Imagining

My father was a military man.  He was an athlete, an artist, a music lover, a charming smart-ass who always had a clever retort.  He was a 6’6″ giant and there was nothing scarier than his tennis racket sized hands, though he rarely had to lift them to make my brother and I behave.  He seemed to literally be the “Big Man On Campus” on our small Air Force Base.  As kids, we couldn’t go anywhere without someone recognizing him and wanting to talk for a few minutes.

When I was 9, my little league team was the Cubs, we were in 1st place.  We were playing the Pirates, they were in last place.  It wasn’t hard to tell why, their coach was negative and aggressive, yelling at players and taunting the other team.  I was at bat and he was screaming at the pitcher “C’MON SON PUT IT DOWN THE MIDDLE, THEY’VE GOT NO HITTERS, NO HITTERS ON THEIR TEAM!”  The next pitch I roped the ball straight off the center field fence.  As I trotted down first base I looked at the coach and said “No hitters huh?”  It turned into a standup triple and, as I settled on the base proud of my early attempt at shit talking, the coach yelled from the dugout, “BOY IF YOU EVER TALK TO ME LIKE THAT AGAIN I’M GOING TO STOMP YOU.”

In a purely instinctual reaction my dad flew off the bleachers near 3rd base, ran around the backstop, stepped over the waist high fencing on the side of their dugout (a normal sized man would’ve had to hop over it), grabbed the coach by his collar, looked down from his huge height advantage and bellowed “WHO YOU GONNA STOMP NOW?!?!”  I was scared for the coach because I’d felt the wrath of those tennis racket sized hands before.  At the same time I’d never understood how much he cared until I saw him react that way.

In 2009, a few days after his 55th birthday, my father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  An elongated conversation with the charming man I remember from my childhood has been reduced to a chain of repeated questions or sentiments.  In a long car ride, he’ll turn around every 2 minutes or so to make sure my mom is still in the backseat.  Even still, if you weren’t told you might not know.  The remnants of his clever charm have created great defense mechanisms when told he’s repeating himself [i.e. "I KNOW I just said I haven't been on this road in a long time…but it's been a REALLY long time"].  It’s not like you see on the movies.  He’s not old and gray.  He’s not a happy-go-lucky mindless punchline.  He’s not a walking zombie wondering “who are all these strange people.”  He’s there.  He’s just losing his grasp of “there” slowly, day by day.

The meds helped at first.  They seemed to bring some life back to him, seemed to slow his decline.  After 3 years, I think they do more for my mom’s sanity than his health.  She’s been amazing throughout the ordeal: caring for him daily, keeping him on schedule, writing everything down, researching realistic plans for his care in the future, being a breadwinner, homemaker, and caretaker.  I often wish I were more prepared to help.  I never thought I would be dealing with a parent’s health decline before I had children of my own.

This song is about his disease, and how I’m trying to cope.  This song was hard to write.  This song is hard to show people.  I’m scared it could be misconstrued as using my father’s pain for art.  I’ve pondered how unfair it is that I have a platform to vent about our past, and he doesn’t.  I worry greatly about how he’ll feel if he hears it.  I don’t want it to be seen as a cry for pity.  The worst response when I tell someone my father has Alzheimer’s is “I’m sorry.”

 I hope this song raises awareness about a disease that will be cured.  My family and I felt some sort of stigma when we got my father’s diagnosis.  We’ve felt alone, I know we’re not.  Over half a million Americans younger than 65 suffer from some sort of dementia.  My father is one of them, some of you reading might know another.  I hope that some of you will be inspired to donate to The Alzheimer’s Association or Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.  Great strides are being taken to cure this disease.

 My father visited Los Angeles last Christmas.  My brother, Steven, bought us tickets to see Bob Seger at Staples Center.  My dad loves Seger, but I noticed him looking around in awe at our surroundings almost as much as he payed attention to the music.  There was a man behind us, in his late 40′s, drunk and loud.  He kept yelling things aimed at Seger, but my father kept looking back with a puzzled face.  I could tell it would eventually turn into trouble.

 I said “Dad, stop looking back at that guy, he’s going to think something’s up.”

 He told me innocently “Oh, I thought he was talking to me for some reason.”

 Eventually the guy behind us yelled again.  My dad looked back again.  The guy said “Is there a problem buddy?”  I grabbed my dad’s arm to turn him around, leaned behind him, grabbed the drunk guy by the back of the neck in a firm, but non-threatening way and said “Look…my dad gets confused, he thinks you’re talking to him, he means nothing by it.  Leave it alone.”  He didn’t yell for the rest of the show.

 My father didn’t notice how the situation was handled.  At this point he doesn’t remember that we went to see Seger.  But I think the man that stood up for me as a 9 year old would appreciate the reciprocation.

-Lee

10/18/2012

About these ads

155 thoughts on “Imagining

  1. kingkili@gmx.de says:

    My family has been dealing with Altzheimer for a long time , too. Your song and this story are very inspirational. I wish your family the best!

  2. Komatose says:

    The last sentence… fuck… touch a brothers heart. Great read and a great homage.

  3. seb says:

    this song is soo touching it really shows just how much you care for him…truly an amazing song man,soo much respect

  4. Anon says:

    Fuck, I never cry while reading sentimental stories but this was really touching. Alzheimer seems like a real bitch. I really appreciate you and your music. This song was something else, you just took it up a big fucking notch. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

    Oh and that last sentence man..

  5. Matthew says:

    I have so much respect for you and your music… I want to say “I really hope you become wealthy and tons of people appreciate your music” but the truth is, I don’t think majority will appreciate your music in the same way I do… or many others of us do, I truly put you as my favorite artist at this moment, maybe because your name is intuition.. or because you create word puzzles unlike any other, or because you can bring rhythm to any beat… regardless, keep doing what you’re doing. I’ve never been to a concert, but one day when i get the chance.. i’ll come to yours. You deserve it, and so do i.

