Remembering

Winnipeg Free Press, Nov 7, 2020

November 11, 2020 is my first Remembrance Day without my father. He served in WWII on the HMCS Ettrick. He never talked of the war when I was a child. By the time I was born, it was long past.

As he got older, memories of his youth became more important. Once mom was in care, he was alone in the house. I would often find him lost in thought, and when I asked what he was thinking about, he would tell me he was “reminiscing” …

His whole life he had told me stories, and so as our roles began to reverse. I the caregiver and he the one needing care, I began to tell him his own stories … the ones he had told me over and over … the one about the painting of the little girl, the one about the eight-legged dog from “Ew Bah Chi,” and then, for the last part of his journey, I made him his own story:

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, a little boy was born, the fifth child of …

I repeated it to him often; at most visits near the end. I think it was more the sound of my voice that gave him comfort. Like a parent reading a bedtime story to a child. The story gave me comfort too. He was more than what he appeared. He had a story. He was important. Especially to me.

Covid came and I was locked out of the facility where he lived in mid-March. Mid-May, on Queen Victoria Day, he passed. Almost exactly 10 years after my mother left us, they were together again. I miss them both every day, but today, on this day of Remembering, it is especially hard.

Stories, especially those that review the important people and events in a person’s life, can help Alzheimer’s patients stay grounded. I encourage you to tell your loved ones stories … about your life; about what and who is important to you. You never know, someday, someone may be telling your story to you.

Published by Aud

I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Gettin' on... Soon an official senior citizen... few more years... looking for a place to keep track of all My Stuff... Hence, "Aud's Stuff." If you have too much stuff too, you may find this interesting. ALSO, Alzheimer's has been such a huge part of my life I will be posting on that a lot too most likely ... I am in transition from being a caregiver to being Who Knows What! Watch my journey!

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