Wednesday, September 17, 2014

the post with too many emotions and no title.

Now that our birthday and anniversary are over, it's your time. That time of the year that used to be filled (by your insistence) with your birthday month celebrations. That time of year where us kids were adjusting back to school and your morning coffee dates after drop-off would start with mom. That time of year where family walks were nightly, uninterrupted, unless sports beckoned, then you were there, cheering, driving, wanting to watch the "big boys" play aggressive ball. 

Dementia don't care about a lot of things. But it especially don't care about us: the survivors. 

You were the only one formally diagnosed, the only one examined by doctors, the only one whose memory fades. But we are the one's who have to survive after you've died. We're here now fighting the battle with you, working our damnedest to remember your life, so full, so passionate, so high speed adventurous. We'll be here later, when you're not and we've got all those pictures and memories to hold on to you by. 

But right now, with you here so broken and befuddled, it's hard to remember before. It's hard to remember that time you put our boy dog in a dress and then he ran away only to be brought home wearing his fancy garb. Or your love for fashion (don'ts), construction, and John Deere. Or how you insisted on Sunday date nights with mom because marriage is sacred and worth investing in. Or how you were strict with us because you knew that it'd make us successful, hard-working, and dedicated (it did). Or your wanderlust -ever growing, never ceasing, always fantastic.

You gave us more than we can thank you for, but lately, you've given us strength. The emotional muscles to find humor, the love for family to come together, the heart for those suffering to be kind despite our hurts. Though I wish you weren't there and us here, I wouldn't have known the preciousness of your gift without devastating loss.
Dad, 
I don't know when I started looking like you. Or acting like you. 
But one day in this blur of disease I did. 

Sometimes at the gym I goof off just to hear Mom say, she's acting just like Peter did. 
Sometimes I have flashes of memories that hold your essence and 
I remember you were so much life before this slow death. 
Sometimes I grieve deeply at the loss of you, 
others I celebrate in the hope that He will welcome you home and restore your soul. 

I miss you right now. But I cherish you and your heart of celebration. 
Always the bookend girl,
Amber

13 comments:

  1. So many thoughts and prayers still coming your way for strength and peace!

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  2. Love you special friend x

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  3. beautiful. just beautiful. i love your letters to your loved ones. they make me happy.

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  4. I'm so sorry for this. My father-in-law is in the same position and it's devastating that he can't remember his own son, and will never really know his grandkids.

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  5. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvSeptember 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    So many hugs. I love that you celebrate your father's love every day. You are so strong.

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  6. Beautifully shared. Your pictures jog my memory of those days before, and they are clear in my mind. Not only as a cousin but as an eager babysitter of a gorgeous, sweet blonde girl. Thanks for sharing your heart.

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  7. This is beautiful, Amber. Your family is so strong....I like to think he made you that way.

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  8. Tears. That's all I have. Well, that and amazement and loss of words. There's so much power in your voice, and so much determination to make sure his legacy never slips away. You hold him in your heart.

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  9. My heart just breaks for you. But your ability to put your thoughts and your struggles into words is incredible, and it touches everyone who reads. Sending LOTS of love your way!

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  10. The love you have for your dad, the strength you have through this journey, and the way you use your words to convey it all to make it feel like I've known you for all of my life and wish I could give you the biggest hug ever, never cease to make me cry. And smile. And just feel all the feels.

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  11. This post brought tears to my eyes. I know how you feel. I know that hurt. My grandmother passed away from Alzheimer's when I was in high school, and we watched her deteriorate for over a decade from the disease. I am so sorry that you and your family have to endure the same pain as well. Please know that I am praying for you.

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