A year and a bit

close up view of a big leaf

It’s now 1238 am on July 15 2020, and yesterday was the one year anniversary since my dad passed away.

It was an odd day as I woke up just after 6:00 am thinking about him. In so many ways it feels like no time has passed, but in our current world living in the middle of a pandemic, it feels like years.

I was surprised that I remembered some really good stuff, which was nice. As I definitely didn’t want to think about how he looked the last time I saw him alive, hooked up to an IV in the hospital and sleeping.

My dad was a transplanted Englishman who loved a Tim Horton’s double double coffee, a greasy cheeseburger, crisp white shirts, photographing airplanes, listening to jazz and watching Formula One.

But the man who loved all these things had already disappeared, a shadow of his former self, the result of rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s.

Occasionally you’d get a glimpse of the person he once was. He’d have a laugh with the nurses, who would usually miss the punchline of some sarcastic comment he would make. Or he would fart, and not excuse himself and would just look at me and grin or let out a little chuckle.

My sister and I often laugh about this one, as that was something he did before Alzheimer’s, so not a big change there! Guess I should be thankful for small blessings but not sure my dad’s noxious emissions is one I would have chosen, if given the option, but I’ll take it nonetheless.

When I sit and think of the way Alzheimer’s chips away at a person until slowly they are completely gone. I imagine the disease as the ocean, it’s waves gently lapping at the shoreline of your life, and just a bit at a time, picking up grains of sand and washing them away, never to be seen again. Occasionally it tosses back a pebble or two, usually a memory of long ago but then just as quickly it takes it back, burying it down in the deep, never to be seen again.

I miss you dad.

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