Last night my husband and I watched the movie about Glen Campbell and his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The movie follows him and his family on his Farewell Tour. Included is a couple of doctor visits and home movies of Glen Campbell when he was younger, with his family. Of course there is some great music and clips from concerts and shows that he has performed in over the years.
For me, the movie was very sad. I think it was filmed wonderfully. The disease of Alzheimer’s was handled gently and with respect to Mr. Campbell and his family. I so appreciate that they ‘let us in’ for the year of filming and were candid about what was taking place in their lives. It was very informative and I learned new information about the disease.
I’ve worked as a CNA and in rest homes over the years. I’ve seen what Alzheimer’s can do to the person with the disease and to the family. It is such a heartache to watch someone that has been a spouse, parent, grandparent and friend…change so drastically over a period of time.
Our memories of life can bring heartache, but so many are centered around joy and the person with this disease is slowly robbed of the ability to remember. Our families are usually our greatest happiness and to walk into a room and have that family member not recall who you are, or how you fit in to their life…well, is heartbreaking.
My own mother has not been diagnosed, but I am fairly certain she has the disease. This hit home just a couple of weeks ago. It will be a trial to even get her in to see a doctor to have the diagnosis…but the signs are pretty clear.
I often wonder why God would allow such a thing to happen to people. Our minds are such a beautiful, complicated jumble of thoughts, emotions and senses. How devastating to be here and have vacancy where so much has taken place for so many years! But God does know, He has a plan. I don’t understand all the intricacies of why my own brain works, but God designed it and I rely on it now. I use it every second to do something, whether it be typing, reading, smelling, eating, walking…and the list goes on. I have faith that I can perform those tasks, I don’t have to think about them or figure it out. I take my abilities for granted much of the time.
Just a reminder to myself and all of you reading this post. Life is short, but it is the time God has given us here on this earth. Redeem the time. Enjoy what God has given you…the family and friends you have, the seasons of the year. Visually take in each sight and vibrant color, smell the damp leaves and really taste each bite of food. Hug your children, no matter how old they are and hold the hand of your loved one…and remember. It is the gift you’ve been given.