There are, unfortunately, so many stories out there, but let me tell you mine.

It's been 4 years since the horrible disease of Alzheimer's took my mother away. I say mother because it took my mom away about 18 months before. I would love to say the pain isn't as bad or I don't still cry, but that's just not the case. The thing is, grief has no rule book or guided timeline on how we are supposed to feel. All I know is at 56 I still need my mom. For that reason each year I participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Why I Walk

The statistics are staggering. More than half of the 6 Million American's with the disease may not even know they have it and it kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. When she died it was the 10th. The fierce rampage of Alzheimer's is not slowing down, yet getting worse.  I could go on with facts and figures, but all I know is it took my mom. The special walks that take place across the country in local communities raise much needed funds to help search for a cure and help provide families resources to cope with the illness stealing their family member away.

Shortly after she passed away I had the chance to write a piece for local magazine about my journey and the loss of the one woman I inspired to be. The woman that to this day I can still hear her beautiful  words of wisdom in my head when I need it the most. Writing became cathartic at the perfect time as I tried to make sense of how something so horrible and cruel as this disease could take away someone so wonderful and loved.

Lisa Marie
Lisa Marie

I thought I would again share the article that helped me begin the grieving process, and let others know that they were not alone as children, spouses, or caregivers. A excerpt from the story pretty much summed up how it felt to watch someone you love fade away.

"I found myself talking with other daughters and sons of Alzheimer’s patients and found our common bond was the anger. Not at our loved ones, but at the disease itself, at the cruel reality of what was happening. At times I even found myself asking God to make it stop, to end this cycle that was slowly stealing her dignity and spirit before our eyes. Taking her ability to remember who I was. Her ability to walk, eat and communicate. As if someone was turning off her body one switch at a time."

You can read the entire piece here through On the Town Magazine. You can also show support or walk in honor of a loved one on October 9th during the Walk to End Alzheimer's – Genesee County. You can get details here.  I will be walking this year, and you can support me by donating here. 

If you are a daughter or a son, a husband or a wife, or anyone that is watching the cycle of Alzheimer's begin to run its evil course, know that you are not alone and more importantly your loved one is "in there". Their heart & soul  is the one thing the disease can't take away...ever.


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