My Dad – A Beautiful Mind!

Below is a shot of my dad sitting in his garden under the Wisteria flowers he planted many years ago.

He was 76 when he finally got his Doctorate (along with other academic awards). Then, it seems, almost the day after he graduated, everyone noticed his short-term memory starting to falter. It has now been confirmed he has Alzheimer’s. How do you process this? Could finishing his studies have triggered this somehow? Is it possible to hold off an illness like this for a period of time – only to then be activated by an event (i.e. his graduation)? I’m just wondering if this timing is pure coincidence? It would be great to hear from anyone who may know more about this.

My dad - sitting under his Wisteria flowers

My dad – sitting under his Wisteria flowers

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10 thoughts on “My Dad – A Beautiful Mind!

  1. My mother had dementia and passed away a few years ago. I have no answers to the hard questions, I wish I did. Just cherish each moment with your dad and find something to laugh about every day.

  2. Lovely photograph. I can tell you that my beloved Grandmother had MS, she got more and more confused and got people’s names muddled up etc. However, I will say that the language she understood to the very end was the language of love, warmth and kindness from the people around her.

  3. That is such a wonderful photograph …. and sometimes words are inadequate …. so I will not try .. but I hope that you will understand the profound empathy felt for you, your family, and most of all your Dad ….. and indeed for all those in similar circumstances.
    There is no evidence to suggest the connection that you suggest – if anything the opposite and it was wonderful that he could have such a major achievement before the loss became apparent and that he, you, family and friends should share such love.

  4. I found your Dad’s story fascinating, as it reminded me of my father. While never in peak physical condition (he considered green M&M’s a vegetable!), it wasn’t until he retired that his health issues really kicked in… In his family, going back to Ireland, no man had lived past the age of 54 – so when he reached 55, we rejoiced! Before his death at the age of 71, he battled two skin cancers, sinus cancer, liver and lung cancer. He had developed Hepatitis as a child, which remained dormant for over 40 years, and was the ‘official’ cause of his death. But I always wondered if it was his retirement, his relaxing of the mind from the pressures of business, that gave his body the okay to start its descent. Regardless, in his retirement he published seven books, traveled to Europe, and enjoyed life – much like it seems your father has and will continue to do… If it’s a coincidence, it stinks. If it is not, it still stinks – but his remaining time with you, and those beautiful Wisteria flowers, will be full of joy and love!

    • Hi Mary. I feel very blessed to read your comment and to hear about your amazing dad. To live through such health challenges all the way to 71 is inspiring….but to also experience such a full life such as the 7 published books and the travelling etc is wonderful. We are trying to get dad back into his writing following his PhD. You have encouraged me to persist in encouraging dad with his writing. I also find it interesting from the comments I’ve received how people with these illnesses still know and feel love and can still experience life. Dad still loves his hello and goodbye hugs which is great. He now forgets that we have done the hello hugs and does it a number of times. I don’t mind as it shows he can still love and be loved so I make sure I give him a big ‘hello’ hug each time.

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