B-17 Bomber during the first big raid on Germany by the U.S. 8th Air Force. The raid destroyed most of the Marienburg Focke-Wulf aircraft factory. World War 2. October 9, 1943

050317-F-1234P-002This is an article I wrote for CNN iReports this morning. I think of all the people I have cared for or assisted, this particular family was the most difficult for me to watch as things unraveled in the mind of the husband/father of the family. It is not a cheerful ending. Alzheimer’s does not give much in the way of cheerful endings. But I learned a lot about the effect of the disease on a family and how it affected the people in a family. It was exceptionally difficult for me as the man who succumbed to the disease was a very close friend before its onset. I still remember much of that period of time which came when I was also a new father having just had a daughter born to my wife and I. My daughter would never know the man who actually blessed us with many things before his life changed for the worse. It made it doubly hard as this very brilliant and generous man slid away from us all. Especially difficult was the days when I realized he no longer saw me, but saw an officer who he served under many years before. His memory of David Waterman was gone, and had been replaced with the memory of a long since deceased World War II serviceman and officer in the Air Corp. Once that memory of me faded, our friendship was forever changed and had effectively become one way. I don’t know how to even put into words what that felt like. But I wish to not do it often, if ever again.


Impossible to Defeat, Relentless Enemy

Written by David Waterman
I am a spousal caregiver. I have had a lot of serious accidents in dangerous construction jobs. My recovery has not always been smooth but I did learn how my wife feels when she is bed bound for long periods. With similar experiences in our past I have a better understanding of what she needs to be comfortable. I also spent years involved in Christian ministry and the principles of Christianity apply so well to this life I lead now and give much needed stability when all other things are so often in the air.

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