Dementia Post# 4

September 19, 2010 by
Filed under: Dementia and my father. 

September heralded one significant event, and a milestone of sorts, in our family. The two occasions collided last weekend in our kitchen, illustrating the best and worst that life may offer.

 It has been one year since we first noticed my father’s confusion and memory-loss, an inauspicious anniversary that coincided with my daughter’s wedding day, last weekend. It created a heart-breaking moment during the last-minute preparations on Saturday.

The house was full and buzzing with activity as everyone, including Karie Anne and her bridesmaids, changed into their wedding-day finery. Throughout most of the hubbub, my Dad sat at the kitchen table, a big smile on his face, watching the comings and goings of excited, chattering people. I didn’t pay him much mind for a while, since he seemed content and I was busy. Finally, the bride-to-be appeared in her white gown. She was radiant and beautiful with professionally done hair and airbrushed make-up. As she stood beside her grandfather, he looked up from his seat, grasped her hand clumsily and asked, “Why are you all dressed up like that, sweetie?”

 A ripple of pain crossed her joyful face but she recovered her smile, leaned down, patted his hand patiently, and said, “I’m getting married today, Grandpa.”

 I saw his grin broaden with happiness and pride before I turned away. I doubt that he knew that she was his first grandchild to wed and by Sunday afternoon he wouldn’t remember the ceremony, the reception, or the dance. As usual, Karie Anne handled that knowledge with grace and understanding,

 “At least I know he was there.”

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