Growing up, I was always a Grampy's Girl. My father leaving at just a few months old was such a bittersweet blessing. I got to be neighbors and be raised by the most gentle, kind hearted, goofy, sports loving, GOD fearing, completely perfect man.
When I was fourteen years old, my grandmother told me my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and showed me a video on the disease and what to expect of his future behavior. I don't know if it was immaturity or denial, but at the time I didn't think it was a big deal, grandpa seemed completely normal. He still drove, attended daily mass, took care of his wife, cracked jokes, perfected my reverse layup, and had a sharp memory of his military past. Not to mention he was still a grade A multi-tasker; watching sports while listening to a game on the radio, all while reading the sports paper! Like I said, the perfect man!
About three years later in October of 2007, after sixty years of marriage, my grandmother was promoted to Heaven. I'll never forget the emptiness in my grandfathers eyes. I'll never forget the confusion written all over his face, and the confusion I felt when he asked the nurse when she will be waking up. I will never forget the day he started forgetting.
From that moment on and for seven years to come, my family all became caregivers. Showering your father is never easy. Spoon feeding your loved ones while reminding them to swallow is depressing. Seeing the confusion in your loved ones beautiful blue eyes, not remembering your face and name is beyond hurtful.
I joined BvB Dallas in 2010, under aged, because I was determined to get involved and spread awareness for this destructive disease so no one will ever have to forget or be forgotten again.