I came to know Eddy and Dada through a facebook group called Memory People. It is an online support network, started by Rick Phelps. Its a place where anyone who has memory issues, works with someone with memory issues, is a caregiver, is a former caregiver, or is otherwise interested in dementias and memory disorders can come together in a support group consisting of thousands of people from all around the world. What is discussed there is private, meaning that only other people in the group can see what is written and respond. It’s also a great source of support, where we can ask questions, share knowledge, and be understood by others who have been/are in a similar situation.
Eddy would post videos of his conversations with his father, whom is lovingly called Dada. It is easy to tell that both of these gentlemen have big personalities. I have been following Dada for the past few months, and also follow him on his own facebook page (Conversations with Dad).
These videos help to make dementia real. A face is put on it. A name is put on it. A voice is given to it. Dada probably doesn’t realize the influence he is having on the world. That a woman in Denmark can be watching a video of him taking a walk in the United States, laugh with him, cry for him, and think about him and how he is doing. It’s amazing and moving that people all over the world are getting to know this wonderful man.
I think that what Eddy is doing is wonderful. He is sharing his caregiving journey with us, he is sharing his father’s life with us, he is sharing himself with us. And when people honestly share like this, it is touching and it is powerful enough to change the world.
If you get a chance, I highly recommend to check out Eddy’s page and get to know he and Dada.
UPDATE: I am sorry to inform you that Dada aka Captain Jack passed away on February 24, 2015. There are still the posts, pictures, and the great videos on the facebook site if you want to like the page and check them out. I still recommend it, Dada has a lot to teach us and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Eddy, the son who has been documenting and sharing Dada with us, is in my thoughts and I still find myself thinking about them almost daily. I wonder if he knows the gift he has shared with the world.