Friday, September 28, 2007

Blue Sky

Each time I go outside and see a bright blue sky, I'm sad. Most people don't even notice the sky, but I do. When I see an unusually bright blue sky, my heart aches. Something so ordinary, so mundane, but yet so wonderous - something Mike no longer has the ability to appreciate.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gotta Love that Smile

This picture was taken about a week ago. Lately, Mike has been smiling and laughing ALOT and we're loving every minute of it. That smile is all I need to make it through a crazy day at work.

That's What Friends are For....

Today, our friends Pat and Joe, came over for a visit. Although we hadn't seen them in a long time, when they came over, it felt like we've been in touch for years - a sure sign of a good friend. I was trying to "read" Mike to see whether there was any recognition, but I couldn't. There were some raised eyebrows and smiles and I really hope Mike knew they were there. I had a good time visiting with them, but got very sad after they left. This disease is so alienating, and you don't realize how much you don't have, until you get a little taste of "normal". Most people would take it for granted to go out with friends and reminisce. While Mike was eating lunch, we headed to the backyard and talked. It was such a simple thing, but something I enjoyed immensely. Thanks to my dear friend Pat, he once again brought up my mishap with the skunk on our way home from visiting a friend in Rhode Island. I don't think he'll EVER let that go. It was really good to laugh again. After Pat and Joe left, I felt sad. Sad that Mike couldn't be a part of our conversation, sad because it felt like yesterday when we were all so young with no worries. Life happens - but if you're lucky, you will have friends who will always be there for you, NO MATTER how long it's been since you've seen them.

If you know anyone suffering from some sort of illness, please, PLEASE, go and visit. It will mean the world to them.

(Picture taken Sat. 9/22/07 - Pat, Mike and Joe)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Memory Walk Success

I am happy to report that as a team,
heroes" raised $1,620.00 for the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Walk. The day began as a rainy, cold day, but as we began our second turn around the Restoration, the blue sky came through and it was sunny for the rest of the day. Courtney and her friends and Brandon and his friend had a great time. I don't think their friends really understood what a wonderful thing they were doing, because they were having so much fun. I was proud of everyone that walked with us and the support that we received.

The last few days I've been once again drawn to the reality of this disease. After Mike's hospitalizations earlier this year, I was always on edge for everything that I thought would be a problem. I became glued to the Alzheimer Association's Message Boards and read every post by anyone experiencing "end of life" issues for their loved one. After all, Mike had been given Last Rites back then and I had no idea what to expect. It was Courtney that finally got me to stop going to the Boards because I began to "imagine" things were happening with Mike. In the process though, I learned what happens to patients as they near the end. Right now, Mike is having issues with "glob" in his throat. He can still cough it up and clear his throat, but I begin to go into panic mode and worry about what will happen next.

This disease is ALWAYS UNPREDITABLE and never has a term such as roller coaster ever been closer to the truth. The families of Alzheimer patients are CONSTANTLY wondering what will be around the next turn. We can only live in the present and it becomes very difficult to plan anything for the future.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Memory Walk Events

This coming Saturday, we will be walking for the 3rd time in the Alzheimer Association's Memory Walk. My goal was to raise $1,000.00 (we raised $650.00 last year). To date, we have $1,300.00. I am THRILLED.

Courtney recruited her friends to walk with us this year. They came by on Saturday and tie-dyed shirts so we will all have our official team shirt. We decided on the tie-dye theme a few years ago because we thought it was appropriate for Mike. He's young and he should be represented as such. Before we tie-dyed, Courtney and her friend set up a "Refreshment Stand" on our corner to raise more money. I was hoping to raise $100.00. Much to our surprise, people were very generous and we raised $258.00. After all that hard work, I BBQ'd for Courtney and her friends. For dessert, we had cookies, brownies and a surprise birthday cake for Courtney's 16th birthday. It was 9/5 and I felt so bad that I couldn't give her a party that she deserved. She always wanted a cake with her picture on it, and that's what she got. She was excited and surprised and I was happy that her friends were there to enjoy the moment with her.

Pray for good weather on Saturday. Instead of the 7 people that walked last year, this year we will have close to 20. We wanted to make a statement and we hope we succeed.

I hope to walk every year until a cure is found. Thank you to all of those that helped us exceed our goal. Your love and support is what keeps us strong.