My dad (Bill) will be 88 this year and has suffered from Dementia for the last 7 years. He’s also a (retired) PGA Master Golf Pro – (He received a full golf scholarship to the University of Florida over 60 years ago!) – and when he was in his 20’s was the Head Golf Pro at the Naval Air Base in Pensacola, FL – teaching many golf lessons to several of the Blue Angels and many servicemen and women over the years. (This is the same place where that awful attack and killings took place last month.)
Recently my sister asked my dad “If you could do five things, what would you want to do?” He replied, “Well, I would marry Claire, then I would marry her again. Then I would marry her again and again. Is that five?”
My Mom & Dad will be married 64 years this May, have eleven children, 26 grandchildren, and pray the rosary together every day. Their love for each other is such an inspiration – in sickness and in health! Dementia and Alzheimers is not easy for anyone, yet my mother takes wonderful care of him with such style and grace, and I have a sister and her family who live right down the road who are truly his angels. All of my brothers and sisters visit and help so much – we are truly blessed! He also has some wonderful help that comes to their home during the week to help with physical therapy, breathing exercises and extra care – they are all such a blessing to our family.
Last week after he finished his exercises (he does them somewhat willingly ha ha) – he looked at my mom and told her he was crazy . . . then with a grin and twinkle in his eye he added “I’m crazy in love with you!”
My sister and I took this short video of my parents last week when I was down in Florida visiting them. They turn 88 and 86 this year – and this is one of their favorite songs. There have been good days and bad days as my dad battles Dementia, but this dance made his day. He loves to dance and is always holding hands with my mom. (Who is a saint here earth!) My mom (Claire) also has a really strong devotion to St. Joseph, and says her daily prayers every day – one of the prayers she says is a 12 year prayer!
Just thought I would share this with you all. Dementia can be so scary – and sad, but there are also so many special moments of grace like seeing the love and care my parents have for one another that are truly a gift from God. I am so thankful to God for the gift of my parents and family – and all of you!