Maybe it was the post of a friend of mine about the loss of her mom. Maybe it was the honey on my toast this morning. Maybe it’s because I know I should continue writing his story but I froze… Whatever it is I can’t help thinking of my dad today.
My dad passed away in a beautiful age of almost 95 a couple of years ago. He suffered from dementia and in a way it robbed him of the last good years of his life. He had a fantastic life. I life definitely worth sharing. Dementia changed him though.
Some might say it was the age. I tell you it wasn’t. And I’m for sure not the right person to even make such a statement. I have not seen my dad in the years dementia struck really. Only at the beginning of it and at the very end. Given as we live in Australia and he was back in Switzerland. It changed him. And yet, it didn’t manage to entirely get to him.
I saw him for just about 2 weeks before he past away. While I was there he suffered from a really bad cold that turned into a chest infection and that took the last strength out of him. To be honest I thought he would pass away on the very first day I saw him again. He looked so bad. It was a brutal moment. Finally have made it over there again, being exhausted from the trip, dealing with all the feelings of being back and then seeing him so unwell. But he somehow “recovered”. I was told he really never made it back to the “strength” he had left before but he at least got to the point where we could interact. And I could tell that he recognized me and my family.
Dementia is brutal. It’s eating away on a person and from the outside you see them disappear. I often wonder how frustrating it must be for someone suffering from it and realizing in the early stages that bits and pieces are simply not connecting anymore. That parts of your memory are suddenly turning into clouds to then only disintegrate into nothing. And yet, when I saw him, I had the intense feeling that there was so much more there. Somewhere in there. Under a big pile of dust or in a big, thick cloud. Not easy for him to access anymore but still sort of trying to get to the surface. And sometimes it felt almost like that moment the sun is peaking through storm clouds for a brief moment. Those memories, the him he used to be, it all came through. Just for a short moment.
So when I sat down for breakfast this morning I felt like a piece of toast and honey. When we were kids my dad used to love to mix honey and butter. He called it “ant cream”… Don’t ask me why… And that mixture had this amazing creamy and sweet taste. When I’m focused I usually take my toast and spread the butter on it and then the honey. This morning though I was in thoughts. And in between putting the kettle on, drinking a glass of water and getting other things ready I mixed butter and honey just like we used to do it with dad… And somehow it tasted so much better then my usual toast with honey on it.
Posts I wrote about my dad: