Lauren's Walk Donation Page
This is my mother, Maria Celeste Shohat (Beguiristain). She is the most loving, selfless, nurturing human being I've ever known. She loves my brother and I with a special fervor, and I've never doubted that, her gentle nature notwithstanding, she would tear anyone who messed with us to shreds.
My mom is many things - a badass litigator, a gifted writer, an advocate for the underdog, a lover of all children, a chef of finger-lickin' good food, a master (if exaggerated) storyteller, an avid reader, a mischief maker, a beautiful singer and a dancer with natural rhythm. Her ability to connect with people is remarkable; she lives to make others feel good Kindnesses flow naturally out of her mouth, and she always has just the words to make your day - whether you're her daughter, her flight companion or a stranger in the grocery aisle. I have her to thank for my verbal skills, my love of fiction, music, theater and cooking, my EQ, my potty mouth and my vulgar sense of humor (she would vehemently deny the last 2 but take my word for it).
My mom has always been my best friend and confidant. The one to quiz me before history tests and choreograph my talent show routines. The one who taught me to tie my shoes, make a ponytail and chop onions without crying. The one to spend 2 long weeks stroking my hair at the Mayo Clinic when I was sick. The one to secretly enjoy watching Beavis and Butthead with me, all the while pretending to be appalled. The one to spontaneously break into song in the car. The one to set up my new apartment and soothe me after a breakup. The call I made every day for 12 years on the walk to and from class or work.
I know my mom inside and out, which is how I knew, about 6 years ago, as conversations became increasingly peppered with unfinished sentences and lingering thoughts, as work and home renovation projects were left unfinished and as birthdays came and went without well wishes, that something was seriously wrong.
My mom has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers for 4 years now. She's only 63. We've watched her forget slowly over time - forget her age, forget how to use her phone or type on a computer, forget dear friends' names, forget how to dress herself and brush her teeth. I still call her almost every day, and our conversations are limited to whether she's happy (always yes, at the sound of my voice) and whether she's eaten (at which point she turns to my dad and asks "Ed, have I eaten?"). She still knows that I'm her daughter, although she confuses my name with her sister's and often can't recognize me in photos. She can't recall where I live, what I do for work, or whether I'm married. She loves my husband, but can't remember his name. She doesn't know that anything is wrong, and I thank the universe for that every day of my life.
Please join me to walk in honor of my mom, Maria Celeste, and to support putting an end to this heartbreaking disease, which has prematurely taken from us the most beautiful, special, radiant soul I've ever known. Donations in any amount are warmly appreciated, and your company and support are everything to me, no matter how well or how little I know you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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