I spent some time today looking at photos and videos of my father. I wanted to imagine him grinning and giggling at the news that my book about him–about me, about us, about Bercaws, about Alzheimer’s, about life and about death–is being published.
I ran across this great short clip from last winter when we visited him at Juniper Village Memory Care in Naples, Fla. My son David was playing tic-tac-toe with Beau on Nora’s iPhone. Even with late-stage AD, my father knew how to play–and how to win–and how to be pleased with himself.
After watching this video about 26 times, a new thought came into my head: Beau won more than that game of tic-tac-toe.
I’ve devoted a lot of time and energy and blog space lamenting the fact that Beau’s supplements and concoctions and Sudoku obsession did nothing to keep him from getting Alzheimer’s. I might have been wrong. I mean look at him, again, in this video. Beau’s brain was remarkably intact for someone being ravaged by AD. He couldn’t walk, really. He couldn’t use the restroom without help. But he could still play games that require strategy and eye-hand coordination. Unprecedented, in my fairly well-informed opinion.