Alzheimer

Dealing with Alzheimer’s Blog: Letters

A few months ago I came across an old friend on Facebook and re-connected.  We had just lost track of each other and it was so nice to hear from her again.  One of the first questions she asked me was “Did your son ever open up his letters you wrote him on his birthdays”. I had forgotten that I shared that with her.  If you have followed my blog you know that I the day my son was born, I wrote him a letter.  I put it in the safety deposit box and every year after that I wrote a letter on his birthday and put it in the safety deposit box.  I think at some point he knew what I was doing but we didn’t talk about it.  I really enjoyed writing that letter and added photos and different things. I would collect thoughts and stories all year and save them for that day I wanted to write “the letter”. As the years went by I wasn’t sure when I wanted to give them to him……on his 18th birthday, 21st birthday, graduation…..????? When I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s these letters took on a different meaning.  I wanted to share everything with him before I forgot everything.  Some years the letters were very hard to write.

I finally decided that the night before Alan got married I would give him the letters. I purchased a brown leather case. We shared time that night and it was really hard for me to give him these letters.  And, he didn’t want to take them from me.  We shared a few tears and I finally convinced him that it was the right time.  I think maybe he thought I would never write him another letter, or that I had given up on life or something.  My only condition to him was that — he could read them when he wanted but that when he did read them I wanted to know that he had.  That was almost nine years ago.

On Mother’s Day this year, Alan gave me a letter.  The letter said he had read my letters the week before.  I didn’t ask why now but I would suspect that my cancer scare brought him to it — not knowing what my long term prognosis is going to be.  That was a hard day. 

So, Jan……the answer to your question is “Yes, Alan has read his letters.”


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