One recalled how her in-laws built a wheelchair-accessible home, but couldn't accommodate a mind-crippling disease. Another wrote about her struggles with alcoholism, and how Alzheimer's robbed her of the opportunity to make amends with her father. A third finally had to admit that his father was no longer the Superman he was raised by, but had become a recluse.
In the past couple of years, contributors to our Facts & Arguments pages have written eloquently and poignantly about their experiences with Alzheimer's disease. With news this week that the ailment is likely to tighten its grip on Canadians, having a record of the devastating disease is especially relevant.
We want to hear your stories about Alzheimer's. Leave them in the comments area of this page and we'll collect some of them for our readers. Meanwhile, you can read the recent essays about the disease that have been memorable to us.
Michele Visser-Wikkerink in Moments of clarity : "It was especially hard when my mother-in-law died after many years of fighting cancer. He had the feeling that something terrible had happened but he wasn't sure from day to day what it was. On the morning of her funeral, he woke up and asked my husband, 'Did Mom die, or did I just have a terrible dream?'
"This man who had been so strong and bold, sure and argumentative was meek and mild, heartbroken and confused.
"Once in a very great while he has moments of clarity when he seems to remember everything that has happened to him, even in the past few years. He is aware that he can't usually remember and he is able to reflect on who he has become."
Shannon Quinn in Sober truths: "The last eight years of his life my father had Alzheimer's, so the window to talk to him about any of this had already begun to close. Some of the things I would have liked to have told him about, like my career in radio, would have made him proud.
"He never knew me as a drunk. Not having the guts to face disapproval, to break from my script, I never tried to introduce myself to him. That would have taken adult skills."
Barry Ward in Lost in memories: "Another year or so has gone by and the wall around my father has become almost impenetrable. A man who once loved nothing better than conversation with family and friends is now in his own world. His days of creating new memories are over.
"But I take some comfort in the thought that maybe, just maybe, he continues to pull a lifetime of reminiscences from deep in his brain."
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