I can’t carry on like this since I’ve had something consuming my mind the past week. I got a call from my buddy a week ago following my soccer game. We didn’t get around to chatting on the phone until last Saturday. My buddy had a somber update regarding the status of his mom. I’ve known this friend of mine since ten years old. His mom is one of the warmest people I’ve ever met and is a tremendous role model for teachers. Perhaps that’s why I’m so fond of anyone who’s bold enough to become a teacher. She taught in public schools for 35+ years and and and and… I could go on and on. I will say this, she’s so thoughtful she would always take the time to ask me about my mom, “Egan,how is your mom doing?“. It stuck with me since they hardly ever met.
Unfortunately, life has taken a tough toll on her since I last saw her a few years ago. My buddy explained about a year and a half ago he started to notice some signs of Alzheimer’s. The signs were very small at first, but last summer things got worse with her memory. She had trouble recognizing familiar sights and surroundings. To add insult to injury, last October she was diagnosed with cancer in her sinus and immediately underwent radiation therapy.
It wiped out the cancer, but was a very painful time emotionally and physically. The family soon witnessed a drastic change in her behaviors, chiefly her memory. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s had advanced quickly and impacted her daily routine for the worse. My friend no longer works and spends four days a week at home with his parents. This was supposed to be the time of his parents life when they’d both be retired and enjoying the fruits of all those years of hard work. That’s just not happening.
This is a rather personal issue for me as Alzheimer’s runs in my family too. My grandmother and grandfather both had Alzheimer’s when they died so I vividly recall my own feelings. It’s tough to know someone your whole life and then suddenly they have no clue who you are. With my grandparents, they had lived a full life before they were diagnosed. My friend’s mom is 65.
Each passing day since I spoke with my friend has allowed me to reflect. I guess I never realized how often I think about his mom until now. My heart goes out to his family as the world they know is forever changed and not necessarily for the worst. My friend says his family has become really tight since this happened. This is what I believe family and friends are all about, unwavering support.