Monday, October 17, 2011
If Alzheimer's has an upside, I would say it's forcing us to reconnect with the small pleasures in daily life that we often overlook. Like a car ride for example. I took Dad to an appointment the other day, and while most of us hate getting in the car to fight traffic and rush along with the other million drivers on the road, to Dad this ride was a simple pleasure. It must be like when you buy a new car and can't wait for that first time behind the wheel. There's an excitement and exhilaration and an utter happiness. That car ride had that effect on Dad. I couldn't remember the last time I smiled so much while with him.
Let's not leave out the most important part of the car ride... the music. Some Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Ray Charles (which really made us boogie). Dad even drummed his hands on the dashboard to one of Ray's songs. My Mom was following us and could see us bopping our heads to the music.
So, in turn, Dad's small pleasures turned into my small pleasures as I was able to enjoy a wonderful morning with my Dad. I would call that a small pleasure in most people's lives, but not ours.
The big pleasures don't usually creep up on us as much as the small ones do. You can see them coming because most of the time, you've worked hard for them. Our big pleasure was participating in the Long Beach Alzheimer's Walk this past Sunday and becoming the highest fund-raising family team! What a moment. I almost got a little emotional. We made this all happen by just asking for the help and support of friends and loved ones... And they were kind enough to oblige. We can't thank everyone enough. We've made a statement that Alzheimer's can't keep us down, and by doing this walk and fund-raising for the cause, we will eventually beat this terrible disease. Because honestly, more and more people will start developing Alzheimer's, and it will come down to families and friends fighting for their loved ones. Nothing is stronger than that.