My Dad is funny, eccentric, kind, live-loving, at times self-centred and thoughtless, sporty, patient and easy going. At least this is how we try to remember him. He has advanced dementia and has been seriously ill for many years. It has been a painful journey that has slowly erased the the man I knew as my Dad.
As a family we have struggled through the stages, my mum as his loving and stoic carer fighting on the front line despite it feeling like a losing battle.
It sounds desperately bleak and it so often is but we have also kept laughing, humour has helped us to cope and my Dad had a wicked one! He would have found so many aspects of this whole situation comical and worthy of comment no matter how inappropriate.
As with any illness birthdays and special occasions always prove difficult, made all the more painful with thoughts of what could be and how, if all was well, you would be creating new memories instead of reminiscing. The pain of these times is compounded by the greetings card most of which seem filled with words that are not appropriate and intensify the grief of losing a Dad that is still alive.
My Dad was relatively young when this disease started, I am only 42 and my sisters and I all have young families, we try to celebrate with his grandchildren and laugh our way through. On his birthday I want to give him a card that shows our love but also reminds us of him and what he would have found funny. We want to laugh for him.
We also want to give a card to my mum from my Dad on her birthday to make up for the 42 years he forget to send one! Even in the latter stages of this disease in some sense he knows her, loves her and if he could would thank her for everything. We want to give him a voice.
I have searched high and low for cards that can express how we feel but with no luck. My Dad had an entrepreneurial spirit so with him as the inspiration I have created Forget Me Not Cards, greeting cards for people with dementia to send and receive. Hopefully you will find our cards funny, modern and thoughtful to help you share the important times.
10p from the sale of every card will be donated to these charities in the fight against dementia.