I heard stories of aunts and uncles that didn’t recognize family anymore. I remember thinking “how can that be?” How do you forget who someone is that you have known for so long.
A defining moment for me occured on a visit to see dad in 2000. Others were in the room as I walked in. He had not recognized me for a few months. He saw me, he smiled and he said: “There he is, watch out for that one” His smile broadened and I thought, for just a moment, that he was back. He quickly turned to the folks in the room and said: “He does the maintenance work around here.”
As I type this now I am shook by the reality. That was the man that took me fishing, and played baseball with me, and he no longer had a memory of me.
My dad died with alzheimer’s disease on June 30th, 2000. He was 75 years old.