Saturday, August 29, 2009

Robbed by Alzheimer's

I love this picture. That's my maternal grandparents in 1942, soon after they married. She was 14, and he was 21. It was a different time then. He went off to WWII while she kept the home fires burning. They wrote letters (and she still has them). When she was 18, they welcomed their first child, a son, into the world. Over the next few years, they had two daughters and another son. They weren't wealthy, but they were rich in what was important. They were married for 53 years and only had eyes for each other. They were in love with each other as much after all those years as the day they wed. She lost him right after breakfast one day in 1995. She put up a brave front for several years, but in truth, a huge part of her died with him that morning.

She's waited for 14 years to be with him again. Every year, she has deteriorated more and more. Now, she is weak, frail, and bedridden, and Alzheimer's Disease has taken her mind. Some days she doesn't even recognize her own children, but she knows him. She doesn't know that he's gone anymore. She sees him and talks to him. She's so confused and tormented, and it rips my heart out.

I know the day isn't far away when she will join him again. While I will mourn the loss of one of the greatest women I've ever known and be sad for myself, I will be happy for her.

My beloved grandmother is the fifth victim in my family who has been claimed this thing. With all of the medical advances and research, Why do we not know what causes it? Why do we not have a cure? WHY is this disease still winning??


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