Alzheimer's took our dad

Tom and Florence were married for over 60 years. After the death of Florence, Tom was different. Laughing with family and friends had stopped. His behavior was labeled as “grieving” the loss of Florence. After a while, the family had a meeting and Tom decided to move upstairs from his adult children. For a while he was back to his old self, only it didn't last.

Since Tom wasn't complaining the family thought all was well. His son didn't agree. He began to tell anyone who would listen that Dad needed someone to help him. His family accused him of overreacting.

One day Tom’s son came by and noticed he was sitting in a chair staring into space. He called to Tom and there was no answer. He looked around the apartment and discovered Tom had not washed himself or eaten any food. He yelled down to his siblings to come upstairs and call 911; they did. The doctor told them Tom was experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer’s. After a few days Tom was discharged home. The family took turns visiting Tom. He continued to show no interest in socializing or watching his favorite television shows.

When his son came by, he began to look around for the plant that was given to Tom. To his dismay Tom had gotten hungry and eaten the leaves off the poinsettia plant. Tom began to wail, holding his stomach he fell to the floor. He was rushed to the hospital. The doctor explained that Tom obviously thought the plant was something to eat. This time he had to stay in the hospital for a while. One evening, out of nowhere, Tom called for help! The nurse ran into his room and he told her to call for his family to come.

Everyone arrived as fast as they could. To their surprise Tom was sitting up in bed smiling. He stretched out his hands to the semi-circle, and they all held hands. Tom began singing and they joined in. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. After Tom was done singing, he dropped from holding hands and clasped his hands into a praying position. Everyone did the same. As he said the Lord’s Prayer they followed along. He became silent, laid back and blew kisses to all as his eyes closed.

If you believe someone you love is showing signs of Alzheimer's, dementia or Parkinson’s, please don't wait to consult a doctor.

Valerie Williams

Retired office worker; freelance Writer and Theology Teacher

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Volume 13, Issue 13, Posted 10:31 AM, 07.06.2021