Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[2] Alzheimer's Disease Awareness: Our Stories

I'm finally getting time to post my story dealing with a loved one who had Alzheimer's Disease. I've been meaning to post this last month, but work has me busy. Okay, onto the story.

As the details aren't clear, as time fades away...& well I was never really aware of what was really going on. I remember it started when I was in my Senior year in HS. I was told that my father was sick. I knew something was wrong with him before I was told he was sick. He was no longer at his OWN house that he had put so much time & effort in, & he was now living with my grandmother 4-6 miles away from his own.
[custom made bracelet I purchased through Kill Pink]
I remember visiting him every so often at my grandmothers. He would be sitting in a wheelchair as if he was spacing out. As soon as I would walk into the house, I would go directly to where he was & give him a hug...."Hi Di", that is what I called him every since I started talking. I didn't call him dad, I called him Di...aka Dad. He didn't say anything back.

I wasn't use to seeing him like this. Lifeless. And then one of his arms would shake. I knew he wasn't well.  I would sit there & just admire him, not thinking his days were numbered. I didn't know what was wrong with him, what he had or anything. That's how off my family was. ANYWAYS!

Weeks later...I remember...it was like a week or days before my prom (2004). And we know after prom comes the big grad party (Disneyland for us Cali folks), then graduation. I guess my mom got a phone call stating that I should come see him because he wasn't doing good. I could SEE he wasn't. He was nothing but skin & bones. My father was never a husky man, but this person laying in this hospice bed was not my dad. My aunt left me to be with my dad. I remember till this day...I told him "Please hang in there, I'll be graduating soon, then off to college. I'll get my degree being a doctor & help you out...please!" I knew I never wanted to be a doctor, but the thought that MAYBE by me becoming one, him hearing me say this, I could save his life. He just laid there...lifeless than before. I didn't want to leave him, but I had no choice.

Now that I think about it, I'm a bit jealous that I wasn't one of the people that was able to be there with him before he passed. As bizarre as that may sounds. That's what I wish now that I'm thinking about it. But it happened the way God planned for it to be. He knew I couldn't handle that. 

Days after my father passed away, one of my aunts (My dads sister) told me he had Alzheimer's Disease. I didn't know what that was at the time. I just knew it had taken my everything, the grandfather of my unborn children away from me. The man who would have bought my first car, put these "knuckle heads" (guys)as he would say, in their place. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Ashley. I am very sorry for your loss. I can imagine how jealous you may feel by not being there when he passed, but remember God makes no mistakes. Like you said, you might not have been able to handle it during that time.

    I wish someone would have told you before his passing that your father had Alzheimer's Disease so you could have understood that those cold actions were the disease running its course and not your father. With time, things get better though.

    I applaud you for spreading awareness about this disease and I commend you once again for sharing your story. That takes heart. I still haven't come to grips with my own story. Hopefully, one day, I will be as courageous as you =)

  2. i admire you for telling your story and spreading awareness it actually brought tears to my eyes. But im pretty sure your dad is smiling down on you & is very proud of you

  3. You are such an excellent advocate of alzheimers...it's such a terrible disease!! continue to share your story!!

  4. Thank you ladies for the kind words which is allowing me to push harder & spread awareness. I have a part to play in this, so I might as well educate others as well as myself :)


Thank you for leaving a comment :)