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Posts Tagged ‘Legacy’

In Honor of Susan Suchan

One voice that has been significantly missed this past year is Susan Suchan.  She lived her life fully even when diagnosed with dementia. We continue to celebrate her birthday and the love, compassion and dear friendship she brought into our lives.

Through Death,

Our Connection Remains

It was an honor to work with Susan on Dementia Chats.  Her insights were brilliant and her laughter contagious.

A few of us gathered to honor what would have been Susan’s 62nd birthday.  Please watch and feel free to share Susan’s life and the impact she had on others.  Remember each one of us have the opportunity to lift and inspire others by sharing our authentic self with one another, just as Susan did.


For poems by Mary Radnofsky read on the above video Click Below: https://www.alzheimersspeaks.com/images/Poetry/2_poems_mary_R_about_susan_suchan.pd

To see Truthful’s blog on Susan Click Below: https://truthfulkindness.com/memoriam/susan-suchan/

You never knew what would happen next….

A Bit More About Susan

Susan Suchan was the mother of two grown daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. She was a nurse for 23 years and was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD) at the age of 48; an additional diagnosis of Frontotemporal dementia(FTD)/Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). Susan advocated for and about the “lived experience”, working to change perceptions, stigma and help bring to life, and the realness of her disease process. She has had the opportunity to speak Nationally and locally. Susan was awaiting the release of a documentary featuring her life, showing the effects on friends and family relationships, finances and end of life discussions. The film is called, “Susan’s Story” and is still in need of funds to complete.

Here Are Some of Our Dementia Chats Sessions Featuring Susan

Help Make “Susan’s Story” a Documentary, a Reality 

In honor of what would have been Susan Suchan’s 62nd birthday, her family and the producers of the documentary, invite you to help complete the film.  The documentary is in post-production and the final $125,000 is still needed to complete the film. 

Please contact Russ Kirkpatrick, the Producer/Director of the film, if you have questions or would like to make a contribution. Tax deductible contributions can be made to one of two 501(c)(3) organizations associated with the film. 

Contact information: russ@kkp.film

Link to the trailer of Susan’s Story: https://vimeo.com/302739507

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 “Feedback from the conference planning committee and our leadership team was extremely positive. Many attendees commented that she was one of the best speakers they had heard.” 

Pat Sylvia, Director of Education & Member Development LeadingAge Washington

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Dementia Care- Lying to Grandpa

 Lying to Grandpa

Chubby Puppies and a

Time That Stands Still

By Jenny Krainski 

          Going  back to my grandfathers house was more difficult than I had  ever imagined.  My grandfather, my fathers father, had spent a year in the SoldiersHome before he died.  The house just sat still, like a snapshot of days past.  Clean clothes lay folded on his bed, photographs decorated the walls, knickknacks sprinkled with dust lined the shelves and bureaus.  I realized then that, for that year in the nursing home, grandpa was a minimalist.  He took barely any belongings with him and he was more content than hed been in years.  After my grandmother died, a year before he went to the Home, he slept all day (when the dog wasnt calling the shots) and fed that dog a bit too much.  That tiny pooch had my grandfather wrapped around its furry, little paw.  Grandpa developed dementia about five years before he died.  He forgot if he gave the dog a treat, so the dog would ask for treats all day long.  He forgot if he took the dog for a walk, so the dog took about fifty walks a day.  Whenever we would visit Grandpa, he would be outside with the dog on a leash in the driveway.  He loved that dog–that chubby, wise, manipulative dog.

          When Grandma died, it raised some questions for the family that we never thought wed have to ask ourselves.  How do we tell Grandpa?  Do we tell Grandpa?  My grandmother had been at a nursing home for about six months before she died because she couldnt get around well.   My aunt decided that Grandpa needed to be told immediately, so she went to go see him and explained that his wife of sixty years had died.  He cried all night, so she stayed over, as she should.  In the morning, my grandfather asked my aunt where his wife was.  My aunt then referred my grandpa to the sign that she had made when Grandma first entered the nursing home:  “Mom is at the nursing home.  She is having trouble walking.”  When my aunt saw that he was again relying on this sign, instead of recalling the previous nights grief, she decided to leave the sign hanging.  I often wonder how she felt at that moment when she realized that Grandpa didnt remember anything that occurred the previous night:  the sobbing, the devastation.

