Do you ever feel good when you have a parent with Dementia?

leatherA recent search brought someone to my blog: “Do you ever feel good when you have a parent with Dementia?” I hope I have conveyed in the two years I’ve shared my journey — the answer to the question is ABSOLUTELY.

The experience has seasoned me in a way that age enhances wine, cheese, and leather. My emotions are richer, my awareness deeper and my ability to give greater. I’ve always felt that I was a bit clueless when it came to social cues. As a military brat that moved a lot in my childhood, I wonder if I grew calluses on my senses and numbed my ability to pick up on social cues so I could manage through each move. I was and am still very comfortable alone. Did I cultivate this ability so I could survive puberty in 4 different schools over 3 years? My strength came from the inside, but as I’ve aged, I realize my strength was rigid.

This journey has changed the trajectory of my family, my career and my friendships. The death of my father fractured my strength. It felt like a section of my foundation was missing. While I watched as I lost my Dad in increments due to his Alzheimer’s — many of his characteristics were still in tact. I could still talk with him, he was still very kind, he cracked jokes and I could even hold his hand.

There have also been some incredibly horrible times … but they pass. I used each experience to learn.

I am still rebuilding after the loss of my Dad, but know that my strength will return and I will emerge a better, stronger, more flexible version of former self. Enhanced.