As a child, I would receive the most wonderfully made clothes that had been hand-sewn by my Aunty Loretta. She was an amazingly patient person who created with her hands and her heart some of my favorite clothes and toys. Even today, I still have a teddy bear that she made especially for me, I named him Roy.
Fast forward a few decades, as an adult, I wanted to help any way I could as my Aunty began to show signs of cognitive decline. We spent time at the mall and I took her to eat lunch. After sharing a meal together and packing up most of what was leftover, we headed out to another store. Within 30 minutes, she told me she was hungry again. It didn’t matter that we just ate and had leftover food, I took her to another restaurant to have a meal.
This was when I realized, she may never be the same and that someday she may forget who I am. Even though I had known her all of my life, soon the part of her we knew and loved would be gone too. While she may not have remembered me towards the end, I remember every kind smile, every moment she laughed at something funny, and every late-night snack we had shared. It was now my responsibility to remember it all to carry on her memory. This is why I do the walk. - to help build awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Aunty Loretta would write me emails that often had more in the “p.s.” than in the entire body of the email. She would invite me over to pick up pecan tarts and say “If you’re in the area come by.” Who wouldn’t come by for pecan tarts? Often she would send me photos of her travels to the mainland. Every email would end in “Love you, Aunty Loretta” - just the sweetest person.
No one knew how difficult life would be when you lose your memory or when your loved one does. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia today. Medications may slow certain symptoms but they cannot resolve a lost memory.
Help me remember my Aunty Loretta (February 2021) and Aunty Naomi (July 2021) who both suffered from dementia. Keep your loved ones close too by remembering them and joining my team!
Please support by joining my team and/or donating to my fundraiser for this year’s virtual Walk to End Alzheimer’s on November 5, 2022.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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Walk Committee Member