Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The measure of a man

It's been a week. So in the last seven days, alzheimers dad has become very violent, hallucinating frequently, combative and cranky. He's thrown his cup at the wall, hit people, tried to strangle a nurse (she's fine), yanked out IVs, and is constantly chattering to these very small children he sees running all around his room. He has been checked in to a geriatric psych ward for a full evaluation...medical, mental, emotional, etc...he's been on quite a roller-coaster ride this week. It has not been pretty.

But, this is not my dad.

My dad is a big cowboy. He's a glassblower and a fabulous cook. He can fix anything, make anything and can tell the best stories because he's been a Boy Scout all his life. He loves to hunt and fish, go camping, go anywhere really. He is a generous man, willing to help anyone that will ask or anyone that is in need.

He was always great with teenagers. They loved him! He'd sing silly songs, he chaperon trips, he was always up for an adventure.

We were never rich, far from it, but I never knew as a kid that we were poor. We always had people around, we were the fun party house. Not the liquor kind of party, the turn your house into an amusement park for Halloween kind of house.

So here is what I've decided. I will remember my dad. My memories of him are built from a lifetime with him, not a disease that has claimed him and changed him. I am sorry the people who now care for him will never truly know him, but I know him.

So this year, I'm walking in the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk on October 24. I want to walk and remember. I want to walk and share. I want to shake my fist in the face of this awful, life-altering disease and say You Will Not Win. And I want you to help me.

I've come up with an idea. I love giving flowers to people. I refuse to only send them to funerals. So...print out this flower, do whatever you want to it, send it to me (address below) and I'll wear it while I walk. Flowers for Jim, my dad. If I get thousands, that would be awesome. I promise, there will be pictures!

Here's our team. We'd love your support, and thanks!

S&S Productions Team

Alzheimer's Association

And I will remember.


Flowers for Jim
PO Box 8793
Edmond, OK 73083


barb said...

Great idea, glynis. dwayne and I will do something with the flowers and get them to you when we play cards next. Your post was so moving.


Ellen Etzler said...

I love you. That was beautiful and a great way to think of your Dad and others. I'll love and pray for you + your Dad as I make your flower.

jenX said...

i was thinking of walking, glynis. but, i might cry the whole way. and, i'm so weird. i'd probably ahve to walk alone and would never want my family to know. i can hardly deal w/ the alzheimer's on my own. it's easier to share the nightmare with a stranger.