I have been blessed in my life to have had positive roles models for aunts and uncles. I have good memories of them from family functions I have experienced over my life.
Recently, upon learning an aunt and uncle has Alzheimer’s, I have been going to visit them. Neither initially had a clue who I was. Although, on my last visit my auntie said “You know, you look familiar. Do you work here often?” And my uncle is content if I tell him I am family. But, both, are happy to see me when I arrive.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)
Despite the loss of memory and self Alzheimer’s has stolen from them, a spark remains. My uncle is just as charming and witty as always. My auntie is sweet and kind. In talking with them, you will get peaks into the past. It’s as if their memories open up a brief window with a view. And for each of those moments, I say a silent “Thank you.”
Each time I visit one of them, I walk away thinking, “I see you in there.”
Today I am thankful
- I got a haircut. It’s always that time when I start humming Beatles songs. Thank you amazing hair genius, Josh – I adore you.
- I must be in need of strange comfort food – a grilled swiss cheese tuna sandwich on whole wheat toast – go figure.
- I am visualizing a future Fairy Garden. I have the pot. Let the creating begin.
- Tomorrow is Good Friday. It begins Easter weekend.
There is a joy and freedom during my visits with my auntie and uncle. Their focus is relaxed and simplistic. Both are blessed to be in nice memory care facilities, which is comforting as someone who loves them.
I never leave without thanking them. I say how special each is. That not just when I was growing up, but now — each continue to make a positive difference in my life.
They both laugh at me; uncomfortable with the compliments. My uncle told me, “We better get you a room here” and with that off he went down the hall.
Take a moment in your day. Visit someone. It will be a gift to both of you.
affectionately yours, Laura