Nothing gold can stay. My dad is the gold in my life. I know that he cannot stay forever, but he is being cheated out of his life Yet through his experience I have learned many different values which have become a part of who I am today.
I learned to have patience. It is difficult to cope with the fact that he may forget to pick me up after school, or he may forget exactly where he is driving just minutes after we discussed it. I learned to make light of it and keep cool because I know it is not his fault that he forgot. I learned to keep humor in my life every day. It is funny to see the liquid measuring cups up with the drinking glasses, but deep down I know what is happening. I am slowly losing a supportive and loving father who has been in my life for over 17 years.
I treat people with more kindness now, because, who knows, perhaps they have a background similar to mine. No one knows that my dad tells me of his times in Germany in the army, weightlifting and helping his country. No one knows how he surprises me and tells me about his childhood and retells memories that happened so long ago.
I have often thought about what it would be like to come home from college to my father, and find that the man who rocked me to sleep at night, read me bedtime stories, helped me ride my bike, let me drive his new truck, raised me to become the woman that I am, and who was always there for me and watching out for me, does not know me. So each day I make a point of telling him how much I love him. If something happens and his Alzheimer's takes over for a minute, I let him know that it is all right and we laugh. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.