A Holiday Dad Can’t Remember

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A Holiday Dad Can’t Remember

When we started talking about preparing for the holidays, my daughter exclaimed in excitement, “Let’s make this a holiday to remember!” I almost broke down crying, because I know that Dad won’t remember this holiday, or indeed, any other occasion.

Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago, but it obviously started a while before that. We kept trying to excuse his forgetfulness as “senior moments,” and made light of his telling us the same thing over and over and mixing up our names more than usual. But one day, he walked out the door barefoot and didn’t come back for a few hours. We combed the neighborhood and got the police involved, and eventually he was discovered window shopping in a store a few miles from the house.

My mom was gone by then, so my brother and I had to take charge. We took him to see specialists and we hired home care to make sure he was never left alone again. But the dementia didn’t stop there. It’s gotten so bad that he barely remembers things from one minute to the next and he gets confused and angry at the drop of a hat. We’re doing our best, but it’s hard to watch his deterioration.

After my initial reaction to my daughter’s idea, I realized that she was right. I don’t know how many more holidays I will get to spend with Dad, so I should make this one as memorable as possible. My brother and I will have these memories for years to come and so will our kids. And Dad can have a wonderful time, even if he won’t remember it the next day.

I’ve gone all out with the decorations and bought the ingredients for a festive meal that includes all my mom’s favorite holiday recipes. I’ve let everyone know that we will be exchanging inexpensive but significant gifts and I have put special effort into getting the perfect gift for my dad. He used to love any kind of puzzle – crossword, word search, jigsaw. So, this year I bought some jigsaw puzzles with big pieces and bright colors, which I hope he will enjoy. And I bought an extra warm sweater to keep him comfortable in the coming months.

This year, I will focus on the blessings I have and make this holiday season festive – and memorable.

By |2018-05-17T23:53:00+00:00December 18th, 2017|Alzheimer's, Holidays|0 Comments

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