Alzheimer's. It is like a hurricane. It is strong, it is destructive and it does not ask for permission for who it touches and how many people it effects. The hurricane started by taking my Mom. At first, it was manageable. My family of six was able to notice memory changes but this was more of a light rain. In fact, we noticed more rainbows during this stage of her disease. As her brain unfortunately continued to deteriorate, my siblings and I started to question who this woman was. The rainbows were gone. My mom quickly was unable to identify who her husband was, who her children were and where she was. She was scared. She felt alone. The hurricane was at it's strongest now, everyone feels like they are drowning and there are no floatation devices in sight.
I am the daughter of two incredible parents, the sister of three amazing siblings, and the aunt of the best little girl in the world. I am one of the Directors of a Non Profit, a Child and Family Therapist, a soon-to-be wife, and an advocate for finding answers putting an end to Alzheimer's.
I live in Colorado while the rest of my family lives in Oregon. I do my best to get back to provide a life vest to my sister and my dad, both of whom are caregiving full time for my Mother. I went back to visit July 13 and was greeted with the warmest welcome I had ever received since my Mom's diagnosis. She wrapped her arms around me like she used to when I was a child, almost convincing me that she knew who I was; however, seconds later, she asked me how my parents were. I know that her heart is telling her something that her brain is unable to access.
The weekend was as exhausting as it was magical. I learned from this specific visit that it serves me no purpose to be sad about what is happening but more so to be grateful that she continues to have an impact on my life, even in the smallest forms. As I was packing, my mom came to my room crying, she said: "I am really going to miss you". It was in that moment that I realized that I do not understand what is happening or why. How is her heart and her brain no longer connected? I left Oregon that night having a million new questions and feeling unsettled. I needed to do more. I needed to take action.
Walking to End Alzheimer's might seem pointless to a lot of people, but to me, I am walking in hopes that new research will help future generations. I am walking so that everyone experiencing this hurricane feel less alone. And most importantly, I am walking for my Mom.
Please consider donating to my Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraiser. With your help, we can bring back the rainbows in even the worst of storms. If you want to check out our team page, please do. Team Margey Pargey <3 Thank you so much.
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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