Alzheimer's, Here's my Middle Finger

Alzheimer's, Here's my Middle Finger

As the holidays roll around, I cannot help but think about the things I'm thankful for...and the things I'm not-so-grateful for.

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There used to be so much color on holidays. Everything was vivid, bright, and happy. It seemed like there was never anything wrong. The swirls of the leaves in fall and the transition to cold Christmas snow used to hold my favorite memories.

I would be with family, extended family. The emotions in the air were always that of sheer joy and enjoyment with one another. We were just happy for our health and elated to be in the company of people we didn't get to see that often. Thanksgiving and Christmas were truly magical days to experience with the greatest people of all: my family.

But, Alzheimer's, you took that away.

You've left those memories in the photographs that lay in our family albums.

You took that joy from my mom.

My mom.

You took the happiness of the holidays, and, more, importantly, life in general. You stole her independence, her job, her memory.

She struggles most days to say what she needs to. I've gotten into the habit of finishing her sentences, so she doesn't have to rest her face in her hands and wonder about what word comes next or what tangent she was on before she got derailed. She leaves kitchen cabinets open when she attempts to cook food, and sometimes forgets why she's standing at the stove.

My mom asks me the same things over and over, just trying to understand what my schedule is like for the week. She'll obsess over tiny details until things get done. Hell, I had to get my passport for a class next semester, and she asked me if I got it until it mailed to my parents' house.

My mom sometimes can't remember my birthday. I had to write mine, my brother's, and my dad's in her Notes on her phone. She also forgets that those are written there.

My mom sits at home all the time. She's condemned to prime-time reruns until my father gets home. She eats blueberries and yogurt every day because her doctor says it could help to fight you. She has coloring books that she doesn't touch, and hatred in her heart for you, this damned disease. She hates that she can't go anywhere on her own, that she can't drive. She hates the amount of medications she has in her pill-calendar that my dad fills for her every night. She especially hates when she doesn't remember to take them right away.

But's not her fault at all. It's yours.

My dad hates that it's that way too, but he'll never stop taking care of her.

I wouldn't even be able to write a list of all the things that man does for our family, especially for his wife. The list would be too long, but you know that. While some things he needs help with, like remembering the passwords to accounts he didn't control before or how to print screenshots from a cell phone, this man does it all. He's truly the best father that I could ever ask for, but, Alzheimer's, I knew that before you stepped foot in our door.

You've stolen the better times from my mom, but you've picked the wrong family to mess with.

I call her almost every day to make sure she's okay. I reassure her that everything is not her fault, but yours. I remind her that she isn't what's eating at her memory, and she is still the woman who raised me with my father.

But, I know that one day she won't be.

As the tears stream down my face, I know that's true. And it's all because of you, Alzheimer's.

You're the reason she's quiet at get-togethers. She's fearful that she will stumble through her words or her actions. She never used to hesitate to talk or say how she felt, or question things. You took away her confidence. You make the magic disappear, the color fade. Holidays will never be the same. But most importantly:

You're taking away my mom.

Fuck you.

God, I hate that's all that I can say. You have no cure; you have no way to ease the pain. You are the only thing I genuinely hate in this world.

But you'll never make me stop loving her. She is my mom no matter what you take away. She is mine and will always be mine. You'll never have all of her, never. I'll make damn sure of that.

Happy holidays, Alzheimer's. Here's my middle finger.

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To My Boyfriend's Mom

He loves you more than you could ever imagine...
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Without you, there would not be a him, so first things first, thank you.

1. Thank you for teaching him to love a woman the right way, to put God first, and YOU before me always, the respect he shows you is so attractive, and you deserve it.

He talks about you like you hung the moon, I don't doubt for a second that he will be an amazing father one day, I owe all of that to you.

2. Thank you for giving me a chance, learning to love me when you knew your son was doing the same.

I can't speak for my own first impressions, but hopefully mine was not THAT bad...when we both slapped him on the arms for his rude remark at the same time, I knew our relationship was already blossoming.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

3. Thank you for every meal you have ever purchased me.

And chocolate, and candy...you know just as well as your son does that food is the way to my heart. Especially Taco Bell and cheesecake ;)

4. Thank you for your advice, suggestions, and opinions...and asking for mine

Whether it's telling me to slap him for being a smart a$$, or you're asking me about color swabs for your kitchen makeover, you come to me as if I am your own, and I am so honored to give you my own input.

