Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Today Is Living


My brother Dennis died at the young age of 67. Born on February 7, 1943, Dennis was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's less than two years ago. Rapidly progressing and destroying brain function, the disease claimed his life this morning -- November 30, 2010.

Dennis and I were born three years apart and born after our older sister, Lois. Dennis and I left our Wisconsin farm home at the same time in 1962. That was when I headed to Madison to complete my university education. Dennis joined the Air Force.

Individually, Dennis and I pursued our separate lives far from our folks and relatives in Wisconsin. After Dennis retired from the Air Force after 23 years, he and his family resided in California and eventually in Oregon. Most of my working years were in Colorado. With our geographic separation, we rarely saw each other.

Meeting Dennis and his wife Karen for a recent August breakfast in Salem, Oregon, it was a shock to realize that Dennis did not recognize me. The Alzheimer's had already claimed much of his brain and function to the point that he had essentially regressed to a child like state.

Karen, daughters Stacie and Candi, friends and local hospice were Dennis' support for his last days allowing him to stay at home where he died.

There are lots of one line quotes about living each and every day to the fullest. It is the personal experience of a younger brother dying that makes the advice all the more real.

Yesterday and tomorrow are only thoughts. Today is living.

15 comments:

  1. Lloyd please accept my condolences. May the memory of your brother inspire you to live even more completely and hug your kids often.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear the bad news, LLoyd.

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  3. Lloyd, please accept my condolences.

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  4. The same disease was laying claim to my mom's brain until she fell, broke a hip and later died (30 days) from complications from surgery. But she still knew who I was. Dennis's disease progressed so fast, two years. I hope you take the "live today to it's fullest" mantra to heart, I know it jogged my memory to do so.
    you have our sympathy,
    mark and bobbie

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  5. So sorry to hear of your brother's passing Lloyd. You and your family are in our thoughts. Will give you a big warm hug when we next see which I hope is soon!Sheila & Phil

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  6. Oh, Lloyd, I'm so sorry. What a terrible thing for you and your family.

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  7. So sorry to hear of your loss, Lloyd. We lost my brother-in-law the same way 10 years ago. It is a terrible disease. Keep living your life your way -- you are an inspiration to so many of us.

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  8. So sorry to hear of the loss of your brother Dennis....Memories of the farm and all the fun things brothers do will always be with you...These are things you will hold onto and cherish.....Hugs.....

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  9. Lloyd, Let the Happy Memories soften your sorrow and the Love of your Family and Friends fill your emptiness. My Deepest Sympathy. Mary Ann

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  10. We're so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother.

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  11. Thanks to all for your caring and condolences.

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  12. Hi Lloyd

    I just recieved an email from Carol and Russ regarding Dennis. My heart goes out to you, Karen and the family. May GOD bless everyone! Your friend Donnie

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  13. Hi Lloyd,
    My condolences on the loss of your brother. All the more reason to stay close to family, which I'm doing these days. I've been camped at my brother's home in Waxhaw, NC, for the past four months. He leases a 200-acre farm and so has lots of room for me to park.

    My hard drive crashed a few weeks back and I can't find anything on my back-up drive. :-( So this is the only way I know to contact you. Please come back with your e-mail so I can re-capture your address again.

    All the best for the holidays, --John Floyd

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