Stone Benches, Understanding the Invisible Footprints of Dementia
Most will not read this book out of mere curiosity, nor did I write it by accident. Tragically, it is likely someone we love has been struck with one of the horrific diseases classified as dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common, a disease which attacks and deteriorates the brain. One day our loved one was living life to its fullest, then subtle changes occurred, concerns arose, a diagnosis was made, and their life, as well as ours, would never be the same. Those of us walking this path understand the person we once knew has been inexplicably changed forever. We miss who our loved ones were and are saddened by what they can no longer do. We have researched, sought answers, worried about the future, grieved the past, and forged into the unknown. Sorrow, guilt, fear, anger, and an overwhelming sense of loss are the familiar emotions of this horrible disease. Because of our shared challenges and heartache, we have become kindred spirits. You may be curious about the disease because of behaviors you are just beginning to notice in your loved one. Perhaps they have recently been diagnosed, or you may be like me and have lived this reality for many years. Whatever the case, this is our common walk, wherever we might be on the journey. For those who have received a diagnosis, we recall the details of that day as if it were yesterday. The tragedy is etched in our minds, an unforgettable horror. From the day this becomes our reality, we navigate the physical, medical, and financial decisions for our loved one’s care. It is very likely you are looking for answers, hope, or the encouragement needed to make it through another day. You may be so exhausted from this disease consuming your every thought and demanding every ounce of energy, the last thing you want to do is read a book on the subject. I understand. I have been there in the moments of desperation, as well as pure frustration. Let me assure you, we do not have to merely endure this disease. There are beautiful moments waiting to be discovered on a daily basis when we learn to live, despite this affliction, in the presence of our loved one.