Courtney needed to bring the video of our appearance on Oprah into school for something, so I had to bring it out yesterday. I have not watched the video since the day the show aired back in July, 2004. To say it was difficult to see, would be an understatement.
First, the kids were so little and they had no idea what lay ahead of us. Then there was the clip of Mike playing with them when they were children, and of the clip of Mike ranting, then crying afterwards. My heart broke, and unfortunately, Courtney was sitting right next to me when it happened.
I cried for Courtney and Brandon and the dad they would never know. I cried remembering the day I videotaped the piece that aired - of him playing in the pool with them when they were so small. They have been cheated out of SO MUCH by this disease. I cried when I heard Mike's voice, which has been silent for so many years now. I struggle each day to just get by, then I hear the voice of the man I fell in love with and I am torn to pieces. Not only do I cry for all that I lost, but I cry because I forgot what Mike sounded like.
Then comes the clip of Mike running up the stairs angry (Courtney videotaped this with the camera Oprah's producer left with us). After his anger, came the tears. His tears as he struggled to speak, confused as to what he was doing.
Now I know why I never watched the video before. It hurts too much. It seems like a lifetime ago and so much has changed since then. Even though I lived through this illness with Mike's mom, I now know that I really didn't know exactly what I would be faced with, when Mike was diagnosed.
For anyone who may read this Blog, I ask you to NEVER forget Mike or the millions of others suffering with this disease. Please help by donating to research and keeping his story alive. The more that people know about this disease and the horrors it brings, maybe then the more that will be done to end it.
God Bless all AD patients and their families.