Today’s Worthy Wednesday is a post from my friend Bridgette about Alzheimer’s.
This is my Alzheimer’s story…about my Gram
Gram was always so beautiful, stunning really. I loved her with so much of my heart and she loved me just as much. I would listen to her tell these wild stories from her younger days of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Traveling from her home in Delaware to NYC to go see the big bands of the day…the stories always fascinated me with talk of Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey.
She took care of me when I was a little girl and my mom, as a single mother had to work nights. We would watch The Love Boat, Dallas, Falcon Crest all those ridiculous 80’s shows. She rubbed my back and took me on her golf outings Saturday mornings where I would ride in the cart and sing songs while we went from hole to hole with the rest of the ladies. We would go shopping at the mall, she bought me my first pair of Jordache jeans (if you’re an 80’s child this was pretty awesome). I have so many wonderful memories throughout my life. She was sweet and generous but not a pushover by any means.
I also have the memories of laying in bed with her after her Alzheimer’s and dementia had taken over. We would talk about the same things over and over…”what are you doing with yourself these days, do you have a case on this guy?”, hah I guess a “case” is a crush. She loved to sing and dance and even after so many of her own memories would vanish she would always be sitting there tapping her feet to the music and smiling away.
Gram would have done anything in the world for me and so when she was diagnosed with dementia and then Alzheimer’s it was time to do anything for her. If you have never been close to or lived with someone that suffered from Alzheimer’s all I can say is it one of the most horrendous things to see someone go through. The family member you knew slowly begins to disappear right before your eyes. All the memories just dissipate into nothingness….yet you hold on so tight and you keep telling the stories over and over because maybe just maybe you’ll catch that glimmer in her eye that yes she does remember. I would walk into her room, a beautiful room my mom, as her main caregiver, had made up for her and every time I hoped she would know who I was. I could see a slight question at times but she knew her Bridgie, and yes sometimes I was the nice pretty girl that helped her and that was alright too and she would say…”what is your name again? Oh I know it, I do.”
What is Alzheimer’s disease….it is a degenerative brain disease of unknown cause that is the most common form of dementia, that usually starts in late middle age or in old age, that results in progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, and changes in personality and mood, that leads in advanced cases to a profound decline in cognitive and physical functioning.(merriam-webster)
My mom and I will be walking this November for my Gram and for all the other families, caregivers. Philadelphia Walk to Remember….Team Ginger!! Our walk is on November 10, 2013.
We need your support to do our part! Please consider making a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into prevention, treatments and a cure for Alzheimer’s. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
Thank you for joining our movement! The end of Alzheimer’s disease starts here.
Let’s Go TEAM GINGER!!!!
I am super fortunate to have a beautiful little boy, a wonderful partner to share in my life adventures, and a silly neurotic dog! I love writing, blogging and spending time with my family.