  6. [...] I suggest giving his blog a read too!! HERE [...]

  7. SWEB says:

    Feel for brother, I respect you a lot!! this is some deep shit.
    Ill do my best to aware my followers on this!!
    http://swebsmusic.com/2012/10/19/what-is-sweb-listening-to-intuition-equalibrum/

  8. Alyssa says:

    Very powerful, thank you for sharing your story

  9. Joe Davidge says:

    i dont know what its like to be in your shoes, but i know how hard the world is when your family ties are at stake, your my biggest influence on being real and straight up with my writing. sometimes when i spit something i wrote, i feel like i should scrap it and hide it from the world because showing the world how i feel would make me feel vulnerable, so props to you spittin your heart out in this dishonest world, your biggest fan – Joe Davidge

  10. Rob says:

    Man this fucked me up.

  11. [...] of the back story of this single, make sure to give Intuition’s blog a visit by clicking here. The music video for “Imagining” is directed, shot, and edited by Kyle Gray, check it [...]

  12. Jesse says:

    Thanks for the art. Been playing Make Better a few times a day since you released it, and now this. I’ll be at your next Seattle show, know that.

  13. nick cook says:

    i dont see it as a want for pity but more like a way to help others either learn about these things or as a way to help others cope with similar things. everything you put up is amazing art and i respect it a lot. i will be listening to this music until the day i die.

  14. [...] his father being diagnosed of the early stages of alzheimer’s disease. Read the back story here and donate to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America if you feel so inclined to help end this [...]

  15. [...] deal with the reality of Alzheimer’s. In Intuition’s case, it’s his own father(Read his story here).I personally had a family member who had Alzhiemer’s, and I know how it effects people, so [...]

  16. mmbls says:

    heavy. that last line hits home. i’m donating. thanks lee.

  17. Brian says:

    I still remember when my grandmother died of Alzheimer’s when I was in high school. It really messed me up; I still think about it to this day. Thank you for writing this song.

  18. Sam says:

    this is gorgeous

  19. Siobhan says:

    I unfortunately know your sorrows. My mother was diagnosed at 53 with early onset Alzheimer’s, and is currently in the last stage. I wish I had an outlet, like you do with your music. It’s a great song, and your story brought all too familiar tears to my eyes. Good luck, it’s the toughest fight your family and father will ever deal with.

  20. MissMyMom says:

    Almost too real for me. Alzheimer’s is a mean old bitch of a disease. It steals our memories of them almost as much as it steals their memories of us. I look in my mother’s eyes and I know she doesn’t recognize me, but I can’t see her in there anymore either.

  21. My grandfather died of Alzheimers. I have a weak sense of smell so this news made me more hopeful. In case you haven’t heard:
    http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=1741

  22. Jade says:

    This touched me so much. I recently lost my father to cancer, and it just made me remember how wonderful a man he was and how hard it is to lose a parent. I feel for you. This is such a beautiful story and you are so lucky and blessed to still see him. Appreciate it. Call him everyday. Take pictures. Hug him. Even if he doesn’t recognize you, do it for yourself, for those memories.

  23. Cory says:

    I can’t imagine going through this. You’re handling with class and creativity. I’m glad you released the song and wish you all the best.

  24. Laura says:

    Thank you for creating this. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago at the age of 56. This shit sucks. It is both comforting and devastating to hear a similar story. I’m participating in my local Walk to End Alzheimer’s tomorrow morning and this video gave me an extra boost of strength as I mentally prepare.

  25. Shirin Zakerion says:

    Moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing. <3

  26. Heard says:

    I lost my father to Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia when he was 59.

    I wish I had something prophetic or uplifting to say… but there isn’t. The harsh reality is that we have been dealt a shitty hand and sometimes there’s nothing we can do.

    Just do your best to remember the good times.

  27. sderenne says:

    Man this shit is hard isn’t it? It’s my mom not my Dad but it sucks so bad.

  28. [...] early onset Alzheimer's. If you would like to read more of the backstory, feel free to visit http://itsintuition.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/imagining/ ‎ Lyrics by Intuition Beat and Audio Production by Equalibrum Video by Kyle Gray Visuals If you [...]

  29. steve hawm says:

    One of my best friends that I consider my sister, her mother is starting to show signs of alzheimers. This song really hit home. Definitely will share this to her

  30. C. F. says:

    I had never heard your music before — just came across your page and read your story, and it really touched me. Then I hit play, and what do you know? I heard a sample of one of my favorite songs, “17″. That song has meant a lot to me since I first heard it, because of its chorus: “…my mother said to me, don’t stop imagining; the day that you do is the day that you die.” See, my mom’s the complete opposite. To make a long story short, we’ve never had a good relationship. There’s been a great deal of tension between us for as long as I can remember. It’s always felt as though she didn’t really consider me her daughter. Any time I dared to use my imagination, she’d tell me to drop it, that my dreams were childish, or stupid, or too great for someone like me to achieve. And every night I’d lie awake, wishing I had a mother who believed I could do anything, a mother who would encourage me to use my imagination, a mother who was proud of me — instead of the one I had. But she’s getting older now, and she’s starting to show signs of dementia, and all I can think is that I don’t care how bad it used to be; I just wish it could go back to the way it was. So hearing those opening notes all of that turmoil came flooding back, and then I got to hear your beautiful words. Your lyrics speak to me so much. I hear your voice as you tell your story, and it’s like you’re sitting on the couch across from me, speaking your poetry, spilling your emotions. I just want to thank you for making me think and feel so many things tonight. I’ve been angry; I’ve felt powerless. But tonight what I feel is how much I really do love my mother, and I can’t believe I didn’t realize it until it was far too late. Anyway, thanks again. You can count me as one of your newest fans. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for your music. I think it’s time for me to call my mom now. Better late than never, right?

