I first became aware of Alzheimer’s through neighbors and friends who had parents living with the disease. Shortly after, my own mother started showing signs and was diagnosed. Never could I have imagined what that would mean for my mother, myself or my family. My mother, whose name was Elizabeth, was always very involved in our lives, both as children and as we grew into adults and had children of our own. She was the kind of grandmother who would get down on the floor and roll around giggling with her grandchildren. Mom was born in Ireland and was a beautiful, smart and very giving woman.
I’ll never forget the day my mom called me to ask me how to wash the floor. Here I was having to explain to the woman who always took pride in being a stay at home mom and keeping her home spotless, the step by step task of something she did on a weekly basis. As I walked her through the process…”get a bucket”…”fill it with water”…”add some liquid soap”..I silently cried on the other end of the phone, realizing how this disease was stealing my mom even though she was still right there. While my involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association to #ENDALZ was initially sparked by my passion to honor my mother, it has now also become in hopes that my children will not have to worry about facing such a devastating diagnosis. That my children will be able to remember their grandmother and not the disease. That my children will live in a world without Alzheimer’s.