An estimated 450,000 people in the United States will die with Alzheimer’s in 2013. On Aug. 23 at 6:33 a.m., my dad became one of the 450,000.
But his story is so much more than just a statistic. As he slowly left my world because of this horrible disease, I made the decision to join him in his world – the Alzheimer’s World – and because of that decision, my dad and I continued to share many joyful moments together. I found the joy in those precious moments. It did not matter that he did not know who I was or that he would not remember all the wonderful things we did together each day. We just enjoyed the “moments.” Being in his world actually taught me to appreciate the “moments” more…a reminder many of us need in today’s busy, multi-tasking world.
Dad and I sang songs, played games, went for walks, took naps, baked cookies, colored pictures, went for drives, watched the birds…even danced a couple of times, and talked and shared stories a lot. I enjoyed my time with him in the Alzheimer’s World. I wasn’t ready to leave. I wasn’t ready for him to leave. I was blessed beyond measure to spend time with my dad while he lived with this disease. I will miss him so much, but happy for him knowing he is reunited with family members who had gone before him, and he often asked about as his disease progressed. He is no longer missing them, and someday I will join the family reunion.
There is no means of prevention and no cure, but with your support, there is HOPE. Your tax-deductible donation helps support vital research and provides resources and support to individuals and families living with the disease. These are resources I relied on over the past several years. I turned to the Alzheimer’s Association often to help me on this journey. You can read more about my journey with my dad in this story published by the St. Louis Alzheimer’s Association Chapter.
With your help, we can change the numbers for 2014 and beyond. Please support the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sept. 28 on the SIUE campus. To donate to my team, go here.
Thank you for your support.