Family & Friends,
I want to thank you for the support that you have given us over the years, especially your philanthropy on behalf of Team Susie Backlund to the Camel’s Hump Challenge (CHC) and the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association!
I want to first recognize the gravity of Covid-19 and the economic fallout it has caused the world over. I state this in complete acknowledgment and recognition that I am asking for your financial support and active virtual participation in the 2021 CHC during these challenging times. In light of a world that has been turned upside down, 2020, also marked the closing and opening of different chapters in my family’s Alzheimer’s journey, with Susie’s passing at the age of 68, in September.
Since my Mom’s passing, I have been reflecting almost every day about losing a parent. I find myself in a new headspace, that I often do not have the words to describe in detail, only to say that it is new and different. Thoughts, emotions and memories come and go daily, and presently I have landed with this reflection of the process in mind:
The difference between lost and losing is much more than two letters. Even after 15 years of watching my mother, Susie, slowly lose her battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, I did not fully recognize the weight in the change of tense. I knew the day would come in which Alzheimer’s would ultimately take my Mother’s life – that is the prognosis from day one – and yet even though she had not spoken my name, not recognized who her family members were, not been able to carry out life with any semblance of independence in years – losing to lost is a change beyond written description.
As snow finally blankets the hills of Vermont, the CHC is gearing up for the 2021 event – with all decisions in the regards to the event being driven this year by: Covid-19, Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s directives, CDC health guidance and common sense (not the snowpack or lack thereof). Again, the CHC has added the option to participate virtually this year, and I hope that all of you partake in a challenge of your choosing with the spirt of the CHC, the memory of Susie, and the empathy for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their families and friends in heart and mind.
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to family, friends, community members and the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association – all of whom have helped us navigate the infinite challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease. No gesture of support, help and kindness went unnoticed. Your tireless efforts helped provide solace for a family trying to manage the complicated loss and grief of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Love, Socially-Distanced Hugs, & Gratitude.
The Backlund Family