  31. This is the first time I have listened through this style of song because it had feeling and heart and something compelling I cannot put to words. I felt like I was right there. Keep strong bro.

  32. Esteban says:

    This song showed me that I can’t take my own dad for granted. He’s not always gonna be there, so I should just appreciate him as much as I can. I love your music dude, keep making it and I’ll keep listening.

  33. Justin Aboloff says:

    Hey man this song hits really close to home. My Dad was diagnosed with what is either Early Onset Alzheimers or some other form of dementia a little over 2 and a half years ago in my senior year of high school. I’m now in my 3rd year of college and still struggling every day with practically everything you mentioned in your song. It’s so hard being able to find someone to relate to but I know I’m not alone after listening. Thanks so much for this awesome track.

  34. Tom Butcher says:

    Thank you for putting these words together.

  35. Dr. Manhattan says:

    Intuition,

    Lost my grandma almost a year ago after watching her decay for 10 years. Since she raised me, it felt like I lost my mother. I can’t remember the last time a rap song struck a chord inside me as hard as yours did. You’re an awesome artist and the elegant way in which you sincerely encapsulated so much of the pain really blows me away. You’re an amazing person; I carry this weight on my shoulders all day and would never have the courage to express it the way you do. I hate Alzheimer’s so much that I am actually working towards doing scientific research on it for a living. I want to help destroy it. For you, for your dad, for my grandma, for me, and for every other person who has ever had to deal with this shit. But honestly after my grandma passed, I’ve just been in such a depressive lull in my life. I’m still “trudging through the mud” of life, and your song is helping me stay motivated more than you can imagine (hell, i’ve been listening to it on “repeat” for like 2 hours while doing some brain research). I don’t know if you read these posts personally, but keep doing what you’re doing! It’s awesome that there are still rappers like you who aren’t afraid to bring sincerity to their rhymes. Thanks!

    a fan

  36. I live in an entirely different country in entirely different circumstances, but I just wanted to say you made me think about mortality, and how important it is to always keep love in mind when dealing with the people I care about the most. Thank you. :)

    Also… *Big hugs for you and your dad*

  37. Intuition says:

    I want all of you to know that I’m personally reading and approving every comment. They are so moving and appreciated. I’m happy we can all be here for eachother. You lose sight of how many people are affected by this when you keep things trapped in your own head. Thanks to all of you.

    -Lee

  38. Fucking epic brother, your losing your dad but filling our world with his memories. Much love, peace – Tommy from Scotland.

  39. pyw says:

    I lost both my parents at age 12 and moved in with my grandparents. 2 years later, my grandmother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. That disease has caused me so much pain, anger and regret. It has been 10 years, and I have still not completely come to terms with how I handled it at the time. This song really hit close to home. I have played it over and over tonight, and you have no idea how cathartic it has been. Thanks for the tears.

  40. George Marselis says:

    Dude, there is a growing body of evidence that Alzheimer’s is a type of diabetes. google “Alzheimer’s type III diabetes “. There is articles in the Guardian newspaper about this.

    There is an an overall suggestion that Alzheimer’s has to do with way the insulin receptors in blood cells are not quite what they should be. I am not a doctor, but I work in the bioinformatics field. If I was you, I would look up several clinical doctors on the subject; this is (relatively) bleeding edge stuff, so your GP or whoever treats your father, may not have heard about this.

  41. Jared says:

    Thank you for the song and for sharing so openly about this. Right before my friend sent me the link to the song I had been reading about a WW2 veteran who just died last week. After his cremation his family was handed a bag with 6 ounces of shrapnel that had been in his leg, that he had carried around inside of him for 60 years, and that he had told his family was just a “bullet.” I admire these great men so much, hey carry huge weights around long after their service has ended. They give me a reason to be as good a man as I can. Cannabis has been demonstrated to help curb the effects of Alzheimer’s, there are links to studies on google. Bless you and yours.

  42. Dan says:

    I feel for you….my grandfather suffers from dementia, i know writing a song like this cant be easy but i’m glad you found the words.

  43. As a 13 y.o. struggling with the average difficulties of middle school in the 90′s, my world was blown apart when my father suffered a work-related brain injury. I lost so many things in my life after that; faith, stability, understanding, purpose…. I was the first born child of a Japanese immigrant adopted by an American step-father, who married a German blond-haired, green-eyed babe. Perhaps because I was first-born, perhaps because my siblings were 3 & 4 years younger, because I looked so much like my father, Asian complected; my father and I were extremely close. He hung the moon and stars. My tastes in music, people, work ethic, my life’s philosophies and ideals all stem from the quiet teachings and examples of my father. The broken emptiness I felt searching his face when he did not recognize me….nor I him….I have never felt so close to that as I did listening to Imagining. I am lucky. After over a decade, time and intensive therapy have given my father back to my family and myself. Never have children held more esteemed reverence for a parent than do my sister, brother and I do. He is a amazing man, and was a wonderful father, and continues to be a beacon of everything a father should be. You father sounds like an amazing man as well, he certainly left a mark and helped to shape such a poignant man. All of life is a transition from one state of being to another, I wish peace in this transition for all of your loved ones. Thank you for evoking emotions long lost, but never forgotten.

  44. Theresa says:

    I went through the nightmare of this disease with my own dad. I can’t describe it in any other way than a total nightmare. My dad was a blacksmith, and he made beautiful works of art with metal, and also wonderful mechanical inventions, played the guitar, did so many things. He was my rock and taught me so much in so many ways, and the hardest part of this disease was watching it steal my beautiful dad from me, bit by bit. I helped my mother take care of him until we had to put him into hospice. He hadn’t recognized anyone for a while at that point. One late night I was sitting with him, and he had a moment of recognition. He looked at me and called me by the nickname he had given me when I was a baby. I’ll always hold on to that moment. Please know you’re not alone in fighting this scourge. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  45. [...] This song and music video is a treasure on many regards seeing as how personal these lyrics are to reflect, write, and share with the public. The music video draws a lot of visual parallels between Intuition and his father almost suggesting a personal future concern and weaves in baseball references that stem from a particular memory that Intuition talks about here. [...]

