Conversations with Dad

Alzheimer’s is the strangest disease.

My dad is now in advanced stages of AD, but he is ambulatory and in fairly good health. We try to take him out for activities but some things are getting too difficult. There’s a fine line of wanting to give him an outing and keep his life as full as possible–yet how much is he really benefiting from the outing? Especially when it is not easy for the caretaker to take him places (you have to watch Dad all the time, his behavior is unpredictable, his table manners are…well, not for the squeamish).

On Mother’s Day, we gathered at my brother’s home. Dad had been brought over and was sitting at the kitchen counter. Just sitting, kind of hunched over. His face has lost its animation. (Dad’s warm personality would light up his face when he saw others.)

Then…in walked my mom. Would you believe that Dad got to his feet and hustled over to greet her with a big kiss on the lips? Amazing! You wouldn’t know he had AD. For just half a minute, he was Dad.

That’s the mystery of AD! The person is still there…despite plaque on the brain or whatever it is that is robbing him of his speech and memories and motor control.

Those brief moments are like God’s gift to our family. They help remind us of who Dad was, of caring for him well because he is still with us.

Thirty second gifts. We’ll take ’em!

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. Mocha with Linda says:

    I tried to comment earlier and it wouldn't ever go through.

    But all I really wanted to say is that this is so true about the ups and downs. Hugs to you, my friend!

  2. Heather's Blog-o-rama says:

    It makes me smile a lot that you're still taking care of your dad and helping him out as much as you can. I really liked the story about your dad kissing your mom 🙂 🙂 That was really sweet :)Greetings and hugs from Oregon, Heather 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    What a great moment to share with your dad and mom. Even though the disease is horrible it has it's glimmers of beauty to shine thru.

    My mom had Alzheimers and I learned so much from her and this disease. Hopefully they will find some medical finding to help cure or halt something that takes our family members from us while they are still living.

    Hugs to you!

  4. Joan Main says:

    You are so right about the special gifts of glimpses from the past that God gives us.I went through this horific condition with both my Mom and my Mother-in-law.Only God can help us through.

  5. Grace Bower says:

    Many years ago I saw a news item about how an American facility set up an authentic 1950's kitchen for AD patients and how different they were in the familar. This was reinforced with the Remember book in the Karen Kingsbury/Gary Smalley 2nd of the five R books. Gratitude for the 30 second gifts is a powerful expression of your family's love in action. Blessings.