Christmas is a time for reflecting on our thoughts under the glimmering lights of the tree. Showing gratitude to memories, accomplishments, all while spending it with the ones closest to you. It’s a time to remember and perhaps reconnect with people you may not see as often, whole giving thanks to those who are present in your everyday.
But within this reflection of thankfulness, some stories that surface during this time truly melt our hearts with their emotional weight and even, heartbreaking story telling. Such is the case of couple Barb and Harold Arnold, who shared their experience with Alzheimer’s through an open letter.
“Last Christmas we shared Barb’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. This year we would like to share what’s happening in our lives.”
Arnold goes on by describing how she feels on a day to day, “If you ask Barb how she’s feeling, she will answer, I feel fine. I just tire easily. I have tremors in both hands and forget things and have to jot down a quick reminder.”
The letter goes on by reminding us to truly be grateful for the things we have, especially our health, which can quickly escape us with time and quickly fleet away in the case of Alzheimer’s.
“Words like understanding, giving and receiving, sadness, happiness, dignity, appreciation now have a much clearer meaning to us. Enjoy every moment you have. This Alzheimer’s disease has taught us the true meaning of love, which to us is sharing. Barb and I are now closer than in years and enjoying life as it is,” Harold continues, finding light in this dark time. “She loves to take walks, read, warm at the fireplace, listen to music and talk radio shows, visit with friends and family.”
Sharing stories like these can help bring awareness to this terrible disease that affects millions every year across the globe. Harold’s letter has been picked up by local news and shared on social media sparking emotionally charged conversations.