What I wish I knew about Alzheimer’s

Euri Giles | Clareifi

This really is a long goodbye!

I wish that someone would have told me what it was going to be like to see my dad suffer from Alzheimer’s.

It’s my fault. I should have known better. I saw this once before.

My grandma Euri (dad’s mom) had Alzheimer’s. I wouldn’t see her but once a year when we would travel to Chicago to visit her.

The first time that I noticed a difference was during a summertime family trip with my son (also Euri), my sister, and our parents.

There we were the 3 Euri’s sitting together in my grandma’s living room. Surrounded by a bunch of elephants. Porcelain elephants, glass elephants, wooden elephants, paintings of elephants…

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=10vYdW_0Y1rOuhm00Image credit — James Hammond — Unsplash

It’s ironic thinking back on how much my grandma liked elephants. The animal that “never forgets”…

She did…

So did my dad…


In Case I Forget…
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I could hear my grandpa Howard speaking loudly (yelling) as always in the kitchen with my parents about how the neighbors were up to no good! You can’t trust people, and which route would be the best route to take downtown at this time of day.

In the living room, it was mostly quiet. My grandma was just staring at me and Lil Euri.

She would smile and make a happy huffing sound…

“Mmmmh! Well!”

then a pause

“Oh my goodness! Mmmmph!”

Lil Euri would look at me with wide eyes as he shifted his body weight on the sofa and the tight clear plastic that was covering it made a farting noise…

“Dad why is there plastic on this couch? It sounds like a fart?”
“It’s to protect the couch from getting dirty from little boys like you!”

I told him while tickling his belly. His laughter delighted my grandma so much…

“Oh my goodness! Mmmmph” she said.

I asked;

“How are you doing grandma?”

She would turn up the volume on her hearing aid and say.

“You’ve got to speak up love, Mama doesn’t hear so good with these… Mmmph! Tell me again!”

I said;

“How are you!?


“Oh honey, I’m just fine! In a loud whisper, she said… “I don’t know who all of these people are, but I know that they love me.”
“You’re right grandma we do love you!”
“Mmm-hmm, yes and look at this little one… I know this is my grandson! You named him after me.
I did, and he’s your great-grandson! I’m Euri too!
Clarence, how old is he now?
Ummm… He’s 3 grandma! Clarence is my dad… I’m Euri too!
Oh, hush! You messin with me just like Morell (my grandpa Howard) does.

I realized at that moment my grandma thought that I was my dad, and Lil Euri was me. I had never experienced anything like this before, but it wouldn’t be the last time…


Thank you buddy…
I pretend that I’ve come to terms with losing you once to Alzheimer’s…medium.com

Here it is 20 years later.

I wish that I had done the research, I wish that I would have spent more quality time with him before his mind was gone.

Even though I’m less than a mile away, I rarely see my dad. That is I rarely see him awake. He’s usually asleep when I go over to visit/check on mom & dad. No matter what time of day it is, I usually just peek in on him through the crack in his bedroom door.

I wish I knew that the man I grew up trying to be like was just a man. I thought that dad’s had some kind of superpowers.

I wish I knew that you wouldn’t recognize me as your son.

I wish I knew that you would stop writing. I would have tried harder to set up the website that you wanted, and archive all of your work with you by my side.

I wish that I knew I wouldn’t ever play another game of chess with you.

I wish I knew that you would eventually stop caring about listening to jazz, or any music at all… Dad! You were so talented!

I wish I knew that I wouldn’t get a chance to see you fly again (dad was learning how to fly gliders).

I wish I knew that I wouldn’t be able to ask you for advice.

I wish I knew that I was going to have to lose you twice…


Who is this man? — My dad has Alzheimer’s and doesn't know he’s my dad.
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I wish that someone would have told me what it was going to be like to see my dad suffer from Alzheimer’s.

It’s my fault. I should have known better. I saw this once before.

Kiddos, if you’re reading this, and I’m not here…


Remember me.

I love you!

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Euri Giles covers lifestyle content, politics, and news near you in Texas.

El Paso, TX

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