Treading Dark Waters

Treading Dark Waters
Alzheimer's disease is cruel. And its cruelty is unparalleled, robbing patients and stripping entire families of what they hold dearest. Definite characteristics are associated with this mind-altering condition, one of which is an unfortunate outcome. But if you're in the throes of the disease, you already know this. I did. When a loved one is diagnosed, it is impossible to foresee how things will play out. We think we know, but until the various stages rise to slap us in the face, we just can’t fathom any of it. The best we can do is tread water, but the water we scull isn’t clean, pure, and easily navigable. Murky waters of uncertainty churn beneath us, casting scary shadows as we paddle on. And we will paddle on, but not alone. As a former primary caregiver, I treaded those same treacherous waves. My mother began to lose ground to dementia at an age in which she still had so much living to enjoy. It was a hard diagnosis for her, and for her family, but we determined to stay the course and to be strong for her and for one another. It wasn’t an easy journey, but we discovered several things along the way. We were stronger together and our spiritual faith kept us sane. We learned to tread well. Even as the waves increased and became darker and more severe, joy lit our way. Even in the difficult passing of time, joy was available. We successfully treaded Alzheimer’
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