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Telling Stories

This month marks the 22nd anniversary of my dadís passing. Although many times I am comforted by still being able to hear his voice in my head, I have missed him every day. Everything we have done for and with family caregivers over these past eighteen years came about due to watching how lovingly my mom cared for him and my grandparents into their final days. I know Dad would have been right at home (and probably the center of attention) at our Fearless Caregiver Conferences.

Dad was a smart, funny and extremely outgoing guy who loved to tell stories; the kind of guy you can sit with and talk about any topic, well into the night. This is one reason why I constantly second guess my hesitance about sitting him in front of a video camera and letting him share himself with future generations of his family. I know why I didnít do it, but I am still conflicted.

You see, when my dad became ill and his strength waned to the point that he could no longer easily play with his young granddaughters, his greatest concern was that they would only remember him as the frail and infirm man he had become, not as the active and fun grandpa they had known during the first years of their lives. So I was hesitant to ask him to sit in front of a camera only to be remembered in his present condition.  Coincidently, when my grandfather was first diagnosed with Alzheimerís, he had similar concerns about his great-grandchildren. Yet, in both cases, they didnít have anything to worry about.  My nieces adored them and have fond memories of them to this date, so many years after their passing.

How my mom went from loving spouse, business and life partner to loving and supportive family caregiver was no easy feat, but so much of what she needed was found in the advice and stories of those caregivers who were also fearlessly caring for their own loved ones and clients. That is why we are so extremely proud to sponsor the Fearless Caregiver Story Contest and encourage you to enter and vote for your favorite.

And you know, I have a feeling Dad would really love to hear the many stories being shared.

Share your story and even win cash and prizes.


Gary Barg

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