Here are the words a daughter used to encourage her father to face fears of dementia. You can also watch as Julie reads her letter for her father: http://youtu.be/7yrzE6lGHic
I love you and mom more than you could ever know. We don’t say it every day, but it is always there, always in our hearts. I was just thinking how odd it must be for you to be seeing multiple doctors, because you never did care for them much, but as you say, “the body is starting to wear out.”
I recall a conversation you and I had recently at your dining room table one morning. You told me “not to get old.” Well dad, I really want to get old; may God bless me with a long and fruitful life. I have so much to do, so much to learn, and so much to give back. Mostly, I have much to live for — a beautiful family, where I would love to see my daughter grow and flourish, and see her children find their way into this world. I want to grow old by my husband’s side — wrinkles, aches, and all. I can see myself as a frumpy old lady in my garden, talking to the birds and an old cat.
In a world where money and material possessions are priorities, I learned at a young age that those things are great to have, but do not bring happiness or guarantee anything good. It’s all about the relationships we build and sustain that are important. I believe that when we leave this place, we take only what we have accrued during our lifetime: important lessons, love for family and friends, good times.
Dad, you confided in me that your memory is not what it used to be and that it has you worried. It is very important to share this with Dr. Jones so he can give you the appropriate tests to rule out certain causes. I am a little concerned about your memory, because you are concerned. There are many reasons why memory can become foggy, and many of the reasons are fixable.
Mom said you cancelled your doctor appointment, but how can you nip this in the bud if you keep cancelling appointments? If the shoe were on the other foot, and it was me, mom, or brother, wouldn’t you encourage us to get to the bottom of it? Of course you would. You would say you cannot run from this sort of thing and to hit it straight on, and you would be right. We come from a long line of strong, tenacious people. Empower yourself, dad, and get the facts so you don’t have to worry.
Please also consider that you have a wife and two children who adore you and want you around for a very long time. While we have no control over how much time we have in this life, we do have control over the decisions we make, and this would be a good one … to see the doctor and get tests done so they can help you with your memory. Making good decisions is something you always taught us. Did you think I wasn’t listening all these years? I have been.
If I have upset you, that certainly was not my intent. My words came from a place and concern and love for both you and for mom. Think about this before you cancel any more appointments. You have always practiced and preached the very principles of Dale Carnegie, and we learned that from you. I’ll be the first to admit I am not crazy about doctors, but you might be able to head off some memory issues if you find out what is causing them.
As a child growing up, you would always say to me, “Just give it some thought, Julie, and you will come to the right conclusion.” You probably thought I never listened, but if that were the case, how did I end up this smart? <grin> Give it some thought, Dad. Do it for you, for Mom, for us. Do it because you deserve to know. If it’s nothing, then it would have been worry for no reason. If it is something then we will face it all together. That’s what family is for.
Per la famiglia (To family)! Ti amo (I love you)!
©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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