This I Believe

Landa - East Meredith, New York
Entered on February 24, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: death, family, illness
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I Believe in Good-bye

Today I am thinking about my father. He has Alzheimer’s Disease. He is my Dad. I am going to say good-bye to him tomorrow. I believe in goodbyes.

Alzheimer’s disease can seem like a long and torturous journey. It is so hard to watch what ones loved one goes through, but it is a journey nonetheless. It is a disease that gives you many chances to say good-bye. You say good-bye to all the little things that you take for granted but once they are lost you find they were the core of your being.

We said goodbye the day we took the keys from Dad. We said good-bye the last time he came to visit our home. The last walk in Dad’s garden was a very hard day. The day Dad had to leave his home, we were so afraid. How would he handle this saying goodbye to his home and his life? These were hard times.

The opportunity to say good-bye comes and goes with Alzheimer’s disease. There are times you rage at the disease and God and life because you just don’t feel you can stand to say goodbye one more time. It feels so cruel. It is so exhausting. You find you start making lists of things that scare you and you feel you just cannot possibly go through. Then you find yourself on the other side of it all and once again, yes, you said goodbye again, and you can still breath. Good-bye gave you a chance. Good-bye is closure and cleansing.

So tomorrow I will say goodbye again. Dad may not know who I am, yet I think he is there and he is living and breathing and I want to tell him goodbye. I want to thank him for giving me life so I could bring him the joy of my children. I want to thank him for teaching me to work hard. I want to tell Dad he taught me to be a good person. I want to tell Dad he did well here on earth and God is calling him to come to a wonderful garden and it is ok to go. I want this to be the last good-bye.

Goodbye Dad. I love you. I will love you forever.