If memories are forever, why must some forget?
The heart-breaking toll of Alzheimer’s disease on the heart of a family.
I was blessed with such a sweet grandfather. He was kind, funny, playful, and loving. We spent A LOT of time together when I was little. I’ll never forget the lingering scent of his Old Spice aftershave… the strikingly bright hue of the peacock blue ink that he bought in bulk for his fountain pen when he found out the manufacturer was going out of business… The gentle brush of his fingertips scratching my back to soothe me to sleep… I have thousands of memories of playing in the pool, riding on the lawnmower together, and hearing his Donald Duck impersonation. What a legacy he left behind…
The man was fit as a fiddle. He rode his stationary bike and worked out on his rowing machine EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING—- good habits learned from a Navy career during World War 2. Oh yes, his body was built to last, it was his mind that was lost far before the little girl in me was ready to let go.
Like so many families, my family lost our “Bompie” to Alzheimer’s disease. The hardest part was knowing the man we knew and loved was long gone far before his body gave in.
And this is my sweet Grandmother, Esther. (She avoided the camera! This was the only one I could find!) She lived across the country from me, but I saw her at least once every year. She was a woman of few words, but a gifted pianist and the best cook I’ve ever known. She and I shared a love for animals—especially cats and wolves— and I can’t smell the sweet scent of wintergreen without having pleasant memories of her float through my thoughts. She was precious… a silent, brave warrior for most of her life. We also lost her to dementia. I can’t even talk about her last months— it was so brutal.
But I can say— Alzheimer’s sucks… and I wouldn’t wish it upon my very worst enemy.
Meet Melanie. This is my dear friend, Tarah’s Mom, who is only 66 and has been declining with Alzheimer’s for 6 years now. If there’s anything worse than traditional Alzheimer’s, it has to be early onset… No one expects to lose a parent—body OR mind at such a young age. Feel free to read Tarah’s Blog to learn more about her story. You’ll love following her!
Odds are very high that your family has a similar story to ours or Tarah’s, and believe me, half of the tears I’ve shed while writing this were for you (my tshirt is soaked…). This year I decided to do more than post on Facebook about this issue. I’m putting action behind my words, and I’m inviting you to join me.
In partnership with Tarah and sweet Melanie, my family has donated to Alzheimer’s research through the link below, AND now I’m excited to launch a new campaign for “Melanie’s Memories Matter!” I have designed a sign featuring the scripture that proclaims God’s Word over Melanie and every person battling Alzheimer’s. 2 Timothy 1:7 says: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The truth is that their lives, their memories, and their minds are all precious and were meant to be perfect. For every one of these that’s purchased, I’m giving 20% to Alzheimer’s research.
There are so many ways you can get involved too! Order a sign— you can refresh your décor with this beautiful bible verse, gift one to a family who care about this cause, or donate directly by purchasing a tshirt or giving cash from the links below. We’d love to partner with you and your family to end this disease. Let’s fight for a cure.
SIGN DETAILS & ORDERING: https://www.createapeacefulhome.com/alzheimers-awareness-campaign/
*I will donate 20% of proceeds from the purchases of this sign to Alzheimer’s Research! You can feel good about this purchase— every dollar makes a difference.
Tshirt purchase for donation: http://ow.ly/xltd3037d63 (The tshirt campaign ends this Saturday, August 13, 2016!!)
General donations to Alzheimer’s Research: http://act.alz.org/site/TR?px=6163960&fr_id=9345&pg=personal