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He Doesn’t Know Who I Am Any More

September 28, 2011
Old family photo

Image by exfordy via Flickr

The first time it happened I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  I felt sick and shaky as the reality hit me.  Dad didn’t know who I was.

It’s been a long time since that day.  The percentage of time when he can identify me has gradually decreased.   I suspect that, without my help, he never knows who I am.

When he asks about where my mother is, I tell him my mother died almost twelve years ago.  When I explain that she was his wife, it surprise him.  When he sees pictures of his parents on my walls, he wonders why I have pictures of his parents.  He talks about his children as if I never met them and the house he built, as if I have never been there.

It hurts when he forgets who I am and my first reaction is to tell him he is my Dad. I want to remind him of all the years we had together, to recreate that special connection. But I know that within five minutes he will have  forgotten who I am.

It’s comforting to know that Dad knows I am someone safe.  He chooses to be near me in the house and is most comfortable in a group with me sitting at his side.

But I still wish he knew who I am.

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