Fleeting moments of connection

I read a moving blog post today about someone with Alzheimer’s who pleasantly surprised their family caregiver with a rare moment of lucidity. They were able to express their love verbally before Alzheimer’s moved back in and took the light out of their eyes, returning them to a glassy, blank stare.

For most of us, these lucid moments are few and far between.

This made me think about the last lucid interactions I had with my father. He was at the point where he was barely able to verbally communicate. He would sometimes be able to utter a few words that made sense, but most of the time, he carried that sad, faraway look in his eyes. But I remember that moment so clearly in the hospital room, when Dad’s eyes lit up with recognition while I was holding his hand.

“Oh, there you are,” he said, as if startled by this temporary retreat into reality.

“At first I couldn’t see you but now I can,” Dad said with a wan smile.

I knew that was the moment to say what was burning in my heart. “I love you Dad,” I said, slowly, clearly.

“I know you do,” Dad said. Then he began to drift away from me, back into the isolating world of Alzheimer’s.

But it is the moment of love that I remember the most.

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