The toughest times…

Tonight I am sitting here and thinking about “Overcoming” a lot of the baggage we carry around with us… I am speaking at my church on Sunday night about this and I am also recognizing the fact that it is also Father’s Day here in NZ! I think some of the toughest things I have had to deal with have been through Dad’s long illness and then his passing away – and I have learned a lot about looking forward in the midst of tough situations.

I can vividly remember sitting in a Neurologist’s office at Palmerston North Hospital as my Dad was asked to count backwards in 7s from 100… to cut a long story short, very simple things just weren’t coming together and it was the first time Dad’s Alzheimers had been measured or quantified for me… The journey over time that ended in the Neurologist’s office was mostly filled with anecdotes of strange incidents that when you added them together, Alzhemiers made an incredible amount of sense… but each on their own was just Dad becoming a little quirky… this was also the beginning of the end of my Dad.

My Dad passed away on the 30th of October 2000. But I don’t consider that to be when my “Dad” died… he died sometime before that… when he didn’t know that he had a son… when I became a character in a book of photos… Was I forever a 6yo to him? As I grew older, was it just the passage of time that stole my Dad away from me? Was the son he thought he had a little boy and NOT the young man that was trying to have a relationship with him? I accept that these questions are completely unanswerable… but they aren’t questions I have considered much to be honest…

All I have is hope really… I can’t change the actual events of the past, but I can change my attitude about them… Things that were hard, have slowly become lessons that I have valued learning… Hope is awesome really.
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3 thoughts on “The toughest times…

  1. Al some of my most awesome memories of my childhood involve your dad. I remember sitting with him and his pile of LP records when I can’tve been much older than 9 or 10, in the Twizel house. He had an amazing record, I can’t remember what it was called but on one side was a song, on the other was the answer. I would start balling my eyes out as soon as ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’ came on and I’d still be blubbing when "Tell Tommy I Miss him’ played. He wasn’t terribly sympathetic, but put up with me making him play them over and over (it also had They’re Coming to Take me Away Haha on it!).Then there was the time, possibly the day before your mum and dad married. I suspect everyone wanted him out of the house and he took me to see Dr Doolittle at the movies then cooked me sheep’s brains in breadcrumbs…40+ years ago and I’ve never had sheep’s brains again – but I’ve ALWAYS wanted to 🙂

  2. Pretty sure that would have been his Skeeter Davis album… oh my gosh – SO much Skeeter Davis in my childhood!!! Today she would wear next to nothing and sing lyrics of questionable morals! :)He used to love Sweatbreads as well – sheep thyroid or something… Maybe he was weird way earlier than I thought!? hehe

  3. Suzanne and Alan, What a super internet connection I woke up to today. I remember all those events and family happenings. I think about Adrian’s record collection OFTEN….. for me the one about the man in the moon comedy stands out….. ”now you tell me”! the punch line. Skeeter Davis is so ingrained in my mind I find myself singing along to her ”ditties” just about every day. I can only remember a line or two and resort to da da da for a line or two.Alan, I honestly feel that your dad did remember in his heart the son he was SO proud of. He did remember things because when you were going to be ‘capped’ he was too ill to go up to Palmy and we did not tell him we were going – just in case he had some recollection and felt he was missing out . When we got back I told him you’d got your degree and he said ” did HE get that funny hat thing”? So, I am confident he knew and had some connection to that achievement for you.I have to say – I have always said and will always believe that people with AD have the thoughts start out right, but the networking nerves just get it wrong by the time it gets to speech. No-one can prove either way so for me and the love and fondness I had for Adrian allows me to believe (truly believe) that your dad had original thoughts, but his brain would not allow them to come out as the words he wanted. I will be especially thinking of your on Sunday – please send me any communication if there is vid or anything esle which enables me to be part of it. I love you ….. always It is easy to type down that your dad was proud of you… BUT I KNOW HE WAS BURSTING WITH PRIDE when he was well – and nothing changed for him to think anything else in his heart (which was very well right up tot he last minute of his life) Mum xxxx

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