  46. Egill says:

    Having lost someone close to Alzheimer, reading your post and listening to your song was extremely moving and inspirational. Thank you.

  47. Shelton says:

    Hits pretty close to home for me and my family. You tell it like it is. Passion and flow. Perfect.

  48. I probably never heard your music before, but one of my students posted this on FB, and I listened to it. It was beautiful and touched me deeply. I will keep your family in my prayers.

  49. I love how you’ve mixed the positive message “don’t stop imagining” with the harsh realities of your father’s experience with Alzheimer’s. This disease affects not only the individual who has it, but everyone who cares about him/her. I am especially interested in what you have to say about the stigma associated with the disease. I’ve been facilitating storytelling workshops in the memory care unit of a nursing home for about two years now, and I believe that sharing their stories (which I describe as Salvador Dali meets Dr. Seuss) is one way in which that stigma can be eliminated. If the general public can hear the voice of the people who have the disease, then the general public might stop thinking of them as “former” people who aren’t “there” any more. Please take the time to check out my website. I am not just talking the talk, but taking action by starting a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing the creative work of people with Alzheimer’s. The Kickstarter campaign is Nov. 1-30. Any exposure you can send our way would be greatly appreciated. May I have permission to post your video on the Alzheimer Chronicles website? Thanks for making this video. And one more thing, you write, “I have a platform to vent about our past, and he doesn’t…” Do you want to do something about that? You’d be surprised how the personal feelings (nostalgia, regret, and the like) show up in the storyteller’s characters and plotlines. I hope and pray that you see this message.

  50. Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and your gift of music. It moved me to tears.

    I’m wondering if you’ve done any research on the benefits of adding coconut oil to your dad’s daily diet? While researching the benefits of coconut oil for hair and skin (it will do wonders for both!), i came across several references on it’s impact on people with Alzheimer’s. One article in particular was written by Dr. Newport, a biochemist, whose husband was diagnosed with the disease. While researching the various drugs that were in the clinical trial stage at that time, she noted that one drug that was showing a lot of promise in the trials was composed of an oil containing medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which is the same type of fat found in coconut oil (and breast milk). (the vast majority of the fat we consume through eating meat, cheeses, dairy, etc is comprised of long chain triglycerides).

    When her husband failed to qualify for two clinical trials b/c his condition was deemed to severe, she became desperate. She figured she had nothing left to lose by trying to incorporate coconut oil into her husband’s diet. Since both coconut oil and the drug that was showing promise in trials (I can’t recall the name) consisted of medium chain triglycerides, she hoped the MCTs were, in fact, the key ingredient and could benefit her husband. Long story short, it’s made a world of a difference for her husband. Very noticeable improvements in his memory and mood confirmed by the standard “Clock Drawing” test. The article is available here: http://www.coconutoil.com/AlzheimersDiseaseDrMaryNewport.pdf

    Some of the most recent research on the benefits of using coconut oil has come from people suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease, with reports of people improving (in some cases drastically) by using coconut oil and/or drug treatments with MCTs as an ingredient. Unfortunately, most of the research on coconut oil specifically is all anecdotal b/c there hasn’t been any rigorous, large-scale research yet.

    The lack of scientific interest could largely be attributed to the fact that MCTs are extremely cheap, plentiful, and you can’t place a patent on them — which provides no incentive to the pharmaceutical companies to provide the funding needed for massive and extensive studies.

    Perhaps your dad could be one of the lucky ones who benefits from using coconut oil. Not all will, but there are MANY out there who have. i’ve compiled a little bit of research on coconut oil that i would be happy to share with you if you want it (just email me). Please note though, I am not an MD nor do I have a family member or any one close to me dealing with the disease.

    Wishing you all the best.

  51. Intuition says:

    @alzheimerchronicles please feel free to email me. itsintuition at gmail dot com.

  52. Jen says:

    This hit so close to home. It seems that so few people understand… their view of Alzheimer’s is from the movies, or from watching their great aunt twice-removed suffer from it. It’s different when it’s a parent. My father was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s when I was 12 years old. I am now 27, and he is bedridden. In some ways it’s better… his confusion led to a lot of anger as the disease progressed. But in other ways, it’s so final and I feel like I’ve been watching him die endlessly. My mother is losing her partner and love of her life. It’s agony.

    Your song hit me the hardest when you expressed your anger and frustration at the disease, at the shitty ass deck that was handed to your father, you, and your family. Thank you for expressing so perfectly and eloquently what it feels like.

  53. Daniel says:

    ive grown up on hip hop my whole life. and yet still your songs stir something in me that most artists can never do. PLEASE dont stop making music

  54. ucuento88 says:

    Alzheimer’s deifinetely needs a miracle cure , the sadest part about this disease is that you forget the life that you have lived and go away with nothing.I cant imagine what it must be like but I sincerely felt your feelings thrut his post and I must say your handling it very bravely.

  55. Amazing song, I love it! Don’t stop making music. And also an inspiring written piece. A member of my family is going through the disease & this moved me to tears, it’s so relatable and inspiring. Keep on making music please.

  56. I can very much relate. I didn’t deal with Alzheimer’s but with what happened to my father, it was practically the same. There were a lot of challenges that came when he suffered a mild stroke back in 1996. Though that did not leave him paralyzed, it caused a lasting short-term memory loss up until he died last May due to diabetes and renal problems. My mother who had suffered from diabetes and various health problems since I was a kid had her second mild stroke last March that rendered her practically bed-ridden at first, then totally bed-ridden. Every month, I had to rush her to the hospital. When my father died, she suddenly changed and suffered from a sort of dementia. I lost her last July…I had written something about my father before, but because I lost both parents, I thought it was more fitting and proper to write something about them both, even just a little tribute that I posted recently. Someday, when I am less affected already, I will write a song or a poem as well…Thank you so much for sharing!

