Conversations with Dad

Not long ago, my sister and mother took Dad for a check-up with an Alzheimer’s specialist. The doctor determined that Dad’s disease has progressed so that, cognitively, his AD is now severe. Dad was unable to answer questions, didn’t know where he was, etc.

On the brighter side, Dad was found to be in very good physical condition. That has helped him hang on (he’s a scrappy one, that dad of mine) and not succumb to so many of the sad side effects of AD: losing the ability to swallow, for example.

It’s odd…it’s not that this news of Dad’s cognitive condition was a surprise. We knew he had declined significantly in the last two years. Somehow, it felt like getting his AD diagnosis all over again.

You know…but you don’t want to know.

This is such a strange, prolonged time…waiting for Dad to pass. None of us want to lose him, but in a very real way, we already have. My sister noticed that we even talk about him in the past tense. I think what makes us most heavy-hearted is that he would have hated this ending to his life. Just hated it! Dad always wanted to drop in the harness.

Oh, the Lord’s ways…they are mysterious. And still, we believe.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Melanie says:

    Hug's I'm so sorry I know all too well that it's not easy seeing someone go through that especially when it's one of your parents hugs. I encourage you to lean on God in this time. Both my grandma's had AD and it totally just took away their life. Thankfully one of my grandmas are still living but the other one passed away last year from it. It's sad to see someone who used to be so open and opinionated go to someone who is very quiet and so out of tune with reality. *hugs* My husband and I will be praying for you and your family.

  2. Mocha with Linda says:

    Oh sweet friend, I so understand your heart in this post. I have told so many people that with AD you grieve before their physical death because "who they are" has already died.

    Many, many hugs to you.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Thanks to both of you, Melanie and Linda, for being so compassionate. You've both been on this journey!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh Suzanne, your comments helped as did those that followed, but the reality of a young daughter,with early AD, in her early 50"s, a medical person her entire life, a university teacher, and one who has such compassion for others…I hardly know how to go forward as a mother. I am 80 and will not be here when her bad time is evident and her sisters must deal with this…i need help so I can do all I can possibly to make these days good ones for her….SHE HAD THE diagnosis OCT 12, 2009 AND AS A FAMILY, WE wanted to know, but DID NOT WANT TO KNOW, and now…what…I have to do more than wait.

    She has mild recent memory loss. and as required was reported to the dmv and has to re=exam with driver's test and written next Monday…what if her independence is taken from her..

    Like a mother bear, I have great trouble having to listen to those with neighbors having AD and their thoughts and comments….I think– that will be my daughter you are talking about!!!!!

    I keep the bible close ..please share with me .

  5. Suzanne says:

    Please e-mail me…I want to help!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I tried to email you regarding my post on Ad, but seems to be an invalid address

    Am I incorrect?

  7. Suzanne says:

    No "c" in Fisher! Try again! If that doesn't work…send it to

  8. Anonymous says:

    From Mother Bear,

    I reread your conversations with dad and my comment and those of Melanie and Mocha with Linda.
    I see changes in my daughter, slight at this time, but the grab in the stomach is still there as the realization of the future is all too clear. The kindness you, Suzanne have shown, and the love and care of those that send you understanding, makes it a bit easier as I know there are prayers for all the AD patients, my daughter included. I think you caught the gold ring with your description of a beautiful moment with your dad. For a brief moment, you held wonder and memory of yesteryear! I have found these rays of light moments also, and cherish them so I write them down, date them and put them in my bible.
    Thank you for sharing and helping me to keep my eyes on the Lord.

    Mother Bear grrrrr