Another Visit with My Aunt

I've posted before about my aunt who has been placed in a local nursing home. She has Alzheimer's Disease. She has been like a second mother to me during my entire lifetime. It is almost like watching my own mother die all over again. Except this time, the death is slow and lingering. She repeats herself constantly now. She must have asked me about 20 times in the 30 minute visit if I was doing ok. I assured her each and every time I was just fine. I'm not sure what stage she's in now. But, she needs assistance with everything. It's tough, really tough to visit her. But, visit her I do. Visit her, I must.

It's hard to look at her. She isn't the vibrant, laughing woman I have known my entire life. Instead, she is one who seems confused by the most simplest of questions now. And it's entirely understandable why she has this difficulty. Alzheimers is a take no prisoners disease. It slowly robs you of everything you have gained through the years of your life experiences. Ultimately, it robs you of your life. There is no way known to prevent it. There is no known cure.

As we left, my aunt told me she was happy we had come to visit her. Her children (my cousins) would be in later to see her. She turned back once again to look at the outside world through the small window in her room. Just as she was doing when we came in to see her. The fact she struggled to remember my name as we left was a sharp reminder of what a terribly dreadful and heartbreaking disease Alzheimers truly is to us all.

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