Saturday, May 28, 2011

So Many of Us.

I just found a group on Facebook composed of more than 700 people, all having been touched in some way by dementia or Alzheimer's. First of all, let me say that while I see what an amazing tool Facebook can be; dear god, I can't be the only one who finds it an eternal mystery am I? Anyway, I've only been in communication with this group for two days of so but its been long enough to experience how lovely, generous, and welcoming they are. Its also been long enough to see yet again just how many of us are affected by these terrible diseases.

It's evident that several of the members are themselves suffering from dementia of some sort. I can only honor the bravery of these people who are feeling their very selves retreat and be destroyed before dementia; they are still managing to get the message out as much as possible and tell the world what this horrible experience is like. I can't imagine that sort of courage.

And then there's the day to day courage of all the unpaid caregivers who are caring for their loved ones; who have chosen to give up money, free time, and many other things in order to do a thankless job that can be filled with nasty surprises and heartache. I guess they live for that one moment of grace when a loved one remembers them or laughs with them. Although I don't see my Dad every day, I know how wonderful that moment can feel.

I'm the only one in my social or family circle who has a loved one with dementia, and it can be hard not to have that person who knows exactly what I'm talking about or feeling. (I do thankfully have my lovely fiance, who knows something of what its all about.) So it's kind of a treat to find this great group full of people who get it. Thank you to all of you who have welcomed me so warmly and who understand so well.

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