Alzheimer’s Daughter introduces the reader to my healthy parents, Ed and Ibby, years before their diagnosis, then recounts painful details as our roles reversed and I became my parents’ parent.
Their disease started as translucent, confused thoughts and ended in a locked memory care unit after a near decade of descent into the opaque world of Alzheimer's.
I began writing Alzheimer’s Daughter one week after my mother's death––when I was stunned, realizing Dad had no memory of her or their 66-year marriage.
I write to pay tribute to the undying spirit at Ed and Ibby's core, and with the hope that the story of their parallel decline might be helpful to others.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Walking to End Alzheimer's
This year, for the first time, I participated in The Walk to End Alzheimer's sponsored by the Alzheimer's Association: Greater East Ohio Area Chapter.
As I walked today with a friend who asked me to join her team, we talked about our journey. Both of us agreed that it was difficult to keep our heads above water while seeking to make the best decisions on behalf of the people who were our moral compass for our entire lives. But in the years since our parents' passing, the experience has never left us. Now we can focus on offering support to those going through the journey.
In a sea of hundreds of other people wearing purple, we carried flowers. Purple signified the loss of a loved one, yellow designated current caregivers, supporters of the cause carried orange, and most importantly blue indicated people diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia. Little children, teens, adults, boomers and elderly, as well as a few canines walked. Most touching to me was the little girl who skipped in purple shoes, and a woman my own age who pushed her tiny withered mother the entire way in a wheel chair. Whenever this lady encountered rough terrain, or cement steps, strapping teenage boys helped lift her mother's chair.
This event demonstrated the best in a community coming together for a good cause and multi-generational caring. I hope to participate every year. Thank you Alzheimer's Association for making an outreach like this possible.