  57. nicky301 says:

    I feel you, brother…my wife and I were the caregivers for my grandma when she was diagnosed with late-stage Alzheimer’s; from here she went to the home, and then passed away pretty quickly…so she was spared a long lingering death. Now my dad is exhibiting the early signs and he won’t talk about it or let me help him. I ‘m just waiting until he can’t stop me from taking care of him, because that will be the point that he can’t do it himself anymore.
    I was especially moved by the memories you brought up – I remember all the times Dad was there for me, and now it’s my turn. I pray I can be half the man he was.

  58. Honestly, my first impulse would be to say “I’m sorry” too. Same as if you told me your father had cancer. This is very sad. It’s sad to watch someone you love “decline” in certain ways (I know, I have seen it in my own way with my loved one.)
    Your song is awesome. I’m not much into rap, but this is very well done and touching! As to it being seen as “a cry for pity,” I wouldn’t worry about that. You have an EXCELLENT outlet to work through your emotions, why wouldn’t you use it? Bless you guys…

  59. amelie88 says:

    My grandmother had dementia and she passed away a little over a year ago. I don’t exactly remember her without dementia because it seems like she just always had it while I was growing up. I never really got to know my “real” grandmother. It was hard on everyone in the family, but most of all on my grandfather who retained his mental faculties until he died (which was before my grandmother). At the end, she was in a nursing home stuck in a wheelchair with one of her legs amputated below the knee due to poor blood circulation in her foot. Alzheimer’s and dementia are horrible diseases but your family is definitely not alone.

  60. littlesundog says:

    What a well-written, poignant post. I look forward to following you, my friend. I greatly admire your presence and courage.

  61. I enjoyed listening to the legacy you have written for your father. Hang on to the good memories…thanks for sharing them in your story.

  62. The last line touched me. That’s all I’m capable of saying right now.
    Totally speechless.

    Congrats on your Freshly Pressed, and I sincerely hope that the pain of it gets easier… Because I know it won’t be okay, so I won’t bother saying it.

  63. logan607 says:

    My dad doesn’t have Alzheimer but a grandfather does. It’s a vicious thing in that you see the person you knew there but you don’t actually have that person.

    As for the guy that yelled, I hoping that maybe he understood – after you spoke with him – what was actually going on. I’d like to think that people have some basic decency to them. I’m disappointed a lot but I still like to think that.

  64. worldwithin says:

    Wow.
    My dad has early onset Alzheimer’s as well.

    Your song really hit me hard. Its exactly how I feel. I really love it keep up the good work. Its about time someone writes a song about what so many of us are dealing with.

    Im so angry all the time about this but hearing your song makes me feel finally like someone else is with me.

  65. that was really special. i can’t imagine what you’re going through, but glad you have a creative outlet to express it all.

  66. Tom Gething says:

    Your compassion and concern show throughout this difficult piece. Thanks for sharing it and reminding us all of what matters–health and love.

  67. Nothing I say here is going to do justice to what you have created. Thank you. Your words give a voice to feelings my family struggled with once and to feelings that we are unfortunately facing again. A million times, thank you.

  68. segmation says:

    Altzheimer is a horrible thing. I hope they find a cure for this. Do you think that will happen in our lifetime?

  69. brendaloveladyvideography says:

    As a nurse, I understand the complexities situations can bring to the surface. I applaud you for preserving his quality of life, especially dignity and respect.

  70. TrishaDM says:

    Awesome post and the song is great, very clever and it is great you have such an outlet.
    Alzheimer’s is a tough disease, but like you said he is there.
    You song really spoke to me. I have a number of relatives in my family with Alzheimer’s and it is tough.
    It sounds like you have some great memories of your Dad from your childhood and it sounds like the values he instilled in you as a child will help both of you and the rest of your family as time goes on.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  71. thorsaurus says:

    I don’t think you are using your pain as art, I think your music is painted by your pain, and that brings greater understanding to all of us. Well done.

  72. Very moving song….
    My dad died of complications from Alzheimer’s over a year ago, in July 2011.
    He had 9 children and in the end, he didn’t remember any of us.
    But…I certainly remember him.
    http://storieswithnobooks.com/2012/07/31/love-is-stronger-than-alzheimers-disease/

  73. gatorcote says:

    Very touching story. I just became a father but didn’t have an example of one. I hope that my son will care for me the same you care for your dad. Thank you for sharing.

  74. Angie Slano says:

    i didn’t think id ever say… i cried during an Intuition song, but the first time i heard this song, it hit home for me. and i bawled my eyes out. my grandma had Alzheimer and during the last of her days she didn’t know who i was, this song is so touching and beautiful, its just so good.

  75. Elliot Gomm says:

    Reblogged this on Featuring and commented:
    A touching story of an illness that has effected my family, expressed beautifully.

  76. Val Larson says:

    My mom also had Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Here is a poem I wrote as her disease progressed:

    Alzheimer’s

    A mason Jar filled
    with alphabet letters

    Letters to form thousands of words
    Sentences and phrases

    Words of love
    Compassion and joy

    Words of encouragement
    Wisdom, and values

    Letters plucked from the jar
    Strewn on the table

    No more feelings, no more meanings
    No more stories to share

    Just mumble jumble
    An empty jar.

    Val.
    01/2006

    Let’s find a CURE!!
    RIP Audrey Reiners

  77. Wow, you really told your dad’s story in a beautiful way. Seriously, beautiful.

  78. Touching! My mother had it and my father tried to care for her, but his health and her mind prevented him as she did not know him. It was horrible that this man who loved her since 1937 was forgotten. Good luck in your journey. Mom passed in 1998 never again recognizing him.

  79. Peaches says:

    This really touched me.

