Jeff’s dad Jerry and I worked together in the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and later when I was a Parole Agent. We have been friends ever since. When Jerry notified Jeff that a close member of my family is now suffering from Alzheimer’s, Jeff sent me the following insightful story:
“I just wanted to share a quick anecdote about the disease that I found comfort in.
Three years ago my friend John Fratis, a retired Folsom Prison guard, died after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. At the funeral, John’s adult granddaughters told the congregation how, just three months prior to passing, John had a two-week “moment of clarity” in which he “came back” and began talking about all the things that had transpired while he was presumed to be a vegetable. He asked about his grandson and whether or not he was still stationed in Iraq–The kid enlisted after John was in bed and unresponsive. Yet, John was there the whole time. He later said he was at peace and lapsed back into a coma, dying weeks later.
So, if it gets to that point, remember she is still there, keep telling her what is going on and … you never know.”
Jeff’s story about John Fratis is well worth noting and that is why I am sharing it with you on PACOVILLA, especially those of you that have a member of your family or a good friend suffering from Alzheimer’s.