When It’s Time to Say Goodbye


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This is a piece I wrote back in 2011. It isn’t specifically about Alzheimer’s, but it is about life, a topic I’ve spent a significant amount of time ruminating on this year.

Tomorrow marks the 5th anniversary of my mom’s passing, and Christmas will mark the 6th anniversary of my dear friend’s mother’s passing. I saw “G” tonight, which is what prompted me to go back and pull this from the archives so I could re-read it.

I hope Evey’s story touches your heart….

December 28, 2011

Tonight I went to calling hours.  Our dear family friends of 20+ years lost their mother/grandmother on Christmas Day.  She had finally succumbed to cancer after a long, valiant battle.

I’m 46 years old, and I still never know what to say at times like this.  Nothing sounds right. Nothing. I guess all you can do is hope that the presence of friends helps to ease the pain, if just a tiny bit.

After talking to my friend tonight at the church, I found myself feeling oddly inspired. As she described their last trip to Florida this fall, she told me that her mother had completed everything on her bucket list.  Every.single.thing.  I wonder how many people can say that.

The last thing on the list was the celebration of her 62nd wedding anniversary, and she made it.  She marked that milestone and celebrated with her loving husband just a week before she left this earth.  She was well enough for them to go out to dinner and enjoy a lovely date night, which I imagine will remain one of his most treasured memories of her.

I have to say, I’m not much of a believer in happily ever afters when it comes to marriage, but G’s parents definitely seemed to defy the odds and find true, everlasting love.  Their entire family will be in my prayers, but particularly G’s dad who is now faced with adjusting to life alone after so many years with his soul mate.  I’m sure, though, that she won’t be far – watching over him day and night until they meet again.

In the end, Evey did what we should all strive to do.  One by one, she crossed every single item off of her bucket list.  When she finished, she was ready to take the next journey, having done everything she was meant to do here on earth…

What’s on your bucket list?  Have you thought about it?  Have you said the things you need to say and done the things you need to do?  Tomorrow isn’t promised.  We all need to get busy, don’t we?  Thank you, beautiful Evey, for the inspiring reminder…


Alzheimer’s and Dementia Gift Ideas

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us, and with that comes shopping for those perfect gifts.

The Long and Winding Road...

Finding the right gift for a loved one living with dementia can be challenging, so I put together a list of ideas to help. Click on over to the UsAgainstAlzheimer’s blog to find it — >  Alzheimer’s & Dementia Gift Ideas

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Alzheimer’s & Gratitude: A Matter of Perspective

A post from 2016 that seems fitting for today. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

The Long and Winding Road...

gllogoJune is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month in the United States, and I’m grateful to my new friends at the worldwide Network for Grateful Living for helping shine the spotlight on Alzheimer’s!

After being introduced to their site, I was inspired to write a piece about Alzheimer’s and gratitude, two things we don’t necessarily see as going hand in hand. We know this disease brings with it pain and sorrow, shattered dreams, and disappointments over lost opportunities. We mourn uniquely beautiful lives cut short, and we struggle to say goodbye to what could (and should) have been. It’s a journey none of us would choose.

However, like anything in life, perspective matters. Some days, I could easily curl up in a blanket and sob for hours about how unfair it is that I began to lose pieces of my mom before I was out of my 30’s. Even as I write these…

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