  80. [...] You can read more about Intuition’s father’s struggle and how it has affected him here. [...]

  81. This is really amazing. The post, the song, the video.
    Art is an expression of our self. This video does not exploit your father in any way, rather I think that it aptly expresses the experience that you are both going through right now.
    The cinematography in this is simply remarkable.

  82. mikafry says:

    This is a beautifully written piece. Thanks for sharing your story.

  83. The Old Wolf says:

    My own mother ended her long journey into darkness last year at the age of 94. It was difficult, as anyone who has experienced this will know. This is a beautiful piece, worthy of Freshly Pressed, and in no way exploitative of your father’s distress. Superb job.

  84. afranco9 says:

    Eloquently put and truly heart-felt. My grandfather recently died due to Alzheimer’s Disease-related causes, and this really hit home with me. Thanks for sharing.

  85. Grace Cadenilla says:

    This was beautifully written. I’m a daddy’s girl and I could only imagine how difficult this is for you. This is that one event in a person’s life where you totally have no control over. Your story’s beautiful.

  86. Steph says:

    My grandmother has severe onset Alzheimer’s. I live with her so I see it first hand, I deal with it everyday…. I’m afraid that i’ll be that way when I get older. This really moved me….

  87. My maternal grandfather, and my maternal great-aunt died from Alzheimer’s. I know what it’s like, and I how you feel. The cure needs to needs to be found.

  88. This story was really poignant. Thank you for writing it.

    Oh and I love your comment box. Congrats on FP!

  89. Nirmal Vs says:

    Reblogged this on Grasshopper Diaries and commented:
    Beautiful.

  90. Nirmal Vs says:

    The beauty of it is eclipsed by the inspiration it instills brother :) Speechless. Im incapable of not reblogging. Thanks for sharing it.

  91. Jae says:

    My grandfathers from both side of the family had Alzheimer’s disease. I’d say we were lucky to have been “briefed” early on before things got worse. One of them, my Mom’s father, lived with us in the last three years of his life. We never took it a burden even when he’s like 10-second Tom from 50 First Dates. We embraced his condition to his last breath.

  92. My computer won’t load your song, but I loved your writing. All the best xx

  93. followechoes says:

    Powerful post. My Dad had a brain hemorraghe a few years ago and his memory has not been the same since He is always forgetting things and gets peoples names wrong all the time. Today I had to remind him he had a doctors appointment as he couldn’t remember making it. Thanks for sharing.

  94. Love it. My grandma has alzheimer’s and it’s terrible. Just eats away at me. Thanks for sharing! :)

  95. Sarah says:

    This has to be the loveliest post I have read in a long time, thanks for sharing it. I have no experience with Alzheimer’s, but my Dad got seriously ill when I was a teenager, and it really changes the way you see things. As I said, I have no personal experience of Alzheimer’s, so thank you for the education beyond what I know from the media :)

  96. lsurrett2 says:

    I actually really like your song, It’s honest, it’s real in a way that’s raw. Both my husband and I have had several family members who’ve had dementia and Alz (deceased and currently alive). It’s a tough row to hoe, regardless of how old they are. My dad’s 80 and I worry a lot about him developing a memory wipe. But if we don’t talk about it (or blog about it), then we won’t realize that others are also dealing with it as well. Kudos to your bravery.

  97. Thanks for sharing dude. Good luck…

  98. I know you said you don’t want people saying “sorry”, but I’m saying it. I truly am sorry that you have to go through this! It’s tough. My family has been affected by this disease and I’m sure it will continue, as it’s possibly hereditary. I will be praying for your dad and your entire family. And you’re right, you’re not alone! God bless!

  99. I feel ya. My dad was diagnosed at the age of 56 with Parkinson’s and now 26 years later I am his only care giver. I feel so blessed to have this honor. It is a trial though and if it were not for my blog I don’t know how I would cope.

  100. fireandair says:

    Don’t worry about the cry for pity thing. Crap’s sake, you have to say SOMETHING about it.

    • There really is nothing to say that will make a difference. It’s not a “cry for pity” in any way by anyone. It is an unfortunate part of the ebb and flow of life and death. I thought the song and the article were poignant and meaningful but the greatest compliment I can give is that he touched someone else going through the same shit by simply saying,”I feel ya.”

  101. Masala Chica says:

    Amazing post. Amazing writing. Your father sounds like he was an exceptional man. I don’t need to say sorry, because it’s not what you want, not what you want to hear. And I am glad to hear you still have him in your life and that he can and does function at such a high level. Your mother – wow – it must be tough for her.

    It’s funny how things in life come full circle like that. I am sure your dad would have been proud to know that like him, you will always have his back.
    Kiran

  102. jamieahughes says:

    I just wrote a post about this myself yesterday as we are dealing with my grandfather’s dementia. It is truly heartbreaking to see someone so bright, sweet, and servanthearted become so hollow and somehow…dim. But he cared for all of us, and we are more than happy to return the favor. Beautiful words and memories of the man you love; it was an honor to read about him.

  103. Connor Atkinson says:

    This made me bawl my eyes out. Thank you for sharing this art with us.

  104. socialbridge says:

    I just want to say ‘hello’ from Ireland. I have a pretty good idea what you’re talking about as my Dad had dementia. But like your father, he had a great big heart, sense of humour. love of sport and music. Right to the end, he wanted to be and was ‘Dad’ and he wanted to love and laugh, which he did. While there were some very, very tough times, I find myself smiling when I think of him now and I hope that you and your father can weather the storms with ever tightening bonds of love and laughter.

  105. Ana Phylaxis says:

    That last sentence was a doozy. I’ve seen the … nastiness that Alzheimer’s can bring and I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  106. Matt says:

    You can write, man. That was incredible. Thanks.

  107. iRuniBreathe says:

    This is a very moving post. What a gift that you are able to reciprocate the kindness and love to a man who was there for you as a 9 year old. Often we wish the circumstances could be better, but sometimes they are what they are so that these things can happen.
    Really enjoyed the song.
    Take good care.

