“Someone asked me the other day if I hated Alzheimer’s disease,” wrote Vince Zangaro on his Facebook page.
Besides being the primary care partner to his father, whom he calls Pops, Zangaro is a musician who is the main driver behind the Alzheimer’s Music Fest. His posts and videos documenting the loving care he and his wife Amy give Pops inspire thousands.
“I told them that for the first several years it was a battle,” Vangaro wrote on. “I realized that if I continued to hate Alzheimer’s that I would reflect that anger onto my father. I decided to build a relationship with the disease so I could continue to have one with my dad.
“It’s not like we do not get angry but anger only gets you so far. Pops and I have had a relationship with this disease going on thirteen years. To accept and not hate has made our family much more at peace. This is just where we are at in life.
“Each of us has to do what we have to to find a sense of clarity through this journey. So do I hate Alzheimer’s? No. It is a part of my father and I love him with all my heart. We accept this and don’t spend our time hating, we rather spend our time loving the moments we have.”
I went through the same kind of transformation that Vince Zangaro describes here. Although he was in his early thirties and I was in my late fifties when it happened, I discovered the same truths that Vince, Amy and Pops did. There’s no point hating Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. It’s so much more sensible, productive and enriching to spend your time and energy loving the people who live with it, and helping them engage life for as long as they possibly can. The rewards for everyone are priceless and immeasurable.
Here’s the Zangaro family in action: