On October 1, I'm participating in the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®.
My beloved grandmother, Constance Eileen Jane Kayafas, is one of the millions who have been affected by this insidious disease. She passed away on July 19, 2017 at the age of 89, having lived a life characterized by courage, love, and good humor.
She never worked outside the home, or learned to drive, but that doesn’t mean she was short on accomplishments.
She had a lap that would fit all of her children, their children, and, often, the neighbor’s children. It is not surprising that all of our friends called her “Yiayia” too.
She was a master tooth puller, tea party haver, and clay otter maker. She was an accomplished painter, (mostly) perfected the art of Greek cooking and baby blanket knitting, and was always on hand to cheer on even the slowest runners in the family.
She was an optimist at heart and full of loving advice regardless of whether she approved of your globe trotting ways or disapproved of your navel ring.
She was never shy and loved to tell stories. And the more cocktails she had, the bawdier she got, rendering unassuming loved ones laughing and blushing at the same time.
She was stubborn and thus always right, as various and sundry family members can attest, and she would make sure you knew she was right, too.
She and my grandfather shared a love that is rare. They bickered some, but laughed together even more, and their love, affection, passion, and friendship taught me everything I needed to know about what I wanted in a spouse, and how to raise my family.
Alzheimer’s disease stole her away from us long before she died. And she’s not alone. Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050.
But we are making progress. Together, we can end Alzheimer's disease. Please make a donation to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.
Thank you for joining the fight against Alzheimer's!
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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