  108. I work at a care home for people with dementia, and whilst you get tough from it, this really did speak out to me. Beautifully touching post! Much respect.

  109. I lost my dad to Lewey Body Dementia 3 years ago. It’s a spectacular (NOT!) combination of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Dementia. He was officially diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s portion in 2007. It was heartbreaking, although we’d suspected it for a few years already. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him. More power to you for bringing attention to this disease. I wish we could find a cure, or some way to slow it down. My dad didn’t last very long after being diagnosed… but it was heartbreaking watching him struggle with his memory. Simple words like “microwave” or “refrigerator” or “pine tree” would escape between his brain and his tongue, and he was so frustrated having the image in his head, but not be able to verbalize his thoughts. I can’t imagine what it is like to suffer from this disease as the patient and as the family for years and years. At least you know you’re not alone.

  110. R. says:

    “I never thought I would be dealing with a parent’s health decline before I had children of my own.”
    I think about this a lot. I really appreciate you sharing this—through your words and music. I hate that so many people are working through this too but I admit, it’s comforting to not feel so alone. So, thanks.

  111. [...] The video too is moving, but to truly understand what’s going on, I urge people to check out Intuitions blog, where he gives a heart-beaking backstory to it as well as a link to two Alzheimer’s [...]

  112. sam says:

    Stay up dog, i know how it is..

  113. Thanks for sharing your sweet story.

  114. hotelgoddess says:

    my mother has the final stages of Alzheimer’s. I have come to terms with it, my sisters have not. May it be a reminder of the days we have to tell the one’s we love, that we love them. xo

  115. Reblogged this on Someone Stole My Cookie… and commented:
    This is a deep video with much emotion. Take a look at it and read what Intuition has to say about it.

  116. shetraces says:

    Wow. I just took an exam on dementia (I’m studying to become a Speech therapist) and your song just made it come alive for me.

  117. Jill says:

    Finally – a song about Alzheimer’s. This disease is going to ravage our population and health care system in the next 25 years and does not receive the attention it needs. People don’t realize there is no cure – no one diagnosed with it ever gets better. There is no chemo, no remission, etc. My mother was diagnosed at age 52 with early onset Alzheimer’s. She moved from the moderate to severe category within the last year. Having to tie her shoes and cut up her food breaks my heart everytime I have to do it. Thank you for sharing your story.

  118. Thank you. I don’t know many people anymore not effected by the disease. Very moving post. If my grandmother could thank you for it, she would.

  119. [...] You can read more of Shaner’s backstory on Intuition, here [...]

  120. girlwonder77 says:

    This was beautiful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  121. Beautiful it is. Thanks for sharing. It definitely touched my heart!

  122. runtspickins says:

    My grandpa has Alzheimer’s too. He lives in another state and he’s already at that point that if he doesn’t see me everyday, he probably doesn’t know who I am anymore. I called on his birthday last year to wish him a happy one but Grandma wouldn’t pass the phone and told me that she would tell him that I called. I know she didn’t pass the one because she didn’t want me to get upset that he wouldn’t know who I am. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to click and read this post on Freshly Pressed because, well, I am a girl and girls cry about this kind of stuff. (=]) Anyway, forgive me for saying but I’m sorry about your dad. This is a really great post – I felt like I was at the concert and actually witnessed you standing up for your dad. Best of luck.

  123. Hello,
    AB sent me a link to this…. I had the honor of serving with your Dad in Alaska. All of the medics looked up to him and not just because we had to. Thank you for writing this.
    Susan

  124. Starr Marsett says:

    Lee, knowing your dad and understanding what you mean by a gaint of a man, not just his size is so true. I think we were at that baseball game. Were do your parents live now I would love to send a card to your mom. My email address is starrmarsett@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

  125. Juli Jackson says:

    Lee.. as someone who was there when you were growing up.. you’re right… Your dad was always easy to pick out of the crowd.. because of his height.. but always seemed like a teddy bear.. I lost my mom to breast cancer in 2003. I was 23. She was 50. I rode that same emotional rollercoaster… I was pissed off because it wasn’t fair. She was my best friend…and although she knew what was happening to her.. she didn’t talk about it.. and to me she was invincible.. so how was this happening?! One of the previous comments said to take pictures.. make memories.. write things down.. record his voice… I saw an old video a couple years back from (vhs) a Thanksgiving we spent out in good old North Pole. Mom was in it.. talking and laughing… And healthy.. and I hadn’t heard her voice in years. And the tears were flowing and I was thankful for that video. Hugs….

  126. i know exactly what your going through.. my grandfather has now had an onset of Alzheimer.. and he’s a doctor; so its doubly tough.. often we concentrate so much on the person dealing with it that we don’t see how much their partner is adjusting… I commend you for noticing it! It’s gonna get difficult but its ok. Im fully sure you’ll pull through! Best wishes to you and your family…

  127. [...] with his father’s struggle with early onset Alzheimer’s. For more on the backstory, check out his blog. Intuition’s words are profound and his imagery is vivid. With each verse, I could feel his [...]

  128. Carmon Upchurch says:

    My father was diagnosed in March of this year with moderate Progressive Alzheimer’s . Two months later he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This is truly the hardest thing my entire family has ever been thru. It is a very ugly curse . But I have to say this has been the one thing that has made my family the most strongest . We participated in our first Alzheimer’s walk last weekend as a family. What an amazing experience . I encourage all affected to participate . Please continue to raise awareness . I pray a cure will be found one day . Thank you for your voice .

  129. Kim says:

    Hi my dad has alzheimer’s as well. He was a minister and always looked after other people and now we look after him. He repeats the same questions over and over and I answer him as if it is the first time he has asked. Even though he doesn’t remember everyday things he calls me every day before I go to work and every night before I go to sleep. These are the things I will remember when he is gone. The hardest part is to watch this wonderful, dedicated human being deteriorating before my eyes and there is nothing in the world I can do to help him. My dad is and always has been my rock and I love him more than life itself and would give up my life for him to not have this terrible disease. I feel your pain and know that you are not alone!!

