Keeping Memories

The Candle
Blow out the candle
Let it go they say
Watch the smoke dance up in the air
And the flames leave
with a simple dance
As the wax hardens 
leaving a warm spot full of scented memories
But I don't want to let go
They can't make me 
                               by Meg Howell 2015

Having a father with Alzheimer's has made it clear to me the importance of this blog.  It may not mean anything to anyone else, but I know that someday it may be all my family has as I fear I too may get Alzheimer's. My father is only 76 yet he is like a 6-year-old child. Sure he can remember things from his childhood and even from his 20's and 30's, but he had no memory of what happened 20 minutes ago or even yesterday. I am grateful he can still remember my name though he can no longer remember those of his grandchildren. He calls them sweety pie or big guy. It is a dreadful disease. I hate when he thinks we are being mean to him when we are only trying to protect him. I hate that he doesn't understand what is going on with him or maybe he does, but who wants to admit you have Alzheimer's. There is no cure and while some days I want to hold on to him forever others I wish he would go.  Go before I have to put him in a home because I can no longer care for him. Is that horrible of me?  He does not want to live in a home and yet I am not sure how much longer my mother and I can care for him. I am so grateful she helps me out as I don't know what I would do without her caring for him. You see they are not married.  Never have been, but remained friends.  She cares for him because she knows my hands are full with six children. She doesn't have to, but she does and as I said I am so grateful.  I am the keeper of memories for my family.  I am holding on tight.  I know one day these little ones will be out the door and all I will have are the pages here on this blog.

I was looking through my iPhone and I found some random photos I wanted to share, memories I don't want to forget.  

 One of my guilty little pleasure-Yogurt gummies.

 Breakfast with Addy in Elba
 Butzbach city fountain

 I love this door number on a house here in town

 The girls playing at the park

 I just adore this doorway and the little girls too!
 Actually surprised I forgot to add these photos to the Mainz Post this summer.
The windows were designed by Marc Chagall.

The first day of Kindergarten for Avery
 A walk in the park
 Friends and local art found in the city of Giessen


Anonymous said…
First of all I would like to say that sure sympathize with you regarding your father. Both of my parents died with dementia and I was their sole caregiver. I know how difficult the days are; the roller coaster of emotions. Thank you for sharing these colorful photos of special things you love and cherish; things that bring a smile to you. May God bless you.
Sharon said…
Our kids will have blogs and digital photos -- something our parents didn't leave for us. I've lost my dad and my mom has dementia -- and there are so many questions I wish I knew the answers to, but it's too late. Good for you for documenting your life for your family just in case . . .
Angie said…
While we have no one in our family with Alzheimer's, I have many friends whose parents have had it. It clearly is hardest on the family.

I lost my dad to a heart attack over 20 years ago, and I wish I had documented his stories before he died (he was a master storyteller). I have recently started recording my Mom telling stories - she will be 90 this December and I want to catch what I can before it is too late.

You are wise to create a record for yourself and others!
This is such a heart filled post. I watched my mother-in-law succumb to Alzheimers and I know it was very difficult for my husband. I think in the end she thought he was her brother. We used to just talk about the past, and the present meant nothing to her. It is a terrible thing to happen to anyone - there is no dignity in it. You loose the person they were. I don't think you are bad for wanting your Dad to go before you have to put him in a home. But if you do have to, don't feel guilty, just know that you have done all you could for him, and be at peace with yourself. My blog also is a record of life from week to week, a memory journal. I hope one day my family will treasure it. Take care of you. And thank you for taking time to visit my blog this week.
I feel your pain - my brother has alzheimer's and dementia. He's been in a nursing home for over a year and has good days and bad days.
Anonymous said…
Oh Kelleyn, so hard to go through. Last year Oct. our friends from Holland came to visit us for a few days. A week ahead, we got the news she was not depressed as previously told, but Alzheimers. It was a shock, but on the other hand also touching how her two adult daughters treated her with the utmost respect.
I pray that when you get older they already have found a cure for Alzheimers. I believe it's already out there, they just have to find it. Don't worry about the future, Friend! Wow, your phone takes awesome pics. Love your 3 girls in front of the door. Enjoy your week, and fast from worries:):)
Such great snapshots and memories. I Im sorry about your dad. Thinking of you!
This disease is such a horrendous one because it robs us of our loved ones even before they have passed because in a way they have. I was saddened to read about your father. Many people who blog say they are also doing so to leave a record for those in their families and it's sad that your own father isn't able to follow your adventures.
Oh Kelly -- I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. You have your hands full. It is such a horrid disease. New medical discoveries happen , so let us hope that sooner rather than later there will be help for this one.
Lovely photos! The windows by M. Chagall are so beautiful.
Thank you very much for your recent visit to my blog.

So sorry to read about your Dad. TC
NatureFootstep said…
love the door shot with the girls :)
These are certainly memories worth keeping, I love the big smiles. I'm so sorry to hear about your father, I can only imagine how difficult and painful this must be for you. A big hug, my friend.

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