In Memory of Angel DeJesus
On July 19, 2009, our dear grandfather, Angel DeJesus, passed away from complications related to Alzheimer's. For close to a decade, he suffered from the ravages of the disease. I will never forget the day in 2004 when we "lost" him. He was at our uncle's house and just wandered out. After searching our town for a couple hours, we finally found him at a local grocery store. We were terrified during those few hours, with thoughts that he could easily wander into traffic and get seriously hurt.
It was around that time that the family realized that we could no longer care for our grandfather, and that he would have to receive care from an Alzheimer's facility. He would spend the rest of his days well cared for in a facility specializing in the care of Alzheimer's patients. For us, the worst part of the disease was seeing our once proud patriarch become a senile patient who could do very little for himself. (Grandpa used to dye his hair black. Once his mind was truly taken captive by the disease, he no longer dyed it. It was jarring to see him with a white head of hair.)
Almost 50% of people who reach 85 have Alzheimer's disease. Like many diseases, it not only affects the patient but touches all of his family and friends. On May 1st, my sister, Jessica DeJesus will be participating in the Bike to End Alzheimer's. Please help us (every little bit helps!) raise funds to further research this disease. Thank you for your time.
Donate here: http://2011biketoendalz.kintera.org/jessica
Monday, January 24, 2011
6 years. That's how long it's been. 6 years since The Accident, The Day That Changed My Life. Yes, it requires caps.
Not a day goes by that I don't think about That Day. However, in the past 6 years, it's gotten easier to push it out of my head and focus on the man I lost. Why dwell on the terrible way his life ended when I can celebrate how he lived? Lately, Baby Girl has been asking more and more about her father. She's also displaying lots of his idiosyncrasies. It takes my breath away how like him she is sometimes. The worst is when she asks when he's coming back. I gently explain to her that he isn't and she carries on with her day. I wish more than anything that she had her father.
However, it's something I have to live with. Talking to her about him will always be emotional. I live every day knowing how easily, how quickly we can lose it all. It's a small price to pay for having had him in my life.
I miss you, Pablo. You were my best friend.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
5 days into 2011 and things seem to be going swimmingly. Or so it would seem. With a 6th anniversary rapidly approaching, I've found myself in tears every so often. I'm grateful it usually happens when I'm alone in the car, as I like to keep my grief to myself.
For some reason, every January I replay the weeks leading up to the Accident. I remember the birthday cake for my birthday on Jan. 1st. I remember flying home from DR on Jan. 2nd. I remember the phone call from him on Jan. 4th, calling to wish me a happy birthday. I remember going to the airport to pick him up on Jan. 8th. This will happen all month long until Jan. 25th.
People may think it's been long enough and life has gone back to normal. There will never be a normal after that. In the first few bleak days, I survived. In the following couple of years, I merely existed. I breathed, ate, slept, etc., just because I had to. I'm absolutely happy now. But there will always be part of me that grieves the man I lost that day, over the dreams I had, over the little girl who will never meet her dad (and the man who will never meet his daughter).
I'm glad the good days far outnumber the bad. I've grown to accept the bad as proof of how much he meant to me, how much he meant to all of us.