The Story of Richard

richard
A portrait from 2015

I wanted to write a bit in hopes that it could help someone.

Here is a little about my family’s journey and struggle with dementia.

For a whole year, as an adult child, I moved back in with my parents.

I not only managed to make it out alive, but I’m also still super close with my mom.

However, my dad has since passed.

kerry and dad
My dad and me at my wedding Febryary 2012

In 2003, not only did I manage to pass Senior French class and graduate high school, but I also went to France that year. Everyone told me the whole world was ahead of me.

That same year, my father was given a diagnosis of dementia. I was in total denial. I knew he had struggled with depression, mental illness, and suicidal thoughts. After all, he had asked me to drive him to emergency room one day after I got home from classes at the community college. I was 18. It was a very confusing time. I didn’t know what to believe.

kerry and dad not at wedding

Little did I know that his diagnosis would turn into a slow and heart-breaking decline that lasted ten years. There was nothing we could have done. There is no cure for dementia.

While I could write a whole book on the subject, I just wanted to write a quick note to let people know, you’re not alone. Since I was young when this happened to me, I can especially relate to folks who are 17 or 18 or in their twenties, and facing the diagnosis of a parent with this horrible disease.

If there was one piece of advice I’d offer to those dealing with this, please keep your head up. Know that this time with your loved one is temporary, and eventually they will be gone. It is a hard fact to face, but enjoy the time with them now before it’s too late.

Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment below.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Story of Richard”

  1. Beautiful! Having had a few close family members with Alzheimer’s, as well as having taken care of individuals with various forms, in various stages of this brain disease, I have total empathy/compassion
    towards the family members who slowly witness the gradual loss of parts of their loved ones personalities, verbal, physical and spiritual aspects of their being…as aspects of the brain dim from these often long declines in brain function.
    When we speak of remembering the moments of joy with introspection, let us be grateful for the fact that WE can still remember that time and that joy, even though our loved ones can no longer. Each moment of life treasuring time with a loved one is a gift! Therefore, we need to enjoy “THE PRESENT” with them!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Barb! I liked what you said about remembering: “WE can still remember that time and that joy, even though our loved ones can no longer. Each moment of life treasuring time with a loved one is a gift!” You’re so right! ❤

      Like

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