I’m walking this year in memory of my wonderful mom, Minnie (Herminia Louisa Armendariz Rodriguez). She was kind, thoughtful and generous and she never hesitated to talk to strangers. My mom dedicated her life to providing our family with an immaculately clean home, impeccably laundered and ironed clothes and food network quality meals and desserts. Family members were friends and her few, close friends were family. The simple things in life were the things that my mom enjoyed most-a good soap opera on tv (The Guiding Light), following her beloved LA Dodgers, an entertaining gossip magazine (The National Enquirer) and a good book (author, Taylor Caldwell). A few years before my mom passed away we found a note in her wallet, “There’s nothing in my life that gives me more pleasure then to be with my kids.” I carry this note with me in my wallet. I remember my mom as being happy and content and rarely complaining about her life. I try to take from my mom many lessons, although unfortunately for my family not the culinary ones. The lesson that I try hardest to model is that of kindness.
At 83 years old my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She began a ten year journey of falling off a cliff in slow motion. It was a journey that pulled at my heart and left me with an overwhelming sense of helplessness. I was very fortunate to have a close knit family to share the responsibilities of my mom’s care. Many individuals who become caregivers are not as fortunate. Alzheimer’s disease is a harrowing experience for the afflicted individual and the family members as well.
I walk this year for my mom but also in memory and support of my mom's siblings: my loving Aunt Sophie; my fearless WWII veteran and uncle, John; my Uncle Frank, who at 92 years old moved in to a Memory Care facility this year; and my mom's younger brother Alex who is thankfully still very perceptive and sharp. I also walk this year in support of my siblings, family members, and friends who all live with the possibility of facing this horrible disease someday. Lastly, I walk this year in memory of loved ones that my friends and family members have lost to Alzheimer’s or loved ones who my friends and family members are currently caring for.
Please consider joining my team in support of the research of the Alzheimer’s Association and the extensive services that they provide. No donation is too small.
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