Yesterday Pawpw referred to us by name and explained how he was going to miss us, just as clear as a bell. Later in the morning, he wanted to help mom remake our guest bedroom bed with clean sheets. Though his right side is paralyzed from his stroke of 1987, he began the process helping mom stretch and smooth the sheets.
When she asked him to grab the corner, he could not understand, could not remember what a corner was, could not follow directions to get his hand on the corner nearest him nor understand any subsequent attempt of Mom’s to help get started in making the bed.
Alzheimer’s allows a few moments now and then for us to see, feel, hear and touch our loved trapped inside the body with a brain and mind that is slowly deteoriating. We must grab those brief moments and cherish them. We must see our Pawpaw every time he comes to the surface. We must remember and love the whole person as (s)he was. Pawpaw is STILL here!! Even though Alzheimers is real, Pawpaw sometimes is lucid enough to describe his own mental condition and clearly understands the reality of his situation. Several times Pawpaw said to me, “I must be losing my mind.” He has expanded the conversation to ask, “Isn’t there anything that can be done?” He has asked, “Isn’t there a medicine to fix this, to reverse this?” and “Can’t you take me to a doctor or a hospital to make me get better?” Pawpaw is still there. His lucid times come and go. His lucid times usually come in the mornings and get less frequent as the days pass. We still exist within him and his heart. He will always live on in our hearts too.