There comes a time in everyone’s lives where you either face the demon or you don’t. Not one to shy away from much, including a nasty demon who was helping himself to my father, something simply had to be done.
I knew long before anyone else in the family that dad was exhibiting signs of dementia. When I brought it up to my mom and sibling back in 2006, they thought I was nuts … only, I wasn’t. It was the one time I wished I was wrong. It wasn’t long before dad knew something was wrong too. One day he confided in me that he was worried because his once sharp memory was “fading fast and he couldn’t remember things anymore.”
I encouraged dad to see his family doctor for testing, but he never did or he cancelled appointments. Mom didn’t push the issue, despite my sweet badgering, because as I was to learn later on, she was afraid. So afraid to uncover the truth that it seemed to paralyze her, and she was a strong woman.
The letter I will share with you is a very personal demonstration of love between my father and myself, and how I saw things as they were rudely unfolding and trying to blacken our world. Not knowing what to do, or even how to begin doing it, I looked deep inside to find the right kind of solution because I felt damn helpless. All my life I could solve any problem, help anyone, come up with solutions. But I couldn’t beat this … not with all the tenacity in the world!
Of everything that I had heard about dementia, how could anything ever be right again? It was that quiet inner voice that won my attention and I tried to reach my father through the love I had for him. “Love conquers all,” they say, and if that is true, my words would touch my father’s soul. That is exactly what I intended. If I couldn’t help him fight and win, the least I could do was offer love and hold him up.
I just found this special letter in a box among my mother’s “keepsakes” from her estate; she kept it for a reason. If you know anyone who can benefit from it, please pass it along, because it worked. It reached both mom and dad and we all faced this demon together. Being the front guy facing this enemy is the single, most frightening experience of my life. There was no sword big enough, nor shield large enough to protect from its talons. But there is always love …
Part 2 … coming next week
©2013 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.
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