  130. Angie says:

    Lee~ My husband has Alzheimer’s Disease. We have two boys in college, and I saw your song posted on one of their Facebook pages, so I listened. It hits home, it’s packs a punch, and I sobbed uncontrollably, because my boys could have written this…they’re living through this horrible disease. Thank you for your words…your song. You express so much heart and soul of what this journey is for the child. They call this disease The Long Goodbye… I posted your song on my Facebook. I want the world to hear it. Your song heightens awareness, and I hope more people will support the Alzheimer’s Foundation in search for a cure. You are not alone…….

  131. Vickie Butherus says:

    I was in a caregiver class with your mom. I lOVED hearing the stories about your dad. Is your dad ever so blessed to have her, and I would bet you kids too. She seems like a very wonderful lady. Saturday, I saw your mom at the UAF Bazaar. We shared more stories and she told me about your song. She gave me the link. My mom (82) has Alzheimer’s. My mother-in-law (92), and sister-in-law (72) both have Alzheimer’s. It’s an awful disease. I love helping these individuals. I just finished reading, Still Alice by Lisa Genova. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

  132. AnnetteS says:

    Lee, You are an amazing artist with so much talent, depth and love. All of these qualities were taught to you by your mom and dad. I say this because I know them both and know where you all come from. I am not a religious person by any means, but I truly believe that God intended for this shit to happen for some reason. The love that your mom shares with everyone she meets sends a message throughout the universe. The strength that your dad had, sent a message throughout the universe. These qualities are embodied into you and Steven and will transpire throughout the universe in a different manner and maybe even more powerful than that of your mom and dad. All I know is that your family is tight and it is with this strength and love that you will all get through this together and that’s better than feeling that you are in it alone. Keep on feeling, keep on writing, keep on singing as your message is powerful and helps those that hear it!

  133. Teddy says:

    Thank you for the song Lee…

  134. Alex says:

    One of the few songs that really hit a nerve with me. Life can sure be a bitch, but hopefully everything happens for a reason.

  135. Erica Joy says:

    Mom went through this before she passed away. It was frightening and frustrating to watch her slowly forget things, saying the same things over and over. Hers didn’t have a chance to progress as much as your fathers has but it was enough. I can only imagine how much harder it is to cope with for you.

    I got a genetic test and found I have one of the genes for Alzheimer’s, likely passed down from my mom. I, too, believe a cure will come.

    Stay strong.

  136. Little Mrs. Daisy my mommy Ernestina.
    The early stages are the hardest because mommie was aware that she was losing awareness.
    She would repeat herself every five minutes.
    When my siblings would tell her. You already told us, u mention that earlyer, whats wrong with u?
    Mommie started growing more, more quiet.
    Even at gatherings. She tried so hard to understand.
    My poor mommie was a blessing to all she touched with her gift of gab. She has taken all her meds. Shes also fighting diabetes. Damage to her eyes it hurts me.
    Im so dam fucken mad. Everyone she need stayed away. Too fucken busy for her? For my mommie.
    Shes’ 88 will turn 89 august 15, 2013.
    I rather dance for her then talk to her.
    Her smile when I dance is a gift god gives me.
    Know shes starving herself, hides food, throws it a way.
    She doesn’t care gets angry. Started throughing her meds. We are losing my mother and I’m fucken so angry. Im her caregiver.

  137. hey man, i don’t know much about dealing with that kind of thing myself, but i have mad respect for the way you and your family handle such a thing. just wanted to show some love to you and your dad, your music has made a big impact in my life, this song especially. i never really had my dad when i was growing up, and i apply this track to my situation a little. keep doing what you love man, i for one love what you do, and i know i’m not the only one who’s gonna have your back for years to come.
    live life, love music
    peace

  138. pat says:

    I swear I cry everytime I hear this song. Its so incredibly powerful and moving. My grandmother passed last year after a long and drawn out battle with alzheimers. I didnt cry at the funeral because at that point it was probably for the best that she went when she did. She was in pain and could no longer eat. This song brought it all into perspective for me and I completely broke down reading your story. Its beautiful art and you arejust tuly a master story teller. Thanks for this.

  139. Chuck says:

    I lost my brother to cancer a few months back and ever since I’ve been lost and full of anger and pain but being the man that I am I refuse to admit I’m miserable. The very first time I heard this song I uncaring broke into tears and realized just how much I miss my brother now my story has nothing to do with what you’re going thru but your song helped me crack this wall of tears that must come down. I hope I never understand what you’re going thru and I ask God to give you strength. In life Allah gives the strongest soldiers the hardest battles because he knows we can tackle it down. God bless us all Mr. Lee.
    P.s. thank you.

  140. eskopoet says:

    Man… my Grandmother has had Parkinsons Disease since before I was even born… and because of that she now has dementia and alzheimers, very badly. She doesn’t even recognize me anymore. I feel your struggle. I really do. And as a poet, I know how hard it is to write something that is so personal, something you don’t even want to think about. And it is horrible when people tell you they’re sorry… sorry won’t help anything. I always tell people not to be sorry for me, but to instead be thankful for their grandparents. This song makes me thankful for my father, and I hope it makes everyone thankful for the relationships they have with their parents. Much love to you, Intuition. Keep your chin held up… you and your emotions leave me speechless.

  141. eskopoet says:

    Reblogged this on Esko the Poet and commented:
    This is nothing short of amazing. As a poet whose own Grandmother doesn’t recognize him because of her dementia, alzheimers, and parkinsons… I understand this and all of the emotions behind it. Its nothing short of beautiful and you should all listen and read. Please. Just please.

Say some shit...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 115 other followers