April 18, 2005

in Me

Yesterday I went to the funeral of the mother of a friend.  I never met his mom, Joann, but funerals are for the living, and this man has done so much for me.  Joann had Alzheimer’s disease, which also claimed my mother’s life five years ago.  There are few more gut-wrenching things to go through than to watch a vibrant mind deteriorate.  My friend read letters written by family and friends who recalled events in his mother’s life.  One letter was from a relative who was cared for as a child for a time by Joann, who was a nurse.  Apparently Joann thought the relative had been poorly diagnosed, and felt the child had worms, and treated her for them.  My friend read, "Sure enough, a few days later I passed a big…"  My friend paused abruptly and said, "I think I’ll just skip over the next part."  Everyone had a big laugh.  That was certainly one of the most unique moments I can recall every at a funeral!

Anyway, here’s to Joann, and my mom Helen, both of whom are missed every day. As I do several times a year, I will today make a contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association.  If you know anybody who has suffered from this devastating disease, make a donation too.

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