I am walking in memory of the two most important people in my Life. First my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her mid-sixties. I watched as one of the few people, from whom I truly felt unconditional love, slowly faded. I was involved in her care but was not the primary caregiver. So, it was rough to watch someone you love to decline. However, I was so far away I could only go for weekends to relieve my Aunt in her journey of care-giving. I was lucky. I believe Nannie knew who I was until she finally lay non-responsive in the final stages. Gosh do I miss her smile and how she would always say “Nannie loves you”. This was her go-to saying even when knew she was slipping away, but she didn’t want us to forget her. My cousins will all remember this phrase because she said it to us all.
Then a few years later my Mother started to exhibit symptoms; she was in her late Sixties. She started having trouble paying bills and keeping track of her husband’s medicines. My biggest fear had been realized; mom had started down that horrible path. I had already been involved with the Alzheimer’s association so I reached out for help. The team at the Alzheimer’s association made me feel I was not alone. Scott, Megan and Eric helped me more than I can ever express! They went above and beyond with their kind words and support. They referred me to a Case manager that specialized in Sr. Care. And there aren’t enough words to express how grateful I am to my best friend Cindy who was there every step of the way. Over the next two years I watched her go from being an Artist and Enjoying Life, reading and writing letters, to not being able to even do adult coloring books. Through it all she mostly had a sweet disposition and a smile that everyone loved. Except on shower days and those that work with Alzheimer’s folks know how bad shower days are!
I am a better person for going through the journey with my mother every step of the Way. I am proud to think that I was the link to the world for her. No matter how distraught she would get just my presence seemed to calm her down and make her feel at ease. Every day before I left I wrote on the white Board in her room what time I was coming back the next day. That seemed to comfort not only her but me!
Therefore, I am walking to raise awareness to help others on their journey until we can award a White Flower!
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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