2017 is when I thought my dementia journey had begun, with hindsight is was actually years before then. My Dad was a hardworking Engineer, who had several roles managing multi-million pound projects for the food and drink industries. He was ever the professional and very proud of his work. Throughout my childhood my Dad was travelling and worked long hours to provide me with amazing opportunities. It’s fair to say I was and am a ‘Daddies girl’ and I’m not afraid to admit it.
He was always to “go to” person for sound advice for everyone. When I mucked up (which was a frequent occurrence as a teenager) or to fix and intervene in my DIY disasters, he was always there to turn to. Considering I couldn’t change a lightbulb he was often called upon. He loved sport, music and the garden. He loved Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, M People and most recently Coldplay
He could always be replied upon for some proper Dad dancing at weddings and family celebrations that would make all laugh. He could be stern sometimes (usually towards my awkward boy racer teenage love interests). To us, the dad we knew had a wicked dry sense of humour that kept us all on our toes. You could not get anything past him, no matter how hard you tried and believe me as a headstrong teenager I did do my best.
At Christmas he would be the person wearing the paper hat at the table and howling at the particularly lame cracker jokes. I would try to forget them but they then stuck in your head for hours and became the theme for the day that you didn’t dare mention incase it started another round of hilarity.
Above all he was my dad and I loved him very much and I relied on him for so much. There were signs that he was changing as early as 2014, which I will talk about in my next post. The thing about dementia is that no matter how much it tries it cannot change or break the love you have for someone. Although he is no longer the dad I had and knew before, he is loved just as much now as he was then. When and if you are kind enough to keep reading through my story if you remember on e thing, Let it be this: Love is stronger than dementia.
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