of the family, particularly my sister who was the primary care giver.

    It's wonderful that you have the videos and pictures.  Your dad may forget, but you won't.

    Stay strong.

    We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned to believe that this is as good as it gets.

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 05:13:31 AM PST

  •  I understand (7+ / 0-)

    completely.  My mom will be 88 in a few weeks, and suffers from dementia.  Although at least one of her children or grandchildren visits her every single day, last weekend she asked her caregiver: "Do I have any children?"  

    Watching her slip away, to forget repeatedly that my dad is gone along with all her siblings and many friends, only to grieve them anew when the mist clears briefly, is excruciating.

    My best to you.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 05:33:11 AM PST

  •  {{{{{vetwife}}}}} You must have always made (7+ / 0-)

    your Daddy proud.  God bless.

  •  Thoughts and prayers for you,sweet lady (6+ / 0-)

    There are no words that can ease your pain.....just know that you were and are so loved....

    “And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by JMoore on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 06:26:56 AM PST

  •  (((VetWife))) (6+ / 0-)

    Dementia was one of the worst parts of losing my Mom.  It's still too painful to think about.  

    My Mom died angry at me. ....  she was furious with me.  

    Why? Because Hospice was trying to get her into HospiceCare.  She died 3 days later.  I held her hand as she left.  She had been unconscious but opened her eyes just before she died.  I will never forget the look.  It wasn't peaceful..   She was scared.  So scared.  

    Just now dealing with it all as I had to be so damn strong just to get through it all because of her family.  Try watching your Mom die while having Beck, Palin and Rush along for the ride.

    The steps of grieving have been delayed alot.  So just now am stumbling.  

    We also live in the world of autism.  My son.  Sometimes it's difficult to get through to him.  Sometimes he goes into automatic ignore.  Or high stress periods.  Nothing like Alzheimers.  But it's tough work each day.

    I'm just tired of so much having to be so hard.  

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:19:19 AM PST

    •  Oh Janet, (((Hugs))))) (4+ / 0-)

      I believe with all my heart she was not angry with you.
      She was just scared and not knowing what was happening.  Somethings we have to just not take personally hard as that is.  I live with someone who has PTSD and in many ways they are similiar.  Dementia to me is much worse but pts, takes their mind to places for minutes.

      (hugs) to your son.  My nephew suffers with autism as well.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:25:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I buried most of her family with her. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, javan, ladybug53, nomandates

        she wanted to be cremated most of her life.  then a few months beforew she died that all changed.  I didn't know if it till the final day.  When I asked the Hospice nurse to make sure someone cut her nails, they grew so long and hard, before cremation.  If they could.  My aunt almost screamed.  Cremation? that's what Muslims do.  ACK.

        During the final prayer of theirs, the main hospice nurse who worked with me and my brother and who was my warrior, she had to throw my uncle out.  I don't know what he said but it was something about, "those heathens shouldn't be here."  Me and my kids are "heathens" because we are liberals and atheists.

        They turned every part of the death and dying process into a fucking political match.  

        They are the ones who scared my Mom.  they are the ones who put the look of frozen terror on her face.  

        They buried her in the ground and left her to compost.  To me and my family... that is such a waste and tragedy on so many levels.  My Mom never wanted a spot to mourn, she wanted to be free.  Free from her body that hurt her all the time and free from the fact that most of her life she was stuck.  In fact, upon arriving at the unit that day, I was in my mind going to Free My Mom.  Instead I was called a terrorist for even daring to think they'd allow for cremation.   "Can you imagine Elaine's daughter wanted to burn her like garbage"  

        I heard that just after I had signed some consent forms for Hospice.  It was like being cannon balled.  

        The Right Wing are NOT pro family or pro life or FOR anyting.  They are just a bunch of fucking cultists who live on fear and hate.  

        Dear VetWie, my son doesn't "suffer"from autism.  He's autistic... he just has to work harder than anyone else.  It's just that this crazy, phucked up society can't understand him.

        Our world isn't safe for wonderful, different people.

        Hell, our country isn't safe for anyone anymore.  

