I am walking for an end to Alzheimer's in support of my beautiful mother, Bonnie, who first showed signs of this disease in 2005.
It has been a fairly uneventful year, if you don’t count that Covid thing. Her nursing home had a severe outbreak early on. I am a member of an amazing community, and we rallied together and brought food to all of the staff for every meal for two straight weeks. The outpouring of love and generosity from family, friends, friends of friends, and local restaurants (who were also struggling) was unbelievable.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to have lunch with my Mom, touch her, kiss her, or sit with her since before March 15th. As many of you know, my Mom is not conversant. She lost her ability to string coherent words together in late 2016. Phone calls are not possible. The staff at the nursing center FaceTimed with me several times a week - my only connection to her. In June, they moved her to a room with an outside window. Now I can have window visits with her, which are both a little weird, and a godsend. I can only imagine what she must be thinking, with that crazy lady showing up outside of her window all the time!
None of this is perfect. Having my mother in a nursing home is not an easy decision, and I am always second guessing it. When Covid first hit, we seriously talked about bringing her to our home. But, taking care of your loved one from home is really, really hard. On everyone. And not always the safest place, either. I know she bonds with her care givers, and is safe and cared for.
We are in our 15th year of knowing that she has been afflicted with Alzheimer's. Our 7th year of round the clock care. Our 4th year of institutional care. She cannot care for herself on any level, including feeding herself. In the too near future, she will graduate to advanced Alzheimer's. She will no longer be able to hold herself up and will become bedridden. She will lose her ability to talk or smile. She will eventually lose her ability to swallow her food.
Today, despite her devastating illness, there are still moments of joy and love. She still has so much love to give. I treasure every priceless moment with her -- I know our days are numbered.
Please join me in my fight against this disease. Please donate to A Walk to End Alzheimer's. Your donation will support research for a cure for this horrible disease. Together, we can end Alzheimer's disease.
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