How Are Your Milk Cows Doing?
By: Michelle Remold
“How are your milk cows doing?” This seems like a normal question, after all farmers are often asked about their crops and animals. The only thing that makes a question this simple stand out is when you have never had cows or lived on a farm. This is also the question that my grandpa asked when I first realized that there was something wrong with my grandpa.
Growing up, my brother and I spent a lot of time with my grandma and grandpa. They would have holiday parties for us, take us to the park, play games with us, take us to feed the ducks, and so much more. The question was the first major sign that something was wrong with my grandpa. My family lives in town and we live within two miles of where my grandparents live, so being asked how our milk cows were doing, was an odd question and one that caught me off guard.
I was around seven at this time and I asked my mom if there was something wrong with grandpa, she thought maybe he was just tired. Looking back, I couldn’t recall anything else that would have made me think that something was wrong with my grandpa. I asked my mom and she said that the only thing that stood out was that he didn’t like talking on the phone any longer, but that wasn’t anything they were really worried about at the time.
“How are your milk cows doing?” It was such a simple question, but one of the most complicated questions at the same time. This is the question that set the wheels in motion, the question that made other oddities stand out, the question that sent my family on a quest for answers, the question that led to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, the question that started me on the path I am on, the question that ignited my passion for wanting to work with those who have Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.