Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Tomorrow I put my dad in a nursing home. I know lots of people do it, there are some good homes out there, and sometimes it's a necessity. This is one of those times.
But I honestly never thought this would happen.
This is just not the way my family does things. We grow old, we die. Very few of my extended family have lingered with an illness that required 24/7 care. If they did, they were married and at home.
My great uncle Grady just died. He was 97, still lived in his own house, played golf 3 times a week, mowed his own lawn and bowled in a senior's league. (They had to put him in with the 70 year olds cause their weren't any other 90-somethings playing and he still beat them).
My grandma, my dad's mom and Grady's sister, is 93 and living in a retirement community. She is still in charge of the world, always right and if you don't believe me, I'll give you her number and you can call and ask.
And then there is dad. He's 70. Because of alzheimers, his journey will likely end in this nursing home. Alzheimers is nasty. It has stolen his mind, his memory, his golden years. It has stolen the future I always thought we would have with him. I'm feeling relieved, cheated, joyful, guilt-ridden and just plain mad.
If we can spend billions on any given day for any given reason, WHY can't we find a cure for this heinous, dream stealing disease. Did you know that there are diagnosed cases of alzheimers in children as young as 6? SIX!!!!
I promise to do something. I do not want to see families lose loved ones before their time. I do not want to see dreams die. I do not want to believe this can't be stopped.
For tomorrow, I'll move my dad. I'll cry my tears. I'll try to make him comfortable in his new surroundings where he will be safe.
But watch out future days, I'm coming for you.