There was a dark day back in 2017 when my heart shattered with the news that my precious little Cajun spitfire of a grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. My own selfishness caused my heart to hurt in a way that I didn’t know was possible. The ultimate girls club that was my world just lost it's queen. Let me explain… growing up, my grandmother Blondie Dahl used to say, “We are the Dahl girls!”. She said it with so much gusto that I believed the Dahl girls were comparable to superheroes. As an adult, I now realize that this was in fact pretty on target!
The Dahl girls were comprised of some very strong and independent women, my grandmother Blondie, my mom Jeanie Dahl, and my aunt Nell Dahl. While my maiden name was not Dahl, I was considered an honorary Dahl and I was proud of it. Even though the Dahl girls were a force to be reckoned with, darkness came to visit again in 2018 when my mom Jeanie Dahl was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Jeanie passed away from this unrelenting disease in 2021.
Now the ultimate girls club is down to the last remaining two members. Myself and my very sweet and beloved Aunt Nell. Nell was the caregiver for my grandmother and is now charged with caring for her husband who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This is a cruel disease that does not discriminate. Every one of us are susceptible. While family history dictates that I may possibly be more susceptible than most, I know I cannot predict or change the future. Not all by myself. I do believe that we as a society can work together to create a world without Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen tremendous progress towards this goal in the medical field that gives me real hope. While I hope that this progress will help those of us in my generation, I will still continue to do my part to help fund this research so that it can perhaps help my children or even their children. Alzheimer’s isn’t stopping and neither am I.
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