Monday, December 10, 2012

A Man Named Royal,…


Several years ago we had the opportunity of working for a woman named Mildred Bevis. Mrs. Bevis was a retired school nurse from the Lauderdale County School system and if I remember correctly she was at Wilson School at one time. A very sweet and caring lady who was a pleasure to work for.

Upon getting things set up and figuring out where to start I saw her husband in the den watching the television. Staring kind of blank faced at the screen with little to none expression on his face. He hadn’t noticed us being there which was kind of unusual in the fact that when both husband and wife are there they both say their hellos and most of the time ask a few questions. I just figured he wasn’t all that friendly so we started in the room we were doing and began prepping it.

It wasn’t long and Mr. Bevis walked by and noticed us being there. He still had that kind of blank look on his face and his wife must have noticed him standing there and she went on to explain what we were doing. He said ok and went back to his chair. Soon after, he got my attention and wanted to show me something. I figured it was something in another room he wanted me to repair or paint but upon arriving in the bedroom he showed me a box. He lifted the lid and it contained two purple heart medals. He went on to explain how and why he received them in World War 2. I was in awe and didn’t really know what to say except thank you Mr. Bevis. He smiled and went back to his chair and I went back to work. 5 minutes later, the same scene repeated itself. Shortly after that, again, I was lead to the bedroom and he showed me his medals. My thoughts were confirmed now by Mrs. Bevis that her husband Royal had Alzheimer's. She apologized for him and I told her no need to apologize. I was happy to oblige him even if he didn’t remember it.  

I would have liked to have known Mr. Bevis before the Alzheimer’s and just sat and listened to his stories. I’m sure they would have been filled with information and insight as to how the war was when he was there. But, I’m glad I did get to meet and hear a few things from a true war hero. A man, that although he didn’t remember showing me his medals 5 minutes before, but remembered with pride how he got them. They both have passed on now but I’ll always remember both of them.


  1. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease I don't know anyone who would wish it on a person. It takes so much away from the affected person that they are left only with a shell of the person they once were. It is sad that a person can be physically healthy and know their siblings and children but can not tell you who that person is.
    It hurts so much to know a someone who has so much knowledge of the world to loose all their intelligence to this stupid disease.
    I suggest that if you ever know someone who has been diagnosed with this awful affliction that you spend as much time to visit with that person because it is only a matter of time till they will not know you or anyone else.
    Once this time comes you just have to accept the fact and see to it that the person is as comfortable as possible.
    I don't know why, but it seems this disease is becoming more prevalent now days.

  2. I'm in a similar situation Uncle Gus. If I had time I'd research the differences, if any, between dementia and Alzheimers. Surprisingly, the personality deviations can, or appear to be akin to flipping on a light switch. Leaves me at a loss but no time to explore as another family member a bit older is mentally intact but in poor health and in pain. Why will a dr. not give an 88 yr old pain medicine when it is so clearly needed? Between the two I'm exhausted, perplexed and angry at the medical profession's approach to the elderly.