“I’ve known that something was wrong for a long time,” Tallulah admitted of her father's declining health.
Tallulah Willis is trying to stay positive amid her father's declining health. Bruce Willis has a progressive brain disease called frontotemporal dementia, his family revealed, sharing that his condition has worsened since they first announced the news of his aphasia diagnosis last year. The Die Hard star suffered from cognitive impairments and had trouble remembering his lines.
The actor's family, which includes his wife Emma Heming Willis and children Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8, as well as his ex-wife Demi Moore, 60, and their daughters Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, and Tallulah, 29, have been focused on assisting him in living "as full a life as possible," the family said in a statement. "The focus for Bruce is to keep him active. He has a busy schedule with activities every day. They make sure both his body and brain is exercised," a source told PEOPLE at the time.
Tallulah admits that she's known something was wrong for years now and that her 68-year-old father has been in declining health for years. In a first-person piece for Vogue, she wrote, “I’ve known that something was wrong for a long time. It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss. "‘Speak up! Die Hard messed with Dad’s ears.’ ”
At first, Tallulah thought her father had lost interest in her as he started a new family with his wife Emma. “Later that unresponsiveness broadened, and I sometimes took it personally. He had had two babies with my stepmother, Emma Heming Willis, and I thought he’d lost interest in me. Though this couldn’t have been further from the truth, my adolescent brain tortured itself with some faulty math: I’m not beautiful enough for my mother, I’m not interesting enough for my father," she added, referring to mom Demi Moore.
She struggled with her father's diagnosis with “avoidance and denial” amid her own struggles but slowly she began accepting reality for what it is. ”Recovery is probably lifelong, but I now have the tools to be present in all facets of my life, and especially in my relationship with my dad,” Tallulah said. As her family navigates this difficulty she tries to savor every moment with her father and "hold my dad’s hand, and feel that it’s wonderful," Tallulah added.
"I’m like an archaeologist, searching for treasure in stuff that I never used to pay much attention to," Tallulah continued. “I have every voicemail from him saved on a hard drive. I find that I’m trying to document, to build a record for the day when he isn’t there to remind me of him and of us." Tallulah is grateful that he still remembers her amid the disease. “He still knows who I am and lights up when I enter the room," she detailed. An important lesson she's learned through it all is that she knows that "trials are looming, that this is the beginning of grief, but that whole thing about loving yourself before you can love somebody else—it’s real."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | (L) Photo by Mireya Acierto (R) Photo by Jamie McCarthy