"Pappy" as we affectionately called him. He was born October 17, 1923. He served in the US Navy from April 9, 1943 - February 10, 1946, and six months later he married his wife of nearly 73 years. Together they raised six children and shared life and love with 19 grandchildren and 30+ great-grandchildren...until he didn't know who they were any more. Pappy passed in September 2020, right before our Walk that year, after living about a decade with this disease.
Pappy worked hard throughout his life; he provided for his family, and never once complained. He always fought for what he thought was fair, regardless of the consequences. He helped others whenever the opportunity came up, and he did it without expecting anything in return. He made the world a better place, and those of us who had the pleasure of sharing life with him, we are all better for it.
As Pappy lived with Alzheimer's, the freedoms and joys he always knew started to be taken from him - driving, carpentry, playing cards, reading the paper or National Geographic, enjoying eating his favorite dinners, catching up with the people he held dearest - he fought hard to keep a positive attitude, at least when he knew what was going on. They say words can't express.... It's true, and watching this made me realize how important it is to fund research and hope for people diagnosed.
As Pappy slowly forgot how to do what he loved, then slowly forgot how to do what he needed, and eventually forgot those who he loved, my aunt and uncle took care of his needs, day after day after day, for years, so he could stay home. Watching them made me realize how much caretakers need encouragement, guidance, help, and why this organization is so crucial.
Why do we walk? We walk because we understand the importance of the Alzheimer's Association. The Walk to End Alzheimer's is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, and we want to make sure that we do our part in continuing that availability for all those who need it.
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