I sat in the area known as “The Square” between all the classes, with a small group of students, trying to help them write essays. One student asked me how to spell volunteer and I started, “V-O-L-“, then I went completely blank. I could not remember what letter came next.
“I can’t remember, I think it’s V-O-L-U-N-T-E-E-R, but I am not sure.”
Truthfully, I think it is good for students to know that even adults sometimes have moments when they are not sure, but still – I was upset that my brain froze.
One of the students wrote the word into his computer to let the spell check do its magic, and declared I was correct. Still, it looked funny to me. Oh well, at least that question was answered.
The thing is, for me, the idea of forgetting is not something I take lightly. I lost both my parents to Alzheimer’s. I remember when my father started to forget words. No, I did not forget the word, just how to spell it, but still –
My parents are not forgotten. They still live in my memories and as long as I remember them, they will continue to be a real part of who I am. I want to remember them and that is the main reason my sisters and I walk every October. We walk for a cure, we walk to raise awareness of the disease, and we walk in order to support the services available for those suffering from the disease and for their caregivers.
Last Saturday was our walk.
It took place in the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware.
It was a gorgeous day, cool in the morning, but it became quite warm – I think in the 80s and I enjoyed the weather very much.
This tent doesn’t have anything other than tables, but there was a tent with bananas, pretzels, and water so we had the energy to walk. There were also tables with reusable water bottles, towels, bags, etc. from the various nursing homes and other service providers.
The most beautiful table was the one with the flowers. Each walker picked a flower based on their reason for walking.
I support or care for someone with Alzheimer’s
I have lost someone to the Alzheimer’s Disease
I support the cause and a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s
I have Alzheimer’s
Though there were many orange flowers taken, most were either yellow or purple because, unfortunately, there are few people who are not affected by the terrible disease.
My flower was yellow because I was once a caregiver. I could have taken purple, but my angel garden already has a purple one.
I pray I never get a blue one.
I pray, and pray, and pray…..
This year they introduced a new flower. It wasn’t available on the table, but it was part of the opening ceremony because there WILL come a day when people will proudly carry the white flowers.
I survived Alzheimer’s
Someday there will be a cure.
Someday, I will simply laugh off the idea that I forgot how to spell ‘volunteer’.
Until that day, I will continue to walk, as long as I remember.
A field of beautiful flowers that spun in the breeze.
Every time I saw someone with a blue flower, I felt the anguish of the individual and those around him. Every time I saw a group of people, each carrying a sign of a the face of a loved one lost, I felt the sting of tears in my eyes.
Though I wish to forget the grief the disease causes, I choose to remember because it is in remembering that we find the drive to continue to walk.
It was a beautiful day with a very large crowd.
You know what is always present when a large crowd gathers…..
I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the ambulance because I included one in my last post. I found its presence to be a little poignant as many with Alzheimer’s end up passengers in such vehicles. I don’t think it was used that day.