Caring for my father through the ravages of Alzheimer’s

Sherie Posesorski as a child with her father, Irving, and mom Dora. (FAMILY PHOTO)

(Sherie Posesorski/ Special to the Toronto Star) — My father, Irving Posesorski, worked long hours as a spring assembler in a mattress factory. Every weeknight I would kneel on the living room couch, looking out the front window eagerly waiting for him to come walking up the street. At his first glimpse of me, he would wave. I would wave back, then dash to open the front door.

That shared look of loving recognition always made me feel truly seen and safe.

One busy Hanukkah/Christmas season while shopping at Honest Ed’s, I was ogling the toys I would buy if my parents had the money which they didn’t, and was about to tug on my father’s coat sleeve to show him the latest Chatty Cathy doll, when I noticed he wasn’t there. I panicked. Frantically, I looked around. I saw him and shouted out. He saw me and waved and pushed his way through the thick mass of shoppers to my side. He hugged me and I burst out crying, relieved to have him in hand but still feeling the fear of separation and loss.

When my father retired, my parents wintered in Fort Lauderdale. After my mother’s death, I went to visit. He planned to meet me at the airport. I searched the arrival area, but I couldn’t find him. The crowds thinned, but he wasn’t to be seen. I called him on his cell. Embarrassed, he mumbled an apology about getting lost en route. When he finally drove up, I assured him not to worry about it. But I did, though we never talked about it.

Back in Toronto a few months later, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. (…)

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