Fraying at the Edges

The New York Times published a special section this Sunday. It told the story of Ms. Geri Taylor who received a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s and how she coped with what followed.img_2618-1
A note written by my Dad who lived with us after my Mom died. He was in the throes of dementia. “A wierd (sic) experience I had last night. It was 11:40 AM when I woke up and turned on my lamp so that I would remember what happened. I was satisfied that all was well so I got back into bed to fall asleep again. I guess I did because I forced myself to get under the blanket and go back to sleep. What a sight–no dream”. So cryptic. One night we heard him talking in his room. My husband said not to disturb him. It was so terribly sad to see him lose his mind.

Kerfe’ collage of a drawing my Dad did which he entitled “Coffin for a Saint”.

I highly recommend this article. It can be found on line. And here’s hoping they find a cure for this horror one day soon.

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About memadtwo

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26 responses to “Fraying at the Edges”

  1. memadtwo says :

    Wonderful post Nina. I was thinking as I read the article, we went through this with our parents, will our children have to watch us disintegrate too? It was kind of chilling to read Geri Taylor’s thoughts. I have often wondered what my mother knew, when and if she knew what was happening. What a courageous woman, and her husband too. (K)


    • memadtwo says :

      I wondered a lot about my Dad too. He was pretty far gone by the time he lived with us; my mom had overcompensated for him. He had a book by his bedside “The Catcher in the Rye” but I think he looked at the same page over and over. The bookmark never changed. It was the saddest experience of my life. It took away everything from my vibrant dad who loved life so much.


      • memadtwo says :

        My mother also lost her connection to reality when my father died. We never realized how much he was holding her together. Now my aunt is in the same situation. The person who is there is not her. It does not bode well for me, I’m afraid…


  2. Laura (Createarteveryday) says :

    Thanks for your post and for sharing your story. My MiL had it too, and it is so sad to watch. Horror is right, and I hope they find a cure. ❤


  3. Sand Salt Moon says :

    Reading this is bringing tears to my eyes … big hugs to you, Nina.


  4. merrildsmith says :

    It is sad, and I’m sorry you had to go through it with your dad. That note is so cryptic, as you say, but it doesn’t sound like someone who isn’t all there. And your father was an artist, too?
    I haven’t read the Times yet, but I will look for the article. It reminds me of the movie, Still Alice.


    • memadtwo says :

      Kerfe made my father’s drawing into art but no, he wasn’t an artist. He was a vibrant soul whose personality was taken away by amyloid plaques in his brain. I guess that’s why the article touched me so deeply: the woman faced her problem in a different way than my Dad (or Kerfe’s mom), looking at it as a challenge to be faced in a positive way. She mentions Still Alice in the article also.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan Feniak says :

    I am touched and saddened by this post. I do hope a cure is found for dementia. It affects not only the sufferer but the families and caregivers. It is hard to watch a loved one go. Hugs.


  6. weisserwatercolours says :

    ….somehow a collage is the perfect expression of the torn, jagged piecing together of bits trying so hard to get back into a whole, which they do but never again the same as it was–so poignant, so human, so riven with mortality.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Melba Christie at Poemattic says :

    The disease is dreadful. My father in-law has not been diagnosed but we suspect he has Alzheimer’s. My aunt who is 96 has had the disease for 10 years now. She had such an exceptional mind. Her body is strong though. No diabetes, heart disease or the types of diseases and illnesses that come with aging. But now she does not speak or recognize loved ones. So sad.


  8. Sharon Mann says :

    Thanks Nina for your loving post. So many of us have had family members with dementia. My mother too. I’m touched by what Lance said in his comment.


  9. davekingsbury says :

    Personality might go but I believe spirit remains – what Keats called soul-making, the Buddhists allude to as karma, and I think of as relationship – no proof, of course, but some people go gently while others rage. Then again, what do I know, in fairly full possession of my faculties? Still, you’ve got me thinking …


  10. Teresa Robeson says :

    Oh, Nina, how sad and lovely at the same time. Hugs for you… ❤


  11. mesanger says :

    The art is absolutely beautiful. I work for a nonprofit that has a memory center for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. At a recent event we showed a little video of a couple that uses the center (he as a day participant, she a caregiver). She talks about how she considers her husbands “new” sentences like part of a collage. She doesn’t look at each piece, she looks at the whole… Your collage fit in with that idea.

    Wishing you warmth…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. artandmoondreams says :

    Very moving, and an all too familiar dread. The artwork expresses the tumult so well. Hugs and peace to you both N and K.


  13. kestrelart says :

    I was moved by this post. Thank you for sharing something so personal. Whatever his intentions, I read your Dad’s words as a poem.


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