Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! –2 Cor. 9:15
Less than 2 weeks until our Walk to End Alzheimer’s happens. (9/25/21 starting at 8:30am registration and 10am events). Our little team, Never Gonna Give You Up, has Rick Rolled along to raise $666 on a $1,000 goal as of this morning (early). I would still like to make it to that $1,000 goal. 🙂 Maybe someone could make a small donation at the link above to move the needle off of the 666 number? 😉 Regardless, my goal today: I want to use this piece to explain why this event matters. 🙂
- My first Walk– I have only attended 5 walks and one was virtual, so I am not an expert, per se. My first walk, though, completely opened my eyes. As I looked over the field of around 1,000 folks I finally realized that We were Not Alone. When you first get a diagnosis, in our case, when the diagnosis became clearly “true” in our eyes, one thing you can expect in all likelihood: to look like the intersection of these two pictures:
Mom had transformed from a fun-loving, energetic senior who exercised, ate right, didn’t smoke, didn’t chew, and wasn’t married to a man that doed (Sorry, Mrs. Whitlow…the phrase didn’t work with the tense. 😉 ) to a forgetful, dangerous to herself, hyper-anxious (Think Edith Bunker on steroids), wandering around aimlessly, damsel in distress. And we were clueless how to help her. I was new at SeniorAge and was still learning the basic job requirements when this all came about, so I had not yet met several mentors who have helped a great deal in this process. I contacted the Alzheimer’s Association who were outstanding in getting me literature and pointing me several ways. The one thing I lacked was what the Walk filled: knowledge that others shared my boat.
- Talking– Walking around with my shirt on afterwards generated two conversations with people who commented. (One was at a grocery store and the other was at our family reunion which was just after the event). Seems many want and need to talk about it.
- Rallying around a cause like this helps make sense of the senseless.– I don’t want to preach too hard here, but know this: Things do, indeed, happen for a purpose. If terrible things are left as senseless, randomness, all we are left with is despair and lostness. However, turning turnips into lemonade at least places us in a place where we can wrap our mind around good things happening from it. The world is a fallen mess…it doesn’t need any more sadness than is already in everyday life or on the news… But show a group of folks hugging and sharing burdens and the load is lightened, even if only a little.
- The promise garden– I have 2,000 whirlybird flowers in my room behind my desk as I type. Spoiler alert: these play a role in the event, even more so this year. Looking over a sea of them reaffirms the fact that you are not alone and that God is present.
- Fundraising– This event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Association. They are VERY lean on administrative expenses, but they are very generous in providing materials, teachers, other help, grants for researching for treatments and a cure. This money will ultimately lead to a cure. They are a very worthy group to which to donate.
- Fun- The event, while sober, is “fun”. It is an opportunity to get out, stretch your legs, laugh a little, and have fun, even if for only a couple of hours. Our Emcee is amazing. Thank you again, Ethan, for hosting!
- Because you can meet me– Sorry…I couldn’t come up with a better zinger to finish this off…so you are stuck with this. My family and I will be there, runnin’ around like chickens with heads displaced. I guess this isn’t an ideal zinger…but please do stop by or call/text me on the 25th. 417-955-2513 is my cell. 🙂 The rest of these were very important and I am sure I missed other good reasons to come.
Thank you all for considering coming to our event or the one in your community. Not one in your community? Start your own next year! 🙂
Update: I had a nice visit with mom yesterday in my 20 minutes. She was awake for 3-4 minutes, a record for the last few months. 🙂 Nothing much new to report. She has lost some weight over the last several months, but she had gotten bigger so it isn’t a real danger quite yet. Hospice swings by to see her today or tomorrow. I don’t get to visit tomorrow because of jury duty. Next week it is…