Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Although Alzheimer’s robbed my father’s word bank, it never touched his gentleman gene. He often substituted simpler words than he would have used pre-Alzheimer’s. For example, he once said, “That’s how you know you can do things” to mean, “Being encouraged and coached boosts your confidence.” And once, when I told him something the nursing home failed to do for him angered me, he shared his secret: “I know, and I just have to … stay soft.” As his brain searched for the words “stay soft,” his expression was kind, not bitter. He didn’t have to find words to say, “I know they’re doing their best” or “I try to be patient.” I knew what staying soft meant.