Rolling Without Limits

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My Daddy’s fight with Alzheimer’s
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My Daddy’s fight with Alzheimer’s

Every little girl loves her daddy, to her he is like superman, he can do anything and fix everything and most of all he loves her. When I was a child my daddy usually worked two jobs, so I didn't get to see him a lot, but when he was home, I loved it. He was always smiling and a basically a happy person. Everywhere we went everyone knew and like "Little Joe", he talked and joked with everyone, it was like he loved life and people, I loved that about him.

As I grew up he didn't seem to smile as much and wasn't as friendly, I noticed changes but thought it was just him getting older, don't most people get grumpier as they get old? But then the forgetfulness was getting worse and we found out he had the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, that made me sad, I didn't want him loose him and didn't want him to forget me.

He lived in New Mexico and I live in Arizona, so I would go to visit him every few months, I wanted to make sure I got to see him while he still knew who I was. I also made it a point to call him once a week, usually on Saturday evening, and if I forgot, he would call me or have his fiancé call me because he was worried, he'd say, "something is wrong Audrey never forgets to call me", once we talked he was fine again.

As his disease progressed, it got harder and harder to see him fading away. Sometimes when I called him I could tell he didn't' really know who I was, but I knew who he was, and it was still important for me to talk to him. One evening when I called him, my sister said he was having a bad day and probably wouldn't know who I was, but I said it was ok, I still wanted to talk to him, and sure enough he didn't know who I was, we talked a few minutes and I could feel the tears welling up so I decided I better get off the phone before they came full force, and as I went to hang up, I said "I love you daddy" and he said "I love you too Mijita (that is what he called me, it means little daughter or little sweetie), I hung up and cried because I knew for that second he came back and he knew who I was.

One of the times I was visiting him, I could tell he wasn't sure who I was, and it was evident when I came home from the movies with my sisters, Dads helper was at the door waiting for us, he said Daddy was very upset and wanted to call Audrey because she hadn't called him and he knew something was wrong. His helper tried to explain that I was there visiting him and I was at the movies and I was ok, but daddy didn't' understand and kept wanting to call me and was pacing the floors upset. I felt so bad. My sister and I went into dads room and she tried to explained to him that I was Audrey and I was ok, at first he kept saying, "no, I need to call her", but after a while as he and I sat there talking, he finally understood that it was me, he said he was sorry and we both held each other and cried.

We knew daddy's time was coming to an end so my brother and I decided we needed to take a trip to NM. We got there in the evening and we could tell that dad wasn't doing well. It was late and my sister decided we each needed to all take shifts so he wouldn't be alone. I decided I would take the first shift. I sat and talked to daddy, held his hand, played his favorite songs for him from my cell phone (Un Dia a la Ves, Welcome to my World and Red River Valley). His breathing had been bad, but then I noticed his breathing got better as the songs played, and I told him that he was breathing better. I told him "it's ok to go home daddy, we will be ok, we will take care of each other", I said "I know Mom is here to take you home" and said "Hi Mom, I miss you". Then God put this in my heart, even though I had made my amends to dad years ago, I asked him to forgive me for any hurts I had caused him especially when I was a teenager, then I said "Daddy I forgive you", that must have been what he was waiting for, because he took his last breath and went home to be with Jesus.

I had hoped that dad and I could celebrate our birthdays together one last time, but instead this time it was a celebration of my birth and his life and we laid him to rest, that year he would celebrate his birthday with Jesus.

Please feel free to leave a comment and vote if you like my article. To receive an email notification every time I post a new one, click on my username – Lil Nana - then 'Add to my Bloggers'

Leave a Comment

  1. SignLanguage
    Sorry for your loss. However, with things going in that direction, at times it is much better to see them go. I voted. When you have the chance, you can come read my new article, My Personal Story.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thank you for voting, I already voted on your too
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  2. vigilgerry
    Great blog Audrey. Made me cry
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Sis
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  3. Teresa Thomas
    Teresa Thomas
    WOW!! A very heart felt blog there Audrey. I'm beginning to feel the tears starting to trickle down my face as I have read this blog. Nice job. Will get my vote to night.
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Teresa
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  4. Barby Baldwin
    Dear Audrey, I cried when I read that you got to be there when your padre passed on. How beautiful. I missed that moment when my Mom passed. You write the most wonderful blogs.Thanks for sharing you and your father's story of Alzheimer's.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Barby, I had lots of tears writing it, I'm sorry you missed your moms passing but I know she knew you were there in spirit.
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  5. sweedly
    sweedly
    As you know from reading my blog , I completely understand your pain. I think the hardest is when they don't remember who we are. I know it is going to break my heart when that happens. This is a beautiful tender story of love and thank you for sharing it with us. Voted.
    Log in to reply.
    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thank you Sweedly, yes this disease is sometimes harder on the loved ones
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  6. Lil Bit
    Lil Bit
    Oh Audrey, I am so glad I got the pleasure of meeting your dad. I voted for this blog. Great job!
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    1. Lil Nana
      Lil Nana
      Thanks Lizzy, yes he loved you too
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  7. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    So sorry for your loss. My father had Alzheimers before he passed too to be with my Mom. With resting in peace, they have their memory back. I invite you to my latest blog, "Change The Recording"! Please vote if you like it.
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  8. Akanksha
    Great blog Audrey! My grandmother also had similar challenges before she passed away. Though I was much younger at that time, I could relate to your story. I am also following you now.
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