The Alzheimer’s Walk is just one of many ways alz.org has dedicated resources to end Alzheimer’s and Dementia related diseases. My friends, Patricia and Teresa, and I participated this past Saturday for a day filled with memories of those who could no longer remember, share or experience the massive amounts of love and pure compassion that are left in the shadows of their existence; life altering paradigms in the wake of this soul stealing disease.
Everyone there walked the two miles around scenic downtown Washington DC on a morning that hosted grey skies coupled with purple, orange and blue emotions, representative of the colors of the Promise Garden flowers. Purple for family members who lost their battle with the disease, blue for persons living with dementia, and orange for caregivers and advocates of Alzheimer’s.
My purple flower was for my mother, Queen Ethel Bellamy, and her cousins Cleve and Lucille Bellamy along with Cousin Lucille’s sister, Mrs. Aileen. They were more than cousins in our close knit Southern town of North Myrtle Beach, SC, they were lifelong friends who I know are dancing together with angels surrounding them. Their individual fights with this disease were fought too long in my opinion, too long to be without the memories of those standing so close to hold them up and fight along with them with every cry of frustration, every expression of confusion, every blank stare and most of all in the case of my mom… the loss of me. My mother birthed me and I knew that in her last days if I had been called home, it would not have penetrated her mind. I prayed for some miracle that shielded a piece of her, a sanctuary where the memories of all her children, her accomplishments and good deeds lived, a chord buried so deep within that Alzheimer’s could not touch.
But in the end my grace was that I outlived her.
Our walk was set against the backdrop of our country’s political cornerstones and not lost on any of us, as it interlaced with one of the many key concepts of the organization including the fight to prevent corrosive health care reform by the possible repealing of the Affordable Care Act.
There is too much work to be done and our days of walking are not over. We can donate in other ways, help one another in acts that are simple and pure…being kind is just a start. Doing a task such as relieving a caregiver so they can have some extra time to center themselves goes farther than one can imagine, or playing music or reading to a loved one. Driving a group to the doctor, or donating to the cause at alz.org is a wonderful way of accomplishing something great in the memories of those we honor.
Fighting for a cure, fighting for a future of memories.