We’ve known for quite some time about my dad’s diagnosis, and I guess I thought “knowing” and “understanding” what this disease would eventually do to him, was going to make it easier to witness…I was wrong. I don’t think knowledge cushions the heart in any way. No matter what my mind knows, my heart breaks to see my dad cry because he feels lost and scared – just out of touch with his own life.
The disease is progressing…he doesn’t remember he has four kids; he doesn’t remember he’s been married to my mom for almost 60 years; he doesn’t remember all the amazing things he accomplished with his 8th grade education. He built multiple successful businesses in our hometown, became an amazing auctioneer when he was in his early 50s, and from there started another successful business that he continued well into his retirement years!
I am a lot like my dad – the good and the bad. My work ethic, love for animals and servants-heart all came from him…and yes, probably this little thing called a “Lieurance temper” came from him too! Ironically though, in many ways we are vastly different. Maybe that combination is why we didn’t always get along when I was growing up, but now, I am thankful for the similarities and the differences because I think they bind us together.
We may be on this journey for a long time, but I will continue to draw closer to him to strengthen both of us for what lies ahead. We will share stories, and I will remember for him. We will share talks, and I will remember for him. We will share memories, and I will remember for him. We will share this sunset of his life, and I will remember for him.
In the meantime, support our fight to find a cure. Join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Saturday on the SIUE campus.