For me, what she said couldn't be more timely. I mentioned in December that my father was very ill and in hospital. He died shortly after Christmas, after having Alzheimer's disease for 15 years. In some ways, he was lucky that the course of his disease turned his personality from a driven, impatient, striving man to that of child-like person with an endless appreciation of the good things in life.
He loved to sit in his small townhouse garden and marvel at the beauty that surrounded him. "What a beautiful garden we have," he would tell my mother daily from spring to fall. He was proud of his children and enjoyed his grandchilden. He was appreciative of the loving care he received from my mother, and he thanked her all the time: "You are such a good woman," he would say. She cared for him with patience that knew few bounds.
My father was sick in hospital for only three weeks from complications of other medical problems. We all feel that he was fortunate not to have to go into a nursing home. Amazingly, at 81 his Alzheimer's had not progressed to the point that most patients get to: not even recognizing their families. The last time I saw him, he was still able to count down the names of all his six children. (I'm the eldest.)
Thanks, Jodi, for your post. I didn't quite know how to write about my father. It seemed too personal to share in a gardening blog, but you gave me an opening.