For anyone who doesn’t know, my mom has Early Onset Alzheimer’s.
She’s 59, and she’ll likely die within the next few years.
It’s one of the most devastating diseases I’ve ever seen.
It’s really difficult for us, as her children, to explain to people just how horrific this disease is. It’s also difficult to know how to grieve the loss.
I write poetry and transcribe her journals. My sister Maquel writes a blog. My other sister Jenni creates photo montages and slideshows. My brother Chris writes songs on his guitar, and also lives with my dad and her to help take care of her.
My youngest brother, Chad, has been staying with me since Christmas. He has had a really hard time with her illness since getting home from his LDS mission in Tennessee–she changed a lot in those two years, and it really rocked him. He has spent a lot of hours–over the course of months–compiling a video that showcases what happened to her during his two year mission. He has done this to help himself cope with the grief he is feeling, and to feel more empowered in the face of this devastating tragedy. The video highlights the severity of the changes that happened to my mom during those two years, and tries to capture a least a part of the loss we all feel.
While it’s a little bit difficult to watch, I hope you take a few minutes to view his video and come to understand more about the nature of this disease and how it is affecting my family. (And the fact that you’re supporting Chad by watching means a lot too–thank you. Also, Chad links in the video to a gofundme campaign he set up to help my dad–who was forced to retire early to take care of her–with her astronomical medical expenses.)