I finally made it back home. If I’ve learned anything over the past year or so, it’s not to take anything for granted.
I’ve always been a homebody, but after seeing Dad separated from his home in the last year of his life due to Alzheimer’s, I have a renewed sense of how important home and family and friends really are in this world.
We don’t know when disaster will strike and take us away from our creature comforts.
That lesson learned is better than any worldly possession that can be wrapped under a tree.
One thing that my mom still talks about almost every time I have a conversation with her is that in the last year of his life, when Dad was far from home, he never asked to leave the care center or hospital he was in and return home.
It’s not uncommon for Alzheimer’s patients to forget what and where home is, and to accept, at least outwardly, their current location. There are some with Alzheimer’s that do beg and plead their families to return home, and I think this puts an even heavier burden on the family. It was almost a relief to me that Dad accepted the care center that he was in without a fight, but it also made me realize how far the disease had progressed.
Dad was a homebody. Oh, he had his “hitting the bar after work” days when I was youung, but for the most part, he worked, came home and enjoyed the comforts of domestic life. He mainly read books and newspapers, watched TV news or documentaries or could be found on our patio taking a cigarette break. Simple pleasures but he was always easy to please.
I’m much the same way. I feel like I would be devastated if I had to give up my creature comforts from home and go live with a bunch of strangers. But Alzheimer’s tricks the mind into believing you are a stranger in your own home, an imposter in your own skin.