Tip #6 for Caregivers

Forgive Me.

Several times throughout the book, Reverend G tells her son, “Please forgive me.”

As I wrote “The Unraveling of Reverend G” and researched more about this horrid disease, I told my son, “If I get dementia or Alzheimer’s and act weird, I apologize already. Please forgive me. I didn’t want this to happen.”

None of us plan to get dementia or Alzheimer’s. My parents certainly didn’t plan for either of these issues. They both stayed healthy throughout their lives. They exercised, played card games and took long walks. They kept their faith strong.

But Dad died in the shadows of dementia, and now Mom is fading away with Alzheimer’s.

If they could, they would agree with Reverend G and say, “Please forgive me.”

When I can’t remember your name, but somehow your face looks familiar – please, forgive me.

When I’m screaming at the nurse because I’m afraid – please, forgive me.

When I keep begging to go home and you won’t let me, because you know it isn’t wise – please, forgive me.

When I make up stories about you that I think are true – please, forgive me.

When I’m cursing at you and you’re surprised that I even know those words – please, forgive me. I know God does.

When I throw my food or act like a toddler – please, forgive me.

When you have to change my diaper – please, forgive me. If I knew what was happening, I would be mortified.

Please remember that inside the deepest part of my soul, where the sacred meets the human and becomes eternal – I am really the same, loving person. I really do know who you are, but right now – there’s a shadow between us and I can’t find my way through it.

I love you with every fiber of my being, but I can’t say it any more. So I ask you to understand and once again – please, forgive me.

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