I was listening to the radio this morning and I heard the story off an 80 year old Music teacher who has Dementia. His son gave him four music notes and asked him to play some music. What this wonderful man achieved was a beautiful piece of music that went viral and has now been recorded; it has raised a large amount of money for Dementia charities. This is a wonderful legacy for his family and all the students he taught. All those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia leave their own legacy that families and friends remember. Frankie’s is best remembered as a Son, Husband, Dad, Grandad, Brother, Uncle, and Friend. He was also known for his quick wit. Frankie would probably want to be remembered as a great Squash player, a snappy dresser, an employee of Royal Mail and a member of Dementia NI.
Sadly because of COVID we as a family can’t get to see Frankie to keep his memories alive – for his long term memory was good. Hopefully in the future we will get our time to be with Frankie and remind him of the wonderful life he had and his own legacy. Frankie tested positive for COVID almost two weeks ago. He is a-symptomatic so he has been isolated within the nursing home. All credit to the home they have looked after him and controlled his symptoms while communicating his progress to us.
At present they are in the process of building a separate unit for visitors that will enable families to see their loved ones and to keep them safe. This is great news for my family and me because we desperately need to see him again for the home has been in complete lockdown. The last time we saw him was the end of August. Prior to that we had a few visits inside the home and some window visits that were very difficult. There is a senior nurse who has been very good at communicating and reassuring me about Frankie. She has even sent photographs and short videos.
COVID has changed all our lives and there have been days when I have struggled wondering when as a family we are going to see Frankie. I have no control in Frankie’s care now but I travel once a week to the nursing home to leave him his favourite treats and hope I might get a glimpse of him but it doesn’t happen. My priority is to stay safe so that I can safely visit him. It is very lonely. I try to walk each day and keep busy with my crafting hobbies. We have two sons, one who lives here comes every day to see me and the other one lives in England he phones every day so with their support and family and friends I’m blessed. I try to stay positive and hope for the day when I get to see Frankie and that life can return to some form of normality for all of us.
Liz has written a poem;
I wonder does he think of us and why we’re not there,
I wonder do they tell him that we really care.
I wonder when I’ll get to hug him and hold him close to me,
I wonder will it come too late do I have to wait and see.
I wonder just who makes these rules and if they understand,
I wonder if they’ll stop and think of a better plan.
I wonder how they’ll cast their votes as the meeting ends,
I wonder will they think how it affects the family and the friends.
I wonder in the future will this nightmare go away,
I wonder if they’ll find a cure and we’ll see a bright new day.
Written by Liz Stitt