It’s almost Halloween, and I’m linking up with my For the Love sisters to share five fears…spooky.
My Worst Fears About Alzheimer’s
Since the Hays County Walk to End Alzheimer’s was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but was canceled due to crazy central Texas weather and flooding, I’m raising awareness in a different way today.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
– Nelson Mandela
I’m sharing my worst fears about Alzheimer’s disease, with you, my readers, because I believe our fears lose some of their power when we say them out loud. (I think the profound but hilarious Jen Hatmaker may have taught me that.)
A good friend, who is a middle child, once told me, “You firstborns just go and do stuff.”
Well, yes. And the problem with that is?
I’ve had a strong sense of responsibility and urgency from a young age. I’m not the peacemaker or the great listener. I’m the leader and the doer.
Losing my mother to early onset Alzheimer’s disease before I was 30 only strengthened that sense of urgency. I don’t want dementia to steal any of my time on Earth, doing the things I love with my husband and our girls.
Losing my health
I am not afraid of death but I am afraid of prolonged pain and illness, after watching others like my mom and stepmom live through it. Few things scare me more than Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Losing my independence
Like the generations of women before me, I like to be in charge.
The thought of becoming vulnerable and helpless, unable to make decisions and care for myself and my children, is very scary. But that’s exactly what the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and many other degenerative illnesses, looks like.
I am afraid of losing my identity as a wife, mom and believer. I’m afraid of losing the relationships that makeup that identity to Alzheimer’s disease. I’m afraid of no longer being “me.”
Losing my voice
I wonder if my fear of losing my voice has anything to do with my favorite Disney movie, The Little Mermaid.
As a writer, it is difficult for me to fathom losing my ability to communicate. I watched my language-loving mother slowly lose hers to early onset Alzheimer’s disease and became her advocate, her voice.
I don’t want my girls to have to become mine.
Want more fears? Check out our #FridayFive linkup here.