I have always loved Christmas , the tree , the giving of presents and the family memories . We have no children but I do still feel that it is a wonderful time of year well that was until my dad became ill. I try each year to be quite positive about things ( he is in a lovely home and he has friendship there ( when I visit he is sitting with his girlfriend most times and they find comfort holding hands and he is often asleep in the chair next to her) I know he shares christmas with my sisters family which is lovely . I do have a lot to be grateful for but ... i miss him. The father that was strong and jolly who loved giving at Christmas ( not big presents it was the gift of his love and thoughts not the size of the present that I valued ) and I miss that strong , happy and caring father . He is still here but he is not too. The Alzheimer advert this year really so pertinent and so sad and it just breaks my heart. I never feel that I can say anything to my partner and the rest of the family are dealing with this in their own way ( we are not the closest of families) but for me my father was the glue that brought us together, that could be hard going at times ( he has always been a real character) and the person that looked after mum , would do anything for her without a second thought but who now has changed to the point that she will not visit him. This year he spent the day with my sister and I spoke with him on the phone ( he was quite aware and did the usual 'when are you visiting ? ' and had no recollection I had visited the previous week ( I live a long distance away). I have since heard that on return to the care home he set about taking down the Christmas tree and I have been thinking is that he hates Christmas now that he chose to do that ? does he realize how the Alzheimers has isolated him from us all. Anyway my partner is at work today so the flood gates have opened and I have had the now Christmas routine of a really good Cry. Maybe it is turning into a bit of a relief valve or something because I do not often cry when I think of dad now just feel really sad and helpless. I look on this forum now and again and I know that this is something that we all share , the feeling of loss and grief for the person we care about but often hold these thoughts to our selves. Well today I am letting is go. accepting the pain and maybe tomorrow I will pick myself up again and carry on but today I feel like it is dads day. Love you Dad .. miss you so very much and hear in your heart that you are still part of my life and always will be even though your mind is no longer as sharp as it was your spirit is there and as strong as ever. For everyone else that has lost in some way the person they love: may your hearts find rest in the knowledge that they will always be with us in some way , never forgotten and loved for the person we cherished.