        "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

        by Damnit Janet on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:43:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, hugs to him just the same dear and (4+ / 0-)

          these are the changes I was speaking of,  My Father had
          already grasped enough that he could not handle all of this hatred today and mix of poltics and religion,  It would upset him to no end,  In 2003 he nearly lost his sweet nature over W invading Iraq.  He was torn up about it.  
          You have my permission to take this diary to those so called Christians and show them what faith is really about if you let them hear the Rev. Mr. Black.  Daddy cast a huge shadow when it came to the teachings of Christ and I am so sorry you endured such behavior upon your Mother's death.  What did they think ashes to ashes ..dust to dust meant in the Bible?  Hypocrits..IMO,

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:51:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  {{{{vetwife & dad}}}} (5+ / 0-)

    We're losing my mom.  She still sometimes recognizes my brothers and I as 'family', but less and less.   At least now the relentless asking "what's my name??!!" "who are you" every 10-20 seconds (literally) has subsided and she's at a place where her mind is a bit calmer and slower.  But when she looked at me the other day as she woke from a nap and asked "Are you my mommie?" it was all I could do to tuck her back in, give her a kiss, and get out of the room before I burst into tears.  

    Prayers and good memories be with you, dear, and a peaceful end when the time comes for your beloved father

    Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable.

    by FindingMyVoice on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:27:10 AM PST

  •  This has reduced me to a puddle. (5+ / 0-)

    I never had a father who was safe to love, to be around, that I would trust my children with.

    I'm so profoundly thankful you and your children had all that and more.

    A friend of mine is going through the same thing with her mother. My SO went through it with his.

    I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

    Your father speaks to us still through your loving words. I wish he knew how much he and you have touched our hearts.


    If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.

    by Onomastic on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:42:02 AM PST

    •  Ono (4+ / 0-)

      I coud not imagine THAT kind of heartache.  My son could.
      He was not safe with an alcoholic father who he does not claim but claims my present husband as his Dad.
      Grandaddy was there for him during those absent Father years so I would have been totally lost.
      You are right though. I was truly blessed to have this man as my Father.  My son is now blessed to have my husband as his Dad.  
      Funny story..I met my husband through my Dad.  They were next door neighbors and my car broke down in Daddy's driveway when I was 40.  I met my husband at my Dad's and they were very good friends before I even met him.
      Thank you for your sweet words.  I am thinking of your friend today as well.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 08:13:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for sharing your story. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Amber6541, ladybug53, nomandates

    And your family, and your beautiful music.

    (((((Vetwife, Dad and whole family)))))

  •  Thanks for sharing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Amber6541, ladybug53, nomandates

    may you find some comfort in all you do for others.

  •  "There's not a damned thing fair about (5+ / 0-)

    what happened to her."

    My grandfather, uncharacteristically emotional, talking about his wife of 62 years who passed away three years ago after a long slide into Alzheimer's.

    The week she died, my grandfather was still in denial. My dad was sitting with him at the breakfast table trying to convince him of what the Hospice nurses were saying.

    My granfather rifled through the mail, which that day included renewal notices for the accident insurance my grandfather liked to carry on the whole family -- his way of being a provider.

    Habitually, he reached for his checkbook and started writing out his checks.

    DAD: "How many checks are you writing?"

    GRANDDAD: "Well, two. There is a renewal for my policy and one for your Mommie's."

    DAD: "I think you only need to write one check this time. Mommie is never going to have an accident again."


    GRANDDAD:  "So....what do I do now?"

    "what did surprise me was their supposition that nobody would notice they were lying"

    by harrije on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 08:54:57 AM PST

  •  I'm so sorry for what you are going through. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Amber6541, ladybug53, nomandates

    My dad had mild dementia for several years, and I barely noticed it. He got sick 3 years ago when he was 70, and went through all the stages of Alzheimer's in the 5 months before he died. Visiting him in the nursing home, I slowly realized that I didn't care that he didn't know me the last few months. He knew my voice (he had lost his vision some years prior), and that I was a person who was there for him. He would calm down when I came into the room, or do as I asked when he would refuse the nurses. He didn't know the relationship, but he knew he could trust me. More importantly, I knew that I was there for him, as he had been for me throughout my life.

    I wish you peace for what you, your father, and your family are bearing.

