Walking and Remembering

alzheimers walk

The Meals on Wheels Team on the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

 

Every year, my husband and I take part in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  It’s a tiny way to pay tribute to our mothers. We lost my mom to Alzheimer’s in 2010 … his mother in 2009. Walking seems an appropriate way to honor them, since the route is steep at times and then downhill at others.  The Alzheimer’s journey is like that. There are days you feel as if you can’t face another obstacle or take another step.  But there are also good days, when you’re grateful for moments when their memories wake up…for a little while.  We families, who have a front row seat watching this horrible disease deliver blow after blow, are put on an emotional roller coaster. We, very selfishly, are silently grateful for the day the roller coaster comes to a screeching halt. When someone you love actually dies of Alzheimer’s … it’s almost as if they’ve died a second time. The first death is much longer and more painful …seeing the slow demise of their mind and their memories.

This year’s walk was on a beautiful sunny Saturday. We strolled up and down the streets in Northwest Austin happily chatting to friends. Many of the participants carried signs with pictures of the people they were honoring.  There were matching shirts with logos like “Team Mimi” or “Walking for Pops”.  I couldn’t’ help wondering what each family has seen and where they are in their walk with this disease. Is their loved one still alive? How far has the disease progressed? Are they living at home on in a facility? Do they still recognize you? I was lucky, my mom still knew me until the day she died. She also never lost her ability to talk, read and sing. That was a blessing. Image

Sometimes, I wonder whether I will face this disease. I see science developing tests to pinpoint whether you are at high risk.  I’ll be honest, I don’t want to know!  Who wants to live dreading the day you stop remembering? I’d rather just relish my wonderful life and my memories and hope I never follow in the footsteps of Alzheimer’s.

 

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7 thoughts on “Walking and Remembering

    1. Thanks so much, Megan! I’m just getting started in this blogging business( other than the keye site ) and you know me and technology…….we don’t always get along:)

  1. Like you, I have a “daughter in far-away places” — mine lives in London. I deeply appreciate all your thoughts shared on how that sadness appears on the day we must wave goodbye. But we also know they are doing what they were meant to do and are fulfilling their dreams. So happy for you as you retire and get a chance to go and do as you please. You certainly deserve it!!!

    1. Elaine,
      Thank you for the kind words. I haven’t been on my blog site for a little while and just noticed your comment. Yes, it’s wonderful to see our children fulfill their dreams … even if they are half a world away.
      Take care,
      Judy M

  2. Judy, I only just found your blog today because the folks at culturemap.com were nice enough to point all of us to it in the article they ran about you on Feb 5 (which I also only found today!). I’ve always known what a big heart you have, and that come ringing through in your blog…reading your words about Carly, your mom, our citizens, and so many other things.
    I’m excited for you re: your new adventures! Enjoy every moment!
    Keep in touch. xo

    1. Thanks so much, Ellen. Hopefully I will have more time to write now that I’m stepping down from the anchor desk.
      I am looking forward to new beginnings and more time for swimming and yoga 🙂
      I hope all is well with you. Speaking of big hearts … yours always comes shining through every time you teach a class.
      You are a kind soul, my friend. Take care and I will keep in touch. xo

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