Dinner with Harold
One evening as I was speaking to the Alzheimer’s Family Support Group, at my Mother’s Nursing Home, I was greatly surprised by a story from a family in the audience. You see I was there as a family member to tell stories of adjustment as my Mother progressed through the disease.
A woman who was sitting with her children raised her hand towards the end of my talk. I was expecting her to ask me a question, but instead she said, “I just have to thank you for your Mother. She has been a gift to my family.”
Mom got along with most people, so I was not surprised she helped them adjust to placing her husband in the Nursing Home. Mom loved her Nursing Home!
The woman went on to tell a wonderful love story of how my Mother and her husband become good friends, like partners. How their friendship made it easier for her husband to adjust to his new home. She told of how they would all eat dinner together, this man, his wife, the kids, and my Mother his girlfriend. The whole family was so sincere, so gracious, so full of love for this man, wanting him to be peaceful, happy, settled in his new home.
I can’t even begin to imagine the mixed emotions the wife must have had. Yes, a true blessing for her husband to have a void filled through my Mother, and yet how painful it must have been to be replaced by a new woman. I believe his wife’s love paved the way for her children to accept this path, this journey.
No matter how strong and rational we are, the emotional difficulties of Alzheimer’s disease can be a very scary roller coaster ride. The story this family shared was a true gift not only to me, but also to others there that night. I love how they chose as a family to put their Dad’s interest first, pushing their ego’s aside. I applaud this family’s ability to lead by example. Kudos to you all!