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Missing you, Dad! Long before you’re gone… Happy Father’s Day!

February 13, 2011

There is no warranty on life’s journey.  The only guarantee is the past.  And then there is Alzheimer’s.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible debilitating disease that sets about diminishing the past.

Today there is no remedy for Alzheimer’s.  For Alzheimer’s victims, tomorrow may never come.   It has become an ailment of epidemic proportion, not unlike the “C” word and other world class diseases.

Ronald Reagan had it, my Dad, Martin Gerald “Jerry” Wiessner had it.  Dad was in a losing battle with an unforgiving and relentless disease, Alzheimer’s.  Simply put, Alzheimer’s is an hour glass of life’s memories forever sifting and slipping away. Hundreds of thousands of people, regardless of their position in life, have it.  Hundreds of thousands more will be afflicted and so the journey continues.

President Reagan’s birthday has recently come and gone.  Still an inspiration, five years after leaving office, his final public comments included the following sage words…Excerpts…

“My fellow Americans, I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.”

“So now we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it. “

“Unfortunately, as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes, I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage.”

“I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead.”

With Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) the effect is a diminishing past and memories once shared are forgotten. For us, the Wiessner family, especially my Mom, we  lived with AD and its hold on our lives for just shy of a decade.   We had been missing my Dad long before he was gone.  There was no despair.  We had and we have each other and we are united in our efforts to heighten awareness for a cure for AD.

I am very proud of my entire family and how they came together and have held together throughout this ordeal with a family member with AD.  They have exhibited unheralded measures of endearment and respect for the spirit of  Jerry, the man, the husband, the father, the grandpa and the grand pa-pa  (Ba-pa).  As you embark on your next journey please know, “We are all going to miss you now that you’re gone Dad, you will live forever in our hearts.”

Visit my amazingly talented sisters’ blogs in support of the fight against Alzheimer’s, where they have given of their time and talent to fight this terrible disease.

Diane: http://dianedidit.com/

Beth: http://quiltersstitchtogether.blogspot.com/

There is a wonderful community of support out there.   Both sisters Beth and Diane have received nationwide recognition for their art through an organization well known for their support of a cure for Alzheimer’s http://alzquilts.org/

Note:  Please help us get the good word out.  Share us on your favorite social media site and Stumble Upon.  Thanks.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    September 6, 2014 2:08 pm

    Somehow it helps to hear others’ struggle. “Bear ye one another’s burdens” Gal. 6:2 My heart is breaking.

    • September 6, 2014 5:09 pm

      Thank you for your heartfelt comments!

      • Lisa permalink
        September 6, 2014 6:45 pm

        Mom is in the last stages, looking awful.

      • September 6, 2014 8:40 pm

        I’m sorry to hear. Let’s hope they find a cure and soon. Best wishes to you and your Mom.

      • Lisa permalink
        September 6, 2014 11:02 pm

        thanks

  2. February 14, 2011 7:36 am

    I never read Reagan’s comments at the onset of his disease. He could have made it very funny by repeating a sentence or two, which would’ve been typical Reagan since he always made us smile. President Reagan would like you to see the brighter side of things and care less about himself and more about others. However, since he didn’t pull off that joke, it shows the seriousness of the disease. I’m willing to bet he thought about it, but thought twice about the graveness of the matter at hand, and in the end, said the right thing.

  3. February 13, 2011 11:50 pm

    Thanks for this, Al – we need to get the word out. Alzheimer’s is a cruel disease on so many levels, as it steals away the very essence of those afflicted and causes so much heartache for everyone who loves them. I know, I’ve lived through the heartache. I will do everything in my power to never have to live it again. The AAQI (alzquilts.org) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots all-volunteer organization raising incredible amounts of money for research. Give us a hand?

  4. Beth permalink
    February 13, 2011 9:17 pm

    Wonderful, Al, you have said it well. Love you!

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