  •  The phone just rang..HE KNEW ME TODAY !!!! (5+ / 0-)

    We talked and talked and he was just joking around saying that he had his slippers on that we bought him.
    I was smiling from ear to ear through my tears.  I told him about all of you.  I did.  I remembered that Ono said she wished he would know.  He probably won't retain it but I did tell him that I had wonderful people that I told was his birthday and they all said Happy Birthday.  I told him...Daddy. they are beautiful people from all walks of life and they know you from hearing me tell about you.
    Thank you for being MY DADDY.  He said, and I never thought he could be this coherent  for anytime but he was and he said, "I am proud of you .  You are a good daughter.  I love you".   Then he quipped. How's old Jack and how's the kids?  With tears streaming I said, Just fine Daddy.  I love you.  After my sister got back on the phone I busted out crying and she said, Today is a good day and we are gonna eat some cake and ice cream. We will light a candle for you and your friends.  She said thank you for honoring our Dad.  God Bless.  I had a wonderful phone call and can rest a little bit.  I have all of you to thank.  You mean more than you know.
    This place is more than politics is truly the best the internet or even most communities IRL have to offer.  Thank you.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 09:09:25 AM PST

  •  I picked up my kids today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, ladybug53, nomandates

    Their mom couldn't get them out to door to school before she had to leave for work, so I had an unexpected chance to rush the kids around.  When I came across them (they'd actually already were walking to school by the time I got to their mom's place), I was just so incredibly thrilled just to see them walking along nothing else much mattered.

    Reading your diary in light of the joys of dadhood (which it sounds like your dad enjoyed to the fullest) and how you talk about him, I would count him a very lucky man.  Yes ending this way is rough (my family just wrapped up a multiple year bout with dementia a couple of years back), but not to be trite but you have already given each other so very very much before you lost each other.  What more could any of us ask?  Be sad that you have lost something valuable, but be happy too that you have had something valuable.  Maybe I too fall apart in this way someday, and maybe my own daughter will take care of me long after the brain cells charged with memory have gone.  I know I would be proud of you.  

    I wish you a happy dad's birthday, and hope for both of you that you connect another few times, perhaps.

    •  Mindful Nature (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, ladybug53, nomandates

      Sounds to me like your children are fortunate to have you as their Dad.  Your words have great meaning and I thank you for every single one of them.

      I guess since I just love posting u tube...This is the bottom line of everything.  This song by Crosby Stills Nash and Young covers it all.. Required listening in this household. (lol)  Seriously all of my kids know every word of this song.  The six year old never misses a word or line.  This song is dedicated to every member of this community from me.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 11:24:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love that song! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, ladybug53, nomandates

        It really is a great statement of how it goes.  My little boy (10) said the other day that he felt a little bit guilty that everyone takes care of him, but he isn't in much of a position to take care of anyone else.  I of course let him know that just being around is taking care of me, and on a more serious note, some day it turns around, as it is right now with his grandmother (my mom).  Family really can be a great joy.

        (and yes, I'm blushing!)

  •  Tears n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, ladybug53, nomandates

    2012- End of the world? Yes! For the Republicans. THANK YOU Beadlady. I am deeply grateful. 12/27/11 CORPORATIONS ARE NOT THE PEOPLE.

    by glbTVET on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 12:53:46 PM PST

  •  Beautiful. Your Dad gave you a lot of love (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, ladybug53, nomandates

    and you return it to him and honor him.

    You are truly a beautiful soul.  May God bless you and your Dad.

    You know it's a good day when: Obama makes it the entire day without having to appoint yet another Savvy Bankster Businessman to a position of power and influence.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 02:01:03 PM PST

  •  thank you for sharing you Dad with us (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, ladybug53, nomandates


    My grandma had multi infarc dementia and when my mom went to see her, all my grandma could remember her only daughter was as the "cleaning lady"

    Hopefully he will remember tomorrow ... at least for a little while.

    ((((( vetwife ))))

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 02:25:47 PM PST

    •  My sister told me that today (5+ / 0-)

      he was snuggling in his blanket we gave him last year for Christmas and had on his slippers,  He was waiting
      for her and kept telling me I am 89,  I said Yes Sir and you better not eat too much cake.  He stopped for a minute and I didn't understand and my sister said, he is wanting to get ice cream.  I said.. I did not sleep last night and waited by the phone to talk to him.  He remembered me and she said, today is a very good day.
      Last week was really bad.  I said, But we have him today with some memory recharged.

      thanks for a wonderful comment.  
      People here are so empathetic.  I am so sorry about the cleaning lady but i bet your Mom was tidying up for comfort.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 02:35:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm glad he had a good day (4+ / 0-)

        My mom was the "cleaning lady" because when she went to visit them, as my grandmother's dementia progressed, she cleaned their house.  

