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A Lesson From Dementia: Don't Take Things for Granted

Dealing with Dad's dementia: This week, I talk about the simple things that we sometimes forget.

Growing up, I used to hate all of Pop’s stories. I mean that I really dreaded them. It was the same thing over and over.

“When I was a kid, my parents didn’t drive me to school like I do for you. I had to walk in the snow to get to school, and then walk home. By the time I made it home trekking in that snow, it would be dark already,” he would say.

Or, “You remember your nonno [meaning grandfather in English] used to say it is better to be on the roof than far behind.” Nobody really knew what he meant by this one. Perhaps he meant it was better to see with perspective and vision as if high up than to be lazy and be far behind everyone else.

There were dozens of these. And, this past Father’s Day, I really craved to hear at least one.

That didn’t happen though. My boyfriend’s family and my family had a nice long dinner. The men seemed to separate and watch the golf tournament. My boyfriend’s dad managed to get my Papa to talk to him about golf.

That was good, at least. I think Papa enjoyed talking sports with another man.

But, there still were no famous Papa stories. This has taught me, though, to enjoy things as they come.

We all still had a lovely evening. There was great food, lots of jokes away from the golf tournament and more. But, no famous Papa stories. There wasn’t even one of those annoying work stories. However, now I know that the next time he starts reliving these memories, I will not tune them out.

I have learned better now to listen more closely to what my mom and aunt and rest of my family say as now I do not know when the next time I will hear the same thing. Although hard, this disease has taught me to be more appreciative and not take things for granted.

Isn’t that a great lesson for Father’s Day—do not take anything for granted!

RESOURCES

It is often encouraged for both patients and family members/caregivers to join a support group. There are support groups offered nearby in Mountain View, San Jose, or even telephone support groups. For support in your area, check out http://www.alz.org/norcal/in_my_community_support.asp

Bob M June 28, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Nicole, I look forward to reading your posts and can fully relate to them. Do find time to write more.
Nicole Baldocchi June 28, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Dear Bob, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your note. Thank you very much for reading and it means a lot that I have been able to write something that someone, like you, can relate to. I will most definitely find time to write more -- sometimes I just get a bit stumped as I do not want to write something that is too depressing, per say. Thanks again for reading.

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