Betsy Brooks’ father, Charles Brooks, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was 78. Here, Betsy tells her boyfriend, John Grecsek, about her relationship with her dad.
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John Grecsek (JG): When did the Alzheimer's start?
BB: It started to become obvious that he wasn't himself. He was a razor sharp person, but he started not to be able to do simple things. I remember one time I asked him to make some picture frames for me. He loved to do that sort of stuff. When I came home after work, you know, my mother called me up and she said, "Please, do me a favor and don't ask him to make any more. He had such a hard time. You know, he was so confused." Eventually, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and all of a sudden he turned to me because he knew that if he had every single drawer out from the dresser out on the floor, I really couldn't care less. So he didn't really hide from me. We would sit on the back porch and eat pistachio nuts and share a beer. And I could tell him my secrets, and I got to enjoy all the good that was in him.
I love my father tremendously. And believe me when I tell you, despite the head butting, all I ever wanted to do was to please him. The past twelve years since he got sick, I wouldn't trade those twelve years for anything. Except I wish the price to pay for them wasn't so high.