After spending years touring with his dad and watching him slowly disappear from the effects of Alzheimer’s, one of Glen Campbell‘s closest children has poured his heart out in a blog post that hopes to bring people in similar situations some comfort and guidance as they deal with this terrible disease that is taking their loved one away.
Joining in his family’s effort to educate folks not familiar with Alzheimer’s and also bring comfort and support to those facing a battle against the diseases, like the one the Campbell family is enduring, Cal Campbell opened up in a recent blog post to his mother’s website, CareLiving.org.
In this emotional statement, Cal shares the instant heartbreak of finding out your parent has this terrifying disease – and the impactful realization that shortly follows.
“When your father is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, doctors give you a long and depressing list of things to expect,” He writes in the blog post. “He’ll forget your name and then, eventually, who you are entirely. There won’t be any more chats or heart-to-hearts or fatherly advice. He won’t tell (and retell) you funny stories of things that you said or did as a kid year after year. He won’t walk you down the aisle or spoil, or even know, his grandchildren – and you have to just accept this…”
Beyond the acceptance of the disease and its tortuous affects that will have an impact on every single loved one, there are other areas of concern – like how to care for your loved one, the vast number of new medical terms you need to learn, and also, he says, “one more thing: gifts.”
Although he’s not talking about actual, physical, gifts, Cal does mean unexpected gifts found inside treasured memories and traits passed on by your parent – even if your parent can’t remember them.
“…as I strummed a chord and opened my mouth to sing, the gift appeared before me,” Cal confessed. “The room suddenly filled and echoed with gifts, with memories, with familiar sounds and tones of home. My father’s gift is inside of me and presents itself every time I sing a note with the same inflections as he would have, or in the same range or style. Even the enjoyment of music itself is a gift that was clearly handed down, and one that is more valuable than anything for sale in any store.”
It’s clear that country music legend Glen Campbell has a large number of close people who care so deeply for him and having played music with his father since he was just a little one, Cal has a bond with his dad that can never be broken.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Campbell family as they fight this disease and bring hope, comfort, and support to the thousands of people dealing with a similar situation.
Watch the video below that shows Glen and Cal Campbell playing music together when Cal was just a little one.