Whilst on holiday, sat on the beach, I looked around me and saw nothing but pleasure and hope. There were children playing in the sand and the seagulls were making sure we knew they were there with their all familiar call!!. Every so often you could hear the waves crash against the sand with a SWISH as they chased each other time and time again. My mind wandered back to when I was a child and my gran used to take us on a weeks holiday to Rhyl in Wales. The caravan was only four berth and my grandad used to drive us there and pick us up at the end of the holiday.
It was my gran who brought me up, no idea why, and never got around to asking, but there you go.I remember her going on all the rides with us, especially the waltzer, and running into the sea with myself trying to follow, she had that twinkle in her eyes that never left her right up to her going into late stages of dementia, when she just stared into space, it broke my heart, still does. Mind you, she was without a doubt the cheekiest person i have ever met !!LOLL and I have always hoped I have taken after her just a little bit.
When the dementia took hold and she didn’t know who I was, I was devastated, I thought my whole world had collapsed and there was a hole in my life that would never be filled. This invisible disease robbed me of everything I believed in and it took me years to try and come to terms with it. Sometimes, even now, I can see her cooking in the kitchen and winking at me with a sparkle in her eyes that could light up a room!! I have to be honest and say when the end come it was a blessed release for her as she was in so much pain with other ailments, she didn’t deserve to die the way she did, in pain and all alone in her mind, calling for my mum and uncle (Her children) I still miss her so much.
Years later, when my father was diagnosed with Dementia it was too much to bear, I denied to all that he had it and was quite adamant he was just being awkward, until the day when I visited him in hospital and there he was sat, bolt upright in bed, laughing and joking with the Nurses and a consultant. The day before he looked as if he was at deaths door and wouldn’t let anybody touch him. He waved and looked so pleased to see me as we walked in, even shaking my hand as we approached and asked how we were?? I couldn’t believe this was my Dad, back to his normal jovial self and asked the Dr`s what had they given him?? Then my world fell apart once again………………
He leaned over and asked me where Norah was (My mum) and his sons, Norman and Neil (me and my brother. It took a few seconds to sink in and when it did I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach. I steadied myself and asked him cleary “Do you know who I am ?? He LAUGHED in my face and said NO , No idea at all, and found it so funny!!!! A few days later, my father passed away, still not knowing who I was, but I held his hand as he took his last breath and said “Its me Dad, your son Norman, very gently in his ear. Who knows, maybe he did know who I was at that moment, maybe he did hear me ??
And so now to the Title of this blog AS TIME GOES BY, time has now gone by, and there I sat, now in 2014, myself Diagnosed with dementia at the age of just 50 nearly 7 years ago now, on the beach, looking at how wonderful life is all around me, wondering how the same thing could happen to me? Trying to get my head around after all thats happened in the past, WHY ME???? Why MY Family!! If anybody has ever seen the film “Saving Private Ryan” you will know how I feel.
Things have changed since the death of my WONDERFUL grandmother and my Father, and changed for the better thankfully. Time has indeed moved on and with the help of all you wonderful people and the Purple Angel dementia awareness campaign http://www.purpleangel-global.
Things will continue to change for the better, attitudes will change and the Stigma will be reduced. Unfortunately one thing that hasn’t changed is this awful disease, still it marches on relentlessly, robbing people of their memories and taking loved ones away from us prematurely. My greatest fear, without a doubt is that I take my last breath on this earth just as my Grandmother and father did, surrounded by my family , and yet all alone in my mind, not recognising anybody around me, frightened and fearful, will anybody whisper in my ear ??????
THIS IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO
Please share with as many as you want to
All my love, Norrms and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx