I was lucky enough to attend MSU for school. This also meant that I would be minutes away from grandma and grandpa to help. I remember times my dad would ask me to do a check-up (AKA: he knew they would be gone so I could go over and throw all the old food away in the fridge). In those 2 years of being in East Lansing I watched as my dad, uncle and aunt moved their parents into an assisted living. I watched as my kind amazing grandma became cruel to her husband. I watched as my grandma call my cousin Micheal "Char"(grandma’s daughter) when she visited with her new daughter, Ava. I watch as my dad would sit there quietly as my grandma yelled that she wanted to go home and he stuck her there. I felt helpless in these moments! Wishing I could help her, wishing there was more that I could do beside sit on the sidelines for my family and hopeless knowing that this was the end of an amazing person’s life.
Don’t get me wrong there were times where I too was in the game. One time, in particular, was at their new place and my grandpa was sick. I took her down to see him in the hospital area. After our visit she grab my arm (like she always did, strong!) and looked at me and said “I’m losing my best friend”. For that one moment she remembered, she felt the feelings and she was present. Then by the time we got to the elevator she asked, “who are you?” and once again she had faded away.
As years went on, she grew quiet, no simple smile or greeting. She was just being but it was amazing to see the love that surrounded her in the room. The stories that were told about her life and how she impacted each and ever one of us. Her family! Her amazing family… my amazing family!
So now you can see that even though this might not be my story alone to tell, Alzheimer’s has truly impacted me. Just as I know it can to so many families. Therefore, being a tiny part of finding a cure has a huge place in my heart. It’s because of grandma Stewart’s family and the many alike.
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Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
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