Sarah McCracken I’ll Always Be Your Baby Girl
My Dad was diagnosed with young-onset Dementia some years ago, with a confirmed diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia more recently. He is currently 60 and I in my late 20’s.
His decline has been fast and steady, both physically and mentally. I struggle making sense of all the wonderful times I had with my Dad growing up, him being active and healthy – always on the go, to the state he is in now. Sometimes it is too painful to reminisce; the comparison of how different things are is too much to bear.
There is so much darkness associated with this process that sometimes it can feel as if there is no good, no relief, no light. But all it takes is one single moment to realize that love is so much more powerful than any negative thing Dementia can throw at you.
I am reminded of this when I think back to earlier this year on a particular day when I got my Dad settled into bed at his care home and asked him if he needed anything else before he rested. He went quiet and looked away from me. I decided to sit on the bed next to him and after a few moments he quietly responded with “… Maybe a new life?” My eyes became faucets and I immediately wrapped my arms around him. Dementia can be such a monster.
Through my snot and tears, I blurted out a bunch of things about how much I love him and wished that was enough to take this all away. Then, he looked at me in the eyes, lifted up his hand and cupped my face and said “You’re my baby girl. You know that?”
When it feels like our hearts are falling apart, how is it that my Dad somehow manages to remind me that he is still there to hold mine together? I feel so thankful to know his love and give him mine in return.
These times look so different now, but he still takes care of me. He takes care of my heart. What a gift.