In Feb 2018 running became very important to me as a way of getting through the stress I was feeling. In April 2018 I completed by first half marathon at Bewel Water with Dad.
The Ultra Marathon runners started before us and at the start line Dad decided that,the Ultra Marathon was for him! Off he went closely followed by the girls calling after him “Grandad that’s not the race for you” but there was no stopping him.
The route sounded lovely on paper, a path round a reservoir what could be nicer?. However they neglected to tell you about the 4 mile hilly part in the middle. The stewards shouted “don’t worry this is the last hill” right before the start of the next one and this seemed to be a favourite trick.
No matter it was lovely and I did it, much to my own amazement!!!! Dad and my girls were there watching me over the finish line, which seemed to take forever cross but I crossed it. I was greeted by my Dad’s words and response at the time of “that’s rubbish”. Obviously dementia can make people quite frank.
Other people looked at him astonished by his reaction to someone having just run 13 miles and collapsed on the grass at his feet. I was too breathless to explain how much his seeming put down was a great gift to me. He was communicating far less by then. I was grateful for any acknowledgement at the finish line at all. Unless you’ve lived with dementia its hard to appreciate how precious a comment like that is. To me that was my dad communicating and I could tell he was proud of me even if my efforts where described as rubbish.