I remember taking this picture, as if it was yesterday! She had a bright smile on her face and was extremely happy to be able to experience her first grandson's wedding! Yes, that would be my wedding. My grandmother loved all her grandchildren, but always had a special bond with me. My Abuela was a special lady who was loved by everyone who came to know her. She was always happy and ready to help anyone who needed her assistance. Abuela Mercedes lost her husband at a very young age. At the time she was still living in Cuba where she continued to raise her family. After losing my Abuelo she dedicated her life to her family and never parted until her last day. Years after, she came to the United States where she continued to live with our family and helped my parents raise my sister and I. I will always remember her energy and her great cooking! She was the type of person who you could carry a conversation with for hours, loved her stories! Abuela Mercedes suffered a heart attack and had a triple bypass in her later years. After her surgery she never fully recovered. It was heart breaking for me when she started to lose her memory. Yes Alzheimer's started to affect her day to day living. Her last days in the hospital she did not want to eat with anyone. I remember walking in and telling her she had to eat! At first she would push my hand and say no food. For a moment I think she recognized me, smiled, and started to eat. That would be her last meal. Abuela Mercedes has a special place in my heart and I will never forget her! Please help me help others!
Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
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