Pat Concienne's story touched the hearts of so many people that it reached over 240 likes in 10 days. Seniorhomes.com is honored to be able to share Pat's amazing story of love, and perseverance through the devastation that Alzheimer's brings. Pat's story is told through the eyes of his daughter, Cheryl Larrick. We hope others will draw strength and encouragement from this story and know that you are never alone!
"The Amazing Husband"
This is a story about my Mom and Dad. The caregiver is my Dad. Growing up as a child, my Dad was a very hard working farmer. He would leave the house early in the morning and come home when it was dark. Dad always expected my Mom to have dinner and lunch on the table for him and she did. My dad was a good man but strict. I was never close to my Dad because he worked so hard on the farm and I didn't have that relationship with him like I did with my Mom. I remember tough times, there was 5 children.
About 10 years ago, my Mom started to have problems, sleeping alot, not wanting to cook (which she loved to cook), not being able to speak correctly and up all hours of the night. We thought it was depression for about 2 years. It started to get worse so we took her to the doctor and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Our family didnt know what to expect or what to do. Dad was so use to Mom taking care of him and everything else. He depended on her so much. This is where I saw a father that I never knew.
Dad tried desperately to try and care for Mom. Mom soon didn't know Dad and was trying to escape. Dad got all the locks changed in the house so he could lock himself and Mom inside. I never saw a husband that was so caring to my Mother. Sometimes Mom would escape. Several times Dad would call me or my sister panicking that Mom was taking off, we would leave work drive to his house 20 miles away, Mom would be standing there begging us to help her...she needed to find her family, she no longer knew us. She would cry, Dad was crying. No one knew what to do. My sister and I would drive her around for an hour or two, we would call Dad tell him to change his clothes to see if that would make a difference, then take her home to Dad. Sometimes she would recognize Dad and sometimes not. My wonderful Dad would cry and say "I don't know who her family is." It wasn't us...to her. She was so frightened. Dad would load her up in the car and drive her several miles to where she grew up, or the previous home that we lived in to try to get her to remember something.
Nothing worked. Mom got worse...she wasn't able to care for herself. We tried to convince Dad that he needed help or that she needed to go somewhere. Dad refused, saying it is his responsibility. Dad continued to try and care for Mom. My sister and I were there constantly trying to help Dad. Dad would cry a lot due to being exhausted and his whole days were committed to Mom. Dad loves to be outdoors in his gardening or just being in his yard. Dad had to lock himself in the house. Mom continued to get bad. Dad finally agreed to put her in a nice place where they could care for her. This is where I realized that I had the most amazing Dad.
Dad was with her EVERY day until she passed away 2 1/2 years later. Dad would show up around 2:00 pm and not leave her until she was in bed asleep. Every dinner he would sit by her and feed her. He never missed a day or a meal. Mom passed away April 14th, 2011. God works in misterious ways, through this whole ordeal, I became so close to my Dad, which I never dreamed of happening. My Dad is such an amazing man, he was by her side everyday, bought her clothes to make her look nice, put lipstick on her, put her favorite perfume on and made sure all family functions were at the place where Mom lived.
Today is Mom's birthday..now we all will meet at her grave to pray and wish her a happy birthday.. This story doesn't say it all but what I can say...my Dad amazed all the caregivers where my Mom was when she passed away. He definitely served his vows to Mom and some. I nominate by Dad for this award. His name is Pat Concienne.
The Judges agreed with us! Here are some of the reasons they fell in love with this story.
"The reason I chose Pat was because I found his story to be impactful & heartwarming. I also have experience with a mother-in-law who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It is something that is devastating to the family & profoundly effects everyone. I was very moved by what efforts Pat took to care for his wife. Pat's daughter wrote: "My Dad is such an amazing man, he was by her side everyday, bought her clothes to make her look nice, put lipstick on her, put her favorite perfume on and made sure all family functions were at the place where Mom lived." I believe that it takes courage & dedication to care for a loved one with the Alzheimer's. Pat displayed this, as seen by his daughter & myself!" ~ Toby Donner
"Mr. Concienne exhibited such a selflessness, commitment, love and quiet dignity in the way he cared for his beloved wife. It was also affecting to read how he took on the many duties that his wife had performed over their lifetime together and how Mr. Concienne accepted and even embraced his caregiving duties through such difficult and painful circumstances." ~ Patricia A. Sheehan
"I thought this was an amazing story of devotion, love and relationships. The selfless giving of this caregiver/husband was a great reminder of what wedding vows really mean as well as the phrase "for better or for worse". He truly rose to the occasion - not only for his wife, but to forge a real relationship with his children too. It brought out the best in a heartbreaking, worst case situation." ~Norma Rosenthal
"Pat married a woman. A woman that he would love for the rest of her life. Pat's dedication for his wife just touched my heart. " ~ April Fan
"When one marries and says, “until death due us part”, in this particular story it was inspiring to “witness” this life long journey of two people who lived their vows with love and dedication." ~ Dr. Marion Somers