This post is from Lori W who read our recent article “Message from My Mother” by Jane Snyder.
I just read your message about your Mother leaving a small message in the bottom of a drawer. I also have lost a parent to Alzheimer’s in 2008 – my Father.
He was so talented in carpentry and could make anything he put his mind too. So sharp and quick witted, so very lovable, he was a kind spirit and loved by many. He lived with Alzheimer’s for 8 years. Like you said, there were small signs of, ‘something isn’t right’, The family was at the stage of, is he or isn’t he? Of course we wanted to believe that he wasn’t stricken with this horrible disease.
One day I came to the house looking for an article in the local paper. My mother said it must be downstairs in the recycle bin, and my father said he would go get it. I told him it was Monday’s paper. He got half way down the stairs and came back up and asked me, what’s Monday? I guess that was the defining moment for me.
I went to visit him one day at the nursing home. I could tell he was aggravated and he didn’t want visitors nor talk to anyone. It was one of several times that this would be a short visit. As always I kissed his bald head and told him that I loved him and walked out of the room.
As I was in the elevator, which was directly across from his room, I would turn around to face him and give him a smile and a wave, but this time when I turned to face his room he had wheeled himself to the door of his room, he looked at me and with his right hand closed, he softly pounded his chest as if to say, I love you too. I ran to him and hugged him and told him, ‘I knew you were in there someplace.”
I cried the whole way down the elevator and all the way home. I did not tell one family member about my experience as I felt it was meant just for me. Maybe selfish but it was my moment. Three days later he slipped into a deep sleep and passed away on the fourth day.