You have been a part of the family your entire life. You know which ones you look forward to seeing and which ones to hide from.
Year after year you spend holidays together. You know the routine, then one year; everything changes. Uncle Ray passed away. Aunt Betty is now in a nursing home.
The cousins you played with are all grown and go to their own holiday gatherings. The big, oval table looks smaller. The laughter not quite as loud.
Some of your favorite foods are no longer there. Yes, life certainly changes doesn’t it?
Then the next year you go, a bigger change than ever has happened. Your favorite Aunt Sue is different. You don’t know what happened exactly but something sure did.
She repeats herself over and over. She wanders the familiar house like she has never been in it before. She walks up to me and ask me my name. I say,” You know my name. It’s Bill. Remember? You used to call me little Billy.”
She looks at you and nods her head. She wonders off and in less than ten minutes, she is back, asking you the same question, “What’s your name?”
You soon find yourself walking to another room when you see her coming. You feel guilt because you love her so much, but my gosh, she’s asked you five times who you are.
By the end of the day, you learn that she has Alzheimer’s disease. You have heard of it but don’t know much about it. When the holiday is over you return to your own home.
On the next free time you have; you research this disease. You find ways to interact with your Aunt. You give a donation to the foundation to help find a cure.
On the next holiday you seek her out. You go to her and put your arm around her. Looking her straight in the eyes you tell her hello and how much she has meant to you all these years
This disease can strike about the same time you are thinking about your retirement years. It’s a sad disease to watch and you can feel very frustrated and emotional watching your loved ones go through it. The best thing to do is not get angry. Don’t argue with the patient with this illness. You will lose.
Give a donation and help find a cure.