September 01, 2017

Forget Her Not: World Alzheimer's Month 2017



My grandparents lived in Australia for most of my life. They were ex-pats in search of adventures that took them around the world with their family, but life brought them back home as they began to age and wanted to be near family. Not too long after they moved back, my Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she moved into a wonderful care home where my Grandpa would go and visit her every day.

If I'm being honest, I never really knew my Grandma. Having lived in Australia and only visiting a couple of times until I was in high school, the opportunity to get to know her before the disease took over was never there. Most of what I do know comes from the stories my Grandpa and my Dad have told about her, as most of the time that I spent with her she didn't talk to me. She sounds like she was an amazingly strong woman with a fantastic sense of style. I love looking at old photographs of her as her posture suggests that she was sassy, fun and full of life.

What I do remember are little moments that I had with her, and parts of her personality that she used to conceal what was happening to her. I remember her laugh that she had when someone asked her a question she didn't know the answer to, and she would look to my Grandpa for help. Or that time I looked after her while my Dad took my Grandpa to the symphony, and she answered the phone upside-down and didn't remember that she had to say "hello".

The one thing that I know she had no difficulties with, until she lost her voice, was singing songs from yesteryear while my Grandpa sat at the piano accompanying her. They would be there for hours making music together, and I know this was a very special time for them because he would visit her at the care home and continue to play music for her to listen to -- even after she had passed, my Grandpa would continue to play music for the other residents, until he could no longer go.

It is this life. It is this memory of the most pure joy, the most pure love, that brings me back year after year for the month of September to donate 15% of the shops profits to the Alzheimer Society of Canada to provide support to those who are suffering from the disease and their families, and to promote research. Help support the cause and give a voice to those affected by Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Forget them not.



 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_09.jpg