5. Thank you for including me

You never fail to leave a spot for me, and I love family dinners/outings with you guys just as much as I love my own!

6. Thank you for teaching your son to never give up, and that if he does it is only to better himself, or it's the only choice he has left.

He is so focused on his future, he wants the best for himself, and he is constantly reminding me that these are things that YOU taught him, you deserve to be so proud.

7. Thank you for letting him love my family, and allowing me to love yours.

He is so loyal and loving to my family, and I don't even have to ask myself why because I see him with you and yours. Thank you for letting us double up on holidays when we can, and making sure we get the most out of our time with you!

8. Thank you for being his best friend.

I think of him as mine too, but I couldn't think of a better person to also hold that title, you know him better than anyone else and you always will.

9. Thank you for teaching him how to treat a woman

He is constantly telling me "You sound like my mother." Thankfully earlier in our relationship, he told me that the woman he wants to be with, should do just that. He always tells people who try, "No, no one calls me by my full name except my mom and my girlfriend."

10. Thank you for your honesty

We all know that he and I can drive you crazy sometimes, thank you for telling us like it is, and making sure we know you still love us anyways.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

11. Thank you for teaching him to work as hard as possible in anything and everything he does.

I have never met anyone with such a desire for success, he and I are constantly discussing how we can better our futures, and I know exactly where his drive comes from.

12. Thank you for teaching him to clean up after himself

Even though sometimes, it takes him a minute to do so.

13. Thank you for teaching him how to love, and letting him love me.

I have never felt so loved by a man, probably because anyone else who came into my life was just a boy. Thank you for your unconditional love for him, he is your entire heart and that is so easy to see, I am happy to share his with you.

You and I both know that even years from now we will both occasionally probably be closing the fridge that he left open, cleaning the crumbs he dropped, demanding he take a shower after playing soccer, or reminding him 20 times about plans we made weeks ago, we both share such a great love for such an amazing man. I could never be more thankful that you brought forth into this world such a comforting, supportive, protective, steadfast, driven, handsome, and hilarious guy. Thank you for everything you do for him, for me, and for us, I love you a lot!

Cover Image Credit: casey

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Thank You, Mom And Dad, For Staying Together Through It All

I hope one day I can find a love as strong as my parents so that my kids will never have to experience a broken home.

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Growing up, I always dreamt of finding my true love and having my fairy tale wedding when I was older. My parents gave me such faith from their relationship. They have been together since they were in high school and have never left each others' sides since. I have idolized their marriage since the day I was born and still continue to. I could not imagine going through life without both of them together. Many people in my hometown have divorced parents. It is not uncommon from where I come from, but I recognize how lucky I am. Sure my parents have their fights, even the one time they almost did get a divorce, but they didn't. And I am so grateful for that to this day.

Holidays are amazing. I don't mean to brag for the people who do have separated parents, but it is a privilege to be able to spend it together as a family. I don't have to choose where to spend the holidays or feel bad if I have to pick someone over the other. It isn't fair, and no one should have to do that. My parents have always and will continue to always put my sister and me first. I respect them for that. Even through all their issues, they manage to do whatever is in our best interest--even if that means staying together during hard times. No matter what, they always manage to work it out.

I get to experience life with both of them together. I know people who haven't talked to their dads or moms in years. They didn't go to their graduations— watch them walk across the stage and get their diploma. Their parents are missing out on so many important milestones in their life. I am so fortunate that my parents have always been by my side rooting for me. I couldn't even fathom the thought of them not being at such events or not even being remotely a part of my life. My parents are everything, and they are stronger together.

I have two opinions. I have two people in charge. When one says no, the other will say yes. I have two people to go to with problems at all times. They are accessible, they are there for me, they protect me. I may not agree with everything my dad says, but my mom will have my back on certain points and vice versa. We can work out our problems together. Nothing ever turns out biased when I have them both together. I wouldn't be able to do have the stuff I do with the support of just one parent.

With my parents together, I don't have to feel like I am a toy. I don't have to feel like I need to be shared or guilty I am spending more time with one and not the other. With my parents together, our family is whole. I know it is a privilege, and I am so grateful and lucky. I hope one day I can find a love as strong as my parents so that my kids will never have to experience a broken home. It isn't fair to put kids through something so stressful and saddening. My parents are amazing and I am beyond blessed to have parents that love each other and their kids immensely. Everything they do is for us. Thank you.

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