Monday, August 12, 2013

Alzheimer's Awareness.

...It has been a while, hasn't it?

It's late. I'm up. let's talk.

I graduated from BGSU! University: Completed.

I moved back home to Chicago with my parents and have been busy working all summer saving up my money and just visiting with friends.

Oh, and I got a job as an Au Pair in France and I will be moving sometime this month to live with my new French family and care for a sweet little girl who (coincidentally) shares the same name as my cat: Cleo.

seriously. So. FUNNY.

But I will get into all that another day, for this past week has been rough.

My grandfather passed away from a 14 year battle with dementia and Alzheimer's. These past few years have been the hardest because I had to watch him slip away right before my eyes.  Usual fun visits to Ohio became long days of introducing myself over and over and over again to my own grandfather whom I shared so many wonderful memories with. Vacations, trips to the putt putt course, Saturday morning cartoon watching, and endless giggle fits with my grandpa gradually turned into memories. I no longer heard my grandpa say my name or call me "Claire-ee", as only he would.

I thought this time would be a bit easier since I dealt with the same issues with my Papa on my dad's side of the family, who passed away in 2008 from dementia and Alzheimer's. I was wrong. With my Grandpa it was actually harder because it last so much longer than it did with my Papa. With me attending school in Ohio I was also able to take regular trips to visit and help out with my Grandma and Grandpa. I went through some of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with this past year just helping my Grandpa in the nursing homes and hospitals. These visits were not with my Grandpa, but more so a disease. Sure it was my Grandpa's body sitting there in front of me, but everything he said or did was Alzheimer's. and it really, really sucked.

My Grandpa was in the Navy during WWII and was and will continue to be one of the bravest and most honorable men I have known, and I am so proud of everything he has done.
I am so proud to call myself his grand-daughter.

If anyone has ever had to deal with this awful disease, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. The families of those affected by Alzheimer's are some of the strongest people and are truly saints to put up with everything that this disease brings.

I hope to live to see the day that Alzheimer's is cured so that no one will ever have to go through or help a loved one that is affected by it.

I will always remember my Grandpa for who he was before this disease and the wonderful role model he always was for me.

I love you, pops


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