When my mom was 72, I asked her to stir some carrots into a pot of sautéing onions, garlic and olive oil. We were preparing some vegetable soup. Confused, she asked me what she was stirring and I explained that those were carrots. Her reply, “I’ve never seen that”! Oh dear, this coming from a woman who once was a fabulous cook.
Another time, we were walking on a moon lit night and I pointed out the beautiful full moon. Her reply, “I’ve never seen that”! My heart ached at this response from a woman who loved nature and would point out the glorious moons when we were children.
These are among the ironies of Alzheimer’s. The little things that mount up to big things that will either stop you in your tracks out of sheer despair or capture the glory of such love that arms instinctively reach out and gather the once protector into an embrace to be protected. I did this a lot in my mom’s last few years.
A day after my mom died, I got an email from my husband inviting me to join his team to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. I thought that was sweet. And, of course I would participate as would my daughter, brother, sister, and various family members who could make the October date.
My husband organized the fund raising and diligently began to post updates on Facebook. Dollar by dollar the contributions began to grow. About 3 weeks into it, I began to promote it as well and soon we were well beyond our goal.
We have wonderful, generous family and friends!
We heard from so many people whose lives have been forever changed by a family member with some kind of dementia. The messages were sweet with a similar theme, “you walk for all of us”. With every thank you we sent for donating, many came back, “no, thank you”!
So, Saturday was the day. Sunny, the October air fresh and light magical, we donned our purple shirts, received our fundraising medals and gathered for the walk. It was an easy walk with many people (and pets) young and old, walking for science. Walking for spirit. Walking to acknowledge those who endure the loss of memory.
The loss of remembering a carrot, a full moon, a sweet friend or loving family member.
On Saturday, we did it! We walked, laughed, cried, celebrated, loved, and remembered.
Our team name….. ”I’ve Never Seen That”.