Please Give if you can…it means a lot to my husband and to everyone that has a loved one affected by this awful disease. You can donate here at this link. It would be so much appreciated.
More than 5 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s. My husband’s mother, Marilyn, was one of them. From a personal perceptive, Alzheimer’s is an awful disease taking from your love ones their memories. I watched my husband’s family struggle with this fact. At first, I watched a lovely, warm woman struggle to remember simple facts. Frustration sets in. She wasn’t what she wanted to be. Then after another stage, she became more like a child. Accepting what you told her amiably, instead it was his family who endured the hurt. I watched my father-in-law stand by his wedding vows, for better or worse, in sickness or health, faithfully. When I write a romance, I write about finding a love to last a life time. It happens…I’ve seen it.
So come Sunday, September 27th, my family and I are walking for Marilyn. My hubbie’s team. In a situation where you don’t have a lot of control, he wanted to do something for his mother. If not his, someone else’s. Marilyn would have liked that. She was always helping someone.
If you are up here in Boston, you are welcome to join us. If you can’t walk, think about a small donation if you can. Every little bit helps. You can hit donate.
Thanks for letting me share. Thank you for caring….
Before you go, take a minute if you want and read a short story I wrote a couple of years ago…
Where Did She Go?
Time is a relative thing. Isn’t it? I mean the older we get, the faster it ticks away. There are never enough hours in the day.
Running late as usual, I almost passed by my parents’ house. I was tired. Work had been so crazy and I needed to go by the grocery store…No, I reprimanded myself. I needed to see Mom. I pulled my car in the driveway.
Sliding back the porch’s screen door, I walked in to find Mom sitting in her chair. She smiled up at me, the most beautiful smile. A laugh escaped her, a laugh to die for. The house used to echo with her laughter.
“Oh, it’s you. You have come to visit,” she said.
I smiled back at her. It’s been years since she said my name. I looked over at Dad. It had been one of those days. His tired worn eyes betrayed him, but not his words.
Leaning over and kissing Mom’s cheek, I turned to him. “Why don’t you go out? I’m here for as long as you need me. Aiden is at a dinner for work.”
“Do you mind? I could run down to the Knight’s?” he asked.
“Not a problem,” I answered, reprimanding myself once again. I should come by more often and watch her for him.
Realizing in that moment, I have taken Bree, my older sister, for granted. She had taken on the blunt of the responsiblity for Mom and Dad. Never having married, I had convinced myself Bree had the time to look after them. Forgetting perhaps, the woman in the chair was my mother, also.
I watched Dad leave from the window and turned back to Mom.
“Where did that man go?”
I sighed. “He’ll be right back.”
“Who?” she asked. She stood up and walked toward the kitchen.
“Are you hungry? Let me fix you something,” I said, while following her.
She leaned down and picked up a tiny, tiny scrap of paper on the floor. I wondered for a moment how could she have seen it. She picked it up and placed it in the palm of her hand.
“Do you want me to take that?”
She doesn’t answer, but I reached over and took it. Throwing it in the garbage, I watched her walk over to the table and rearrange the centerpiece. She turned back to me.
“Where did that man go?”
“He’ll be back in a minute.”
I caught sight of a stack of pictures at the corner of the table. Picking them up, I flipped through them. I held the past in my hand. Pictures of my father fifty years ago. So good looking, smiling in his army uniform. Another of their wedding…baby pictures of us kids.
So long ago. How I missed those days. Engrossed in the pictures, I hadn’t noticed at first she had sat down. She held the picture of Dad in her hand. Gently her hand glazed over the face.
“He’s handsome,” she said, not releasing it, but gripping it tighter. She reached for the stack. I relented the pictures and sat back, studying her as she looked through them.
Suddenly, the urge surged through me that I wanted her back. I wanted her to take me in her arms as she had when I was a child. Smooth away the pain. To tell me that everything would be okay.
“In the morning, the world will refresh itself and everything will be better,” she used to tell me.
Instead, she asked, “Where did that man go?”
“He’ll be back in a minute,” I answered once more. She seemed appeased and went back looking through the pictures.
We sat there looking at the past through the pictures in her hand. I answered her patiently when she asked me who it was.
“That’s Liam, your oldest grandson.”
“Are you sure?” she asked.
I nodded. She stared down at it thoughtfully. I saw her mind struggle to remember, searching for something familiar. There had been times in the past when she would break down and cry at this point. Today she went to the next picture.
How desperately I wanted to share with her my memories. Moments in my life I cherish. Would always cherish…wouldn’t I?
I wanted to tell her I would never have survived high school without her. It wasn’t until my children got to be in high school that I realized why Mom stayed up and hugged me before I went to bed. Later in life she told me she just wanted to make sure I hadn’t been drinking. Nothing ever got by her. I wanted her to know I have done the same with my children.
I chuckled to myself remembering how much she disliked Aiden when I began dating him. She had never come straight out and told me. No, that wasn’t her way. Subtle remarks here and there. They stopped the day I married. Over the years, surprisingly to me, she formed a special bond with my husband.
Then the vision of her when I was giving birth to Janette flashed before me. Aiden was by my side when the doctor said her heart rate dropped. They needed to perform an emergency Cesarean. Being wheeled down the corridor to the OR, I heard her before I saw her. Running down the hall like a mad woman, she stopped us for a second.
Bending down over me, she whispered, “I love you.”
I heard her as I was being wheeled away. “I couldn’t let them take her in without telling her…”
I looked at her now. Oh, God, what happened to my mother? The woman who never forgot a date in her life, a birthday, an anniversary, dates that I didn’t even know meant anything.
Smiling at me, she asked, “Where’s that man? Suppose he forgot to come back.”
“He’ll be back in a minute.”
She nodded. Her head tilted to the side when she came to the next picture, the picture of a beautiful, young woman, beaming brightly, ever so happy…it was Mom on her wedding day.
Her eyes met mine. “Where did she go?”