          When Grandpa transferred to the SoldiersHome, the sign made its way into the room that he shared with another resident.  Staff and visitors gently directed him to this handwritten, overused sign when he asked where his wife was.  I cant help but wonder if this practice followed the moral code that I had been living by . . . we were all lying to Grandpa . . . we were lying to him  countless times each day when he inquired about his wife.  But is it ethical to make a man relive the death of his wife over and over and over again?  He was so happy when he relocated to the SoldiersHome . . . would it be right to make him sob uncontrollably each time he asked, “Wheres my wife?  Wheres Red?”

          My grandfather lived it up at the Home; he danced and sang for the nurses each day.  He seemed to truly appreciate the atmosphere and the people around him there.  When we went to say our final goodbyes to Grandpa, one of the nurses had his face on her cellphone.  He loved life there . . . he loved it there with his whole family, friends, and staff lying to him each day . . . 

Swimming in Memories

           I remember being at Grandma’s funeral.  I looked around for my grandfather, but he was not there.  After a few inquiries, I learned that he wasnt coming; no one was picking him up; no one dared to tell him that grandma was dead . . . again.  I felt frustrated by this, but then I pictured him sobbing over her casket, and then going out into the parking lot only to wonder what he was doing at a funeral home in the first place.

          I am here now at grandpas house.  It smells of mothballs, like it always did.  The moths never had a chance if they dared enter this house.  I was driving with my teenage  son the other day and in the middle of thick traffic when suddenly, somehow the nostalgic smell of mothballs made its way through the vents in my car.  My son commented that it smelled like old people.  Its funny how one smell can create different visions for different people!   

          I look around at the old mint green tile on the walls in the kitchen.  Somehow that tile didnt age, there were no signs of scratches; the tiles were actually shiny and looked new, which seemed quite out-of-place.  My eyes fell upon the old linoleum floors–green and yellow stripes  The yellow stripes always reminded me of the yellow lines in a road, as they were the same color and nearly the same thickness.  Nothing here has changed since I was a kid, seemingly many decades ago.  I snap a few pictures, in awe, at how time had truly stood still.  No one has lived here in over a year and I can see Grandpa sitting at the table and Grandma bustling around the kitchen.  It was as if they wanted the clock to cease, as well.  They kept the same photographs and pictures hanging, the same knickknacks displayed . . . I remember Christmases here.  My grandmother would deck out this place like the North Pole.  I often wondered where they stored so many decorations when Christmas was done.  Perhaps in a huge warehouse somewhere!  My grandpa smoked a pipe and developed a well-fed belly over the years, so it was like he belonged in the Christmas village that Grandma created.  

          If there was any unrest between the adults at the holiday gatherings, I dont believe that any of the kids felt the tension or even noticed.  I don’t remember receiving any gifts, besides pajamas; I must have, but I just recall laughing and playing with my brother and my cousins.  Why do I only remember pajamas? I think most times clothes were a boring present, unless they were ultra soft or had a cool picture.  I do recall the best pajama present ever:  my two female cousins and I all received the coolest Holly Hobby pajamas.  Our parents lined us up by height–me at the tallest end, the oldest girl–and snapped a picture, which I still treasure.  We must have been at the grandparents house late that night, as I just cant fathom stopping our playtime to put on pajamas for a picture unless we were tired.  Unless of course, we were bribed with treats . . . 

          I only had desserts at my grandparents house.   Seriously, there were never traditional desserts in my house.  For example, when I was a child, I recall my mom giving my brother and I a bowl of plain vanilla yogurt, the kind that tastes like sour, sour cream.  She always called items like that dessert and we ate it slowly this day, probably sick of plain yogurt at this point.  This day, however, my mother told us with an excited voice that there was a prize at the bottom.  We hungrily ate and found our prize:  peaches!  Amazingly, we were overjoyed with our prize.     

          There was only one time that the sugary treats that my grandparents provided was an issue.  My parents went away on a ski vacation and my grandmother stayed at our home to babysit.  Of course, she brought treats galore!  If peaches were a special treat to me, you can guess how many donuts, cakes, cookies, and cupcakes made their way into my tiny, five-year-old, little body!  We never even kept cereal with sugar in the house, so you can guess the shock to my body that this granular invasion was. Funny:  I don’t remember my parents going away for a long time after that . . . it must have not been too much fun for them to come home to small children with mountainous stomach issues.  

          I truly cannot envision an uncomfortable moment in this house, except after Grandpa was diagnosed and we all felt the effects of the diagnosis, including him–mostly him. I remember the pain on his face when he called me by my cousins name and I corrected him; he looked so embarrassed to not have recalled his granddaughters name, which he had spoken so many times.  It must have been so difficult for him to know that something was happening with his memories that he didn’t quite understand.

