People are dynamic creatures and change throughout their entire lifetimes; dementia can add a layer of change that can be totally unexpected. Sometimes the surprises are troubling, and sometimes they are even happy. While the journey of dementia definitely brings unique challenges to every family, it is impossible to predict all the directions it may go. Sometimes the person becomes more like they were in younger years, but sometimes the changes are in a different direction. My own dad was a human Winnie the Pooh, easy going and personable all his cognizant life, but in the latter stages of his disease, there was very little of my dad there, and I realized I was dealing more and more with the disease itself. While that was a difficult season, I have seen other journeys where the person softened thru the process and became a kinder, gentler soul. Of course, it matters what your relationship was with your parent growing up, but our relationships with our parents change from one of oversight and responsibility to less oversight and responsibility, and then you turn around and find yourself going the other way! This is often one of the hardest things about being the adult child, now taking responsibility to some degree, for your aging parent. Here’s the takeaway thought: No matter what your relationship was with your parent as you grew up, you are both different people now with different needs and views. Maybe it’s time for a fresh start, and look at each other with new eyes. And breathe!