David's Personal Story
Born and raised in West Monroe Louisiana (where the Duck Dynasty family resides) My father was a loving and giving man who made many sacrifices for our family and others. He had an impeccable appearance, never, ever a hair out of place. He was a man’s man… tender-hearted but had a line you didn’t cross because he also had a fiery temper.
As a war veteran, he believed in honor and sacrifice and would fight for what he believed in. He was a fighter as a kid but after the war, he wanted nothing to do with it. But if his family was hurt or someone challenged his honor…look out.
My memories were not of him as a fighter, but the person who took food to those who were hungry; driving the Sunday school bus after working long hours a week, teaching us to drive, ride horses, play catch, basically all of the things a great father does. He shared his time so we could go to gun handling training to be safe hunters and lead our baseball team to the city championship (he was the coach). There were many more sacrifices he made. My father was the kind of man who would take his sons hunting because we loved it, even though he always "missed." We use to make fun of how bad a shot he was. And it wasn't until he passed that we found out the truth. He was a sharp shooter in the war! (see his discharge papers above). To put it simply we were stunned! Was he tough? Yes. But he may have had the most tender heart I had ever known.
I sure wish I could meet the boy who bought me these slippers.”
“Dad that was me...
After a series of undetectable strokes, my father started to change. No longer was he the man I knew and grew up with. He started to become a shell of what he used to be. His children that he sacrificed so much for, now--he didn’t even know their names. His strokes had turned into dementia. At one point he told his neighbor he didn’t recognize my wife and I. He thought we were my mother's friends. He would repeat over and over, “I sure wish I could meet the boy who bought me these slippers.” I would always reply, “Dad that was me.”
"Oh," he would always say. And would then go on to ask the same question over and over.
Like most adult children whose parent suffers from memory loss, it is normal to have a tormented heart. Ours was no different. One morning I received a call that no son wants to hear. My mother told me that my father was escorted home by the police. They found him wandering the streets looking for home. Not the one he lived in for 30 years. Not the one he raised two children in. The one in his mind. I knew what was coming next and it had my stomach turning into knots. I'll never forget what my mother said next, “David, I need you to come here and take your father to a care facility. I can’t do this anymore.”
The drive from Tigard, Oregon to Richland, Washington seemed like an eternity. I knew that this would be the most difficult thing I would ever face. Fear gripped me as my heart was slowly crumbling. It all hit me as we were about to leave the facility. My father looked up at me and said, “You know how to get us home, don’t you?"
My heart separated from my body.
I held it together for as long as I could but as we were walking back to the car I broke down. I felt like I was abandoning him. I felt like the worst son in the world.
I wanted to stand up, go right back in there, and run into his arms like I did as a child; when his clutch would make everything right in the world... But I came to the realization that even if I were to bust him out of there and take him back home, it wouldn't have mattered. He didn't know what home was anymore. He didn't know who I was anymore.
Fortunately, I have a strong, loving, and compassionate wife who was at my side. Without her, I would not have gotten through it.
My father was always wound pretty tight. But the silver lining was that he grew more peaceful as his dementia progressed. He did this thing where he would pat your hand, even with random people, and say, “God bless you”. He had this gentleness in his eyes I had never seen before. Like he had one foot in Heaven and one on Earth.
I pray that if someone has to deal with memory loss of a loved one, they find their silver lining. No one should have to go through what we did, let alone spend their life's money to ensure proper care is received. From that moment on I made it my life's mission to guide and help others through similar situations. Facing something like this is difficult enough. The least I can do is take away the additional anxiety caused by the financial part.
If you are currently going through this, my Crisis Plan covers everything you should do immediately. If you aren't making these major decisions at the moment, but want to make sure you are protected in case something like this does happen, my Pre-Plan would be a good option to look over.
If you need assistance or have any questions, you can contact me at or 503-680-0251.
You can also CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation. It is my objective to get back to you within 24 hours.
David L. Almond