9 hours ago
My father is now in the later stages of his Alzheimer’s disease.
He still greets me every time I see him, with that familiar, warm, beaming smile and I run to him with my arms wide open – ‘Dad, it’s me, Nimisha, your eldest.’ I search his eyes for a hint of recognition, embracing him tightly. His arms stay firmly down by his side.
These days, he doesn’t remember how to hug me back.
When I was growing up, Dad treated my sister and I like his little princesses. He would always be ready to swoop in with a huge cuddle, providing us with an abundance of endless love, support and sound advice, encouraging us to be the best versions of ourselves. He would protect us from the hardships of life, acting as a shield so that we maintained our innocence and playfulness.
Nowadays, family, friends, places and endless conversations all seem like a lifetime ago. Lately, people have stopped coming to see Dad and he spends his time sitting quietly, going through old photos. We spend our days happy and strong in the face of adversity, learning to appreciate the small things in life - like when Dad remembers my name on the rare occasion.
These moments are the ones that bring joy. When I look into Dad’s eyes, I feel that he can remember our life, remembers that I am his daughter, his own.
I went to Memory Walk with my sister, my husband and my two cousins. You feel such a pride in making a small contribution to what needs to be such a big change in how we view dementia and how the government treats dementia.
I really felt a sense of belonging in a community, when you are surrounded by those thousands of people on the walk. And it’s important because the condition can leave you feeling so isolated and alone as a family!’