By Charles Towne
Dear friend, Imagine that you went to bed last night and everything was fine. You kissed your sweetheart goodnight, maybe you even cuddled a bit. Perhaps you talked a bit about tomorrow’s plans. Then you went to sleep.
Several hours pass and a new day caresses the land with rosy fingers. You slowly drowsily come awake, opening your eyes to a new day, but something is wrong? You are confused, even bewildered. You ask yourself, “Where am I?” You look around trying to get your bearings, but… you don’t recognize anything.
You are now fully awake, or think you are, but… everything is so strange?
You hear a voice and turn your head. There is someone standing there, a stranger. You call out, “mama… daddy!” But you don’t recognize your own voice.
The stranger is staring at you, and begins to walk toward you.
You shout, “Go away, you are not my mama!” Or think you do.
The stranger speaks but you don’t understand anything they say.
You try to get out of bed and fall to the floor. Soon you are surrounded by strangers.
You don’t understand anything… you have had a stroke.
Now imagine that you are in a strange place, again you are surrounded by strangers.
All, all that was familiar is gone.
A stroke? Alzheimer’s disease? They are not alike, but they are not all that different either.
Nancy, my darling wife has endured the ravages and confusion of Alzheimer’s disease now for several years.
At the very least it is difficult for both of us.
One of the most difficult consequences of any form of dementia is the loss of family.
People suffering the loss of a loved one to dementia often don’t know where the other, their loved one, has gone. That they are confused, frustrated, is the very least that can be said, and I speak from experience.
Nancy has a son. She also has three beautiful grandbabies. In over twenty years since Nan and I were married, she has seen her son about ten times and her grandbabies less than half that often.
She praises her son. Me? I have very strong feelings. Abandonment is cruel, to say the least
Family is so important
A CAREGIVER’S PRAYER
Please Papa God, we caregivers need your help. To say we are frustrated is a great understatement. This is the most challenging task I have ever faced, and yet it is also my most rewarding. Help each of us and give us the strength to be what you want us to be. Bless each of your children with your love and your great wisdom. And Father, please help us to remember that if one member of the family suffers from this curse, it affects the entire family. Thank you Papa God, in Jesus wonderful name I ask it, Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.