When I was a kid, “divorce” was the dreaded “d” word. It was the word that NO kid wanted to hear their parents say. As a kid, I just thought my parents would be together forever. That’s just how it was.
But all of a sudden, the dreaded “d” word was being used IN MY FAMILY. And I didn’t think there could be a more dreaded “d” word.
I have found a “d” word that I dread even more than divorce.
Oh, I’d heard about dementia and alzheimers. I felt bad for friends who had to deal with it. But I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined MY grandfather would have it.
I mean, the man is in amazing shape. He walked EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. He was a vegetarian (aren’t they supposed to be super healthy?). He was just in such good shape (still is).
This diagnosis makes me question everything I thought I knew. If he was so healthy on the outside, why wasn’t his brain healthy? Why is he forgetting everything?
In 2004, my Opa (Dad’s stepdad) had a stroke. And the first time I saw him, I couldn’t stop crying. The stroke had taken my healthy Opa and made him into a man stuck in a wheelchair who couldn’t do anything for himself. At that point I thought it can’t get worse, I never want to see anyone I love go through this again.
I was wrong. I would rather watch my grandpa go through a stroke 1,000 times than watch him lose his mind like this. At least my Opa only lost his body, he still knew who we were, he was sharp, he could still laugh at jokes and HE KNEW WHO WE WERE. (I know I said that twice but you don’t realize how important it is until someone you love has NO IDEA who you are).
I don’t write this post for sympathy or for someone to try to come up with a solution. I mostly write it because I HAVE to be strong for my family. I have to let them cry to me, and I don’t want to cry to them. I don’t want to bring them down anymore than they already are. So I write this here just to get it out. To cry and write.
Thanks for listening 🙂