        Grandpa was a farmer and he didn't want to leave the land and felt he could take care of her.  Finally her brothers called her and said that she needed to go to a home, could she come back and help them.

        She found Grandma a good home, but of course she continued to deteriorate.  Soon Grandpa joined her, but was dead within the year.

        They didn't even think Grandma was aware that Grandpa shared the same room with her in the home.  And they didn't bring her to the funeral because they didn't think she had any time "here."

        But when my Mom and brothers came to her after the funeral, to tell her Grandpa was dead she said "no he's not, he's sleeping right there."  pointing to the bed he had been in not a week before.

        she knew, at least a little bit

        thank you for your kind words, intellectually Mom understood about why her mother called her "the cleaning lady" but emotionally it was still hard.  I think she took comfort in knowing that Grandma knew that Grandpa had been with her in the home.

        Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

        by Clytemnestra on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 04:45:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting the video. What (4+ / 0-)

    a sweet man your daddy is. My mom had Alzheimer's, too. I don't know what went through her mind after she had "lost" it, but once she looked at me (she no longer knew who I was at this point), and said, "I was just thinking about my daughters." I said, "I'm your daughter, Momma." She looked at me like I was insane. So, I said, "Oh, your daughters are young?" She replied, "Yes." I guess she was thinking about a time many years ago, since I was about 50 when this happened. I believe that when an Alzheimer's patient has forgotten the present and the recent past, they still hold on to memories from their youth. Maybe those are the last to go? Much love to you, Vetwife. I know your pain.

    •  thanks grelinda and I sure hope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grelinda, nomandates, ladybug53

      that is where their fragile thoughts go.  I pray it is.
      A happier time when one was strong and able to go to the restroom alone and care for themselves and feel
      productive and secure.  I think I forgot to mention I was born on Fathers Day.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 02:57:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My friend's mother had Alzheimer's and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, nomandates, ladybug53

        she told me that as her mother's Alzheimer's progressed, she regressed mentally. Once my friend greeted her mother by saying, "Hi, Mom," when she went to visit her.  Her mom was indignant and said, "Mom??? I am much too young to be your mother!!!" She told me other similar stories, too. I hope their minds take them back to a happy time in their lives....being young, having children and a family, etc. We can hope.  

  •  Thank you for sharing this... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, nomandates, ladybug53

    memories put love in our hearts.  And love in our hearts keep the memories alive.

    Rise Up! Still not thy voice - Slack not thy hand!

    by Arkieboy on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 04:02:50 PM PST

  •  Your Dad reminds me in some ways (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates, ladybug53, Vetwife

    of my Dad, he is alive, but not really "there." Thank you for your diary, I understand everything you are going through. My Dad has Alzheimer's and more and more am finding out things about his life and I know he deserves a better end than now.

    Change is not an event, it is a process.....

    by lady blair on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 04:47:39 PM PST

  •  So sorry, but happy that you had a great phone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    call with him.
    My mother-in-law had dementia, for some years, living in California. Her only son, my husband, lives in Tennessee and we could not afford for him to fly out to see her, but he called her often and she mostly remembered who he was and they could connect pretty well. Trouble was -- every man who came to visit her in person, she always thought he was her son! Frustrating it was for the nephew and son-in-law who were able to visit!

  •  With an Alzheimer's dad, just live in the moment. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm an official old fart.  I'm also a son who lost his dad suddenly and his mother more slowly.

    I would take mom to the private dining room in the SNF where she was staying with a sack of McDonalds and she would believe that we were in a restaurant.  Those are happy memories.

    Enjoy your dad while you realize that his mental status is such that he can only live in the moment.  Live in the moment with him.

    I am not religious.  I am spiritual.  May God bless you, your dad and your family.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by Randolph the red nosed reindeer on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 06:05:36 PM PST

  •  Thank you for this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Glad you were able to speak to your dad for his birthday.  All of God's blessing for you & your family.

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 12:32:22 AM PST

  •  I love all of your comments and compassion (0+ / 0-)

    Jimmy  Cagney As Yankee Doodle Dandy said in the movie of George M Cohan.  I cannot quote better than this line for this diary.

    My Father thanks you, my Mother thanks you, and I thank you.   God Bless.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 12:06:54 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site