December 16, 2003

Love, Alfred

My grandfather has been the topic of a few blog entries before so my apologies if I repeat myself.

My grandfather suffers from Alzheimers. He and my grandmother lived a happy life in small-town Ohio until early 2003 at which time he was moved to a nursing home. Yesterday, I received a Christmas card in the mail. There was no return address but the handwriting was familiar. I opened it and looked inside the card. There was a cute Hallmark-written greeting, something about the wonders of Christmas and what a great grandson I am, but more importantly there were two words written under that greeting. "Love, Alfred."

The two words were written with different pens, at different times. There were two commas after "love" and the use of his full first name was strange. I can't be sure he even remembered who I was when he signed the card and wrote our address on the envelope. But it displayed more kindness and determination from this man than I've ever seen before.

Posted by Chris at December 16, 2003 7:50 AM

my mom's mom had alcohol induced altzheimer's toward the end of her life. i didn't know her well in the first place, and seeing her that way was very hard.

that card does show a lot ... hold on to that one!

Posted by: tj at December 16, 2003 9:25 AM

Oh that's so sweet, and so heartwarming. It's such a sadning desease and I'm sorry that your grandfather, and your fmaily, has to live with it. But something like that card is just so special. Just reading about it brings tears to my eyes.

Posted by: Irma at December 16, 2003 10:09 AM

I nice that that you still value him like you do. So many people at this point would probably give up on someone.

Posted by: emily at December 16, 2003 10:37 AM

I agree, very heartwarming. A nice contrast to my post eh? ;)

Also, keep in mind that doing a stimulating activity such as a crossword or playing chess for at least 10 minutes a day will reduce your changes of getting Alzheimers by 60%.

Posted by: katherine at December 16, 2003 11:21 AM

That is without a doubt, the most absolutely sweet thing Iíve heard in ages. It almost made me cry.

If it is any consolation, (and maybe you know this already) my sister works with Alzheimer patients, and a lot of the time their families etc. feel very bad for them because of how bad their life must be living like that. However, they tend to be very happy, because they donít know that they donít remember. Itís mostly just life as usual for them. While that doesn't keep it from being hard and painful to see loved ones that way, maybe you can take a little comfort in knowing that mostly it is *not* hard or painful for him. :)

Posted by: Jaded Angel at December 16, 2003 11:34 AM

it's those kinds of thoughtful gifts that make the holidays mean something. those are the types of things you keep in safe place for a long, long time.

Posted by: sg at December 16, 2003 3:24 PM