Firsts and Lasts

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Throughout my life I’ve had a lot of “firsts”, first steps, first words and so on. After a while your firsts are few and far between. In the past decade I have experienced many new “firsts” with my Dad due to his Alzheimer’s. The first time we started noticing something was “off”. The first time he couldn’t remember a word. The first time he got embarrassed because he couldn’t get across what he wanted to say. The first time he had to think for a moment before saying my name, soon followed by the first time he introduced himself to me as if I were a stranger. I just thought those “firsts” were bad.

Now we have moved on to the point where the “firsts” are also becoming the “lasts” as the disease has taken over. Every time I leave his side I wonder if that will be the “last” time I see him. Did I just give him the last kiss I’ll ever give him or hold his hand for the last time?

This is just my personal experience and I know there are so many others out there that are suffering just as much or worse. Alzheimer’s can affect anyone and it’s time to bring light to this horrible disease. Get involved and help find a cure!

Amanda H. Rittenberry

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