Philomena DeRose, "Fannie", Grandma, truly had a giving heart. Her caring nature shined through in everything she did. She was a person who never stopped helping others, volunteering, donating, walking for a cause. She was influential. She had a way of showing all of us how beautiful it was to be a giver and to help the less fortunate. She used to always say, "Count your blessings, not your sorrows" and genuinely tried to live her life that way.
When she found out she had dementia, it was hard on her. She struggled with the loss of her memory and her ability to function as she always had. But even as she declined, she chose to always count her blessings. She saw beauty in the things she could: the smell of a rose, the salty beach air, the sound of her great grand-kids laughing.
It's heartbreaking to watch Dementia and Alzheimer's take someone you love. It's confusing and it makes you feel helpless. It's hard to find anything positive. But to live by Grandma's advice, to "count your blessings, not your sorrows", is to understand that beauty can come from tragedy. That terrible things don't have to happen in vain.
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