The Walk to End Alzheimer's is this Saturday, September 28, at St Charles Community College in Cottleville, MO. Here are the reasons why I walk...
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is caused by physical changes in the brain. It is the most common form of Alzheimer's and seems to be considered commonplace when you approach a certain age, but it is a disease.
Both of my grandmothers were (and still are) very near and dear to my heart. I love them immeasurably and miss them every day. When I bought my house in Tennessee, they each began to come down and visit me (something I lobbied very hard for with each of them). At first, it was a week at a time. Then I negotiated at least two weeks so that we would have a weekend free to do something fun and get out of the house. They were content to be there and see me when I got home from work, but I wanted to have more time and show them around a little.
I took my Grandma Doris to The Ryman Auditorium for a bluegrass concert, bought her a Ryman seat cushion that she used from then forward, and we had a great time. She loved music and that was right down her alley. Then we went to Cracker Barrel so she could get her favorite from that menu, chicken and dumplings.
I also tried to keep things equal, though I'm sure they never kept track. For one trip, a friend and I took my Grandma Re to dinner and then to a concert at The Ryman. There wasn't any bluegrass that night. We saw John Prine and Delbert McClinton. It was a little out of the norm for Grandma, but she was a hit with everyone around us and had a ball. Everyone wanted to talk to her and find out if she was a fan of either artist or just a fan of the music. Of course, she said she had no idea who either were, she was just there to be with me. It was fun watching everyone make a big deal over her.
There are way too many more stories I could share, but suffice it to say, they were both priceless. I started making donations to an Alzheimer's fund through Missouri Baptist Hospital after my Grandma Re was diagnosed, and then in both of their names after Grandma Doris was diagnosed. Last year I decided to join the SCC Walkers team in the Walk to End Alzheimer's and honor their memories that way and am doing so again this year. If you would like to donate in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one, feel free to sponsor me by clicking here.
This song makes me think of my grandmas every time I listen to it.