What would you tell them...if you couldn't speak later?
Kevin wished he had captured many elements of his Brother Bill's perspective to share with Bill's kids. Those children, all late teenagers and young adults when their 53-year-old Dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, were stunned to learn of the diagnosis. The timing seems particularly cruel, occurring when, typically, relationships between young people and their parents reach a point of equilibrium and they have the opportunity to discuss the topics of life as relative equals.
Kevin, Bill's younger brother, had not understood the speed with which the disease would move. Looking back, he wished he'd captured important pieces of Bill's personality for his kids; his views on leadership and politics, work, his happiness for them, what he recognized as their individual strengths, or even those more mundane topics such as his favorite movie or favorite food. What Kevin would most like to share would be Bill’s fondest memory of each of his children - all thoughts he certainly still has - even now, but which have been locked away.
Bill's adult life was spent building a career, raising a strong family, and preparing for retirement. Like many parents, the sight of your children maturing is a sight to behold, and a chance to get to know them as adults, to debate interesting topics, share views and more fully understand each other on a different level. Unfortunately, Bill no longer has that ability and, Kevin didn’t expect how quickly he would lose the opportunity to build a resource that would provide comfort and direction for Bill’s children and family for years into the future.
Kevin Hill is the founder of GabrielsVault. His brother Bill was diagnosed in 2012.