          I never knew what it was like to answer a question and then answer it at five minute intervals for the next hour or two. I learned how to change Grandpas “looping” thoughts after a while:  getting him to sing a song or dance with me, hiding an object that he kept discussing over and over, or preparing a list of things to talk about ahead of time.  I did not learn these tricks right away.  They were tricks–I was playing tricks like a rotten child . . . to save myself and others from hearing the same question again and again and again . . .  It must have been so hard for Grandpa.

 The Take Aways 

           Here at Grandpas house the time truly stands still.  There are pots and pans in the cupboards, soap in the shower, food without freezer-burn in the icebox, and magazines with current faces on them by the television set.  My dad encourages me to take whatever I want as keepsakes.  Who knows what will happen to all of this stuff if someone does not treasure it. There was a lot of memories here.  “Can I keep the house?” I ask.  He laughs.  My cousin plans to buy the house.  This is good news, as my cousin appreciates family and holidays as much as our grandparents did.

          After walking about and reminiscing for a while, I start poking around more in-depth.  Do I want an artifact that I will put in the back of my closet that I may not unearth until years from now?  No, I want to be severely practical–thats my nature.  If I dont use an item in my home, after a short time it easily makes its way to the Salvation Army, consignment, or eBay.  Oh, the rooms Ive emptied on eBay!  I ponder a short story by Alice Walker called “Everyday Use”.  An interpretation of this story is whether family artifacts should be simply displayed or used in daily life, such as a blanket.  I now decide that Im an everyday-use-kind-of-person.

          I begin to wonder why Im here, at my grandparents house.  Why did I want to come here?   I think I need closure for my son, for myself, for this empty house–as if somehow, I could bring this memorable house of sixty years to a galactic halt, bring it to rest in one afternoon!   Who did I think I was anyway?  The memories would be alive here even after my cousin gutted and remodeled the place.   

          My son got to really know his great-grandparents through the objects in this house, on this day.  He was thrilled by the items that his great-grandfather treasured for all of these years.  The items told a story in a way.  I know that Grandpa quit smoking countless years ago–he saved many, many cigar boxes.  Perhaps as a reminder of how good it felt to sit back and have a smoke?  He then filled these cigar boxes with practical trinkets, such as colorful coin rolling papers and instruction manuals to his treasured cameras.  He saved the license plates to all of my fathers cars, from his first car to his most recent motorcycle.  My son was drawn to these perhaps for the same reasons that his great-grandfather kept them:  family and remembrance.  The license plates now hang on my sons wall; the cigar boxes are neatly stacked on my sons shelf with his own treasures inside.

 

          I am thrilled to find Tupperware sets from the 1970s that look brand new.  I am overjoyed when my brother calls me up to the attic to show me the trunk of antique dishtowels that look as though theyve never been used.  I study them and decide they will be used and appreciated. 

          I now use my Tupperware, dishtowels, and shelves from Grandpas workshop.  They remind me of my grandparents, their house, and their practicality and simple way of living.  Grandma probably collected these towels because she thought that shed use them one day, and never did.  She treated her Tupperware with kid gloves probably because she never went anywhere to scratch them up!      Grandpas shelves were severely beat up because he was a tinkerer.  He loved his garage and his workshop.  Each shelf and corner had tiny jars labeled with the contents:  bolts,  screws, rubberbands, and so on. I took many, careful pictures of my grandpas labeling because I knew that time wouldnt stand still forever.   Grandpas organization reminded me of me  because of my insane love of organizing, which is strange because I was an organizational mess all through school. 

          My husband and son have been tossing around the idea of purchasing me a top-of-the-line label maker for many years now.  I guess I never realized that Grandpa and I were so alike, needing to know where everything was at all times. Ive gotten out of bed in the middle of the night because I recalled that I hadnt put something important back where it was supposed to go.  Tidy, tidy, everything has its place (I think thats a line from Mary Poppins).  I wonder if Grandpa ever got up in the middle of the night to locate an object of such importance that this object might get up and walk away if it was not put back before morning.  Then another odd thought crosses my mind:  it was fortunate that Grandpa put everything in neat, predictable containers.  When his memory started to get foggy, he was able to easily locate what he needed.  It was almost as if he knew what would happen to him in the future.  Although, if thats true, then perhaps I should worry about my own fate.   I know that cant be accurate–its absurd–but I dwell on it for a few moments anyway.   

          I never looked around here like this after Grandma died because Grandma was not truly dead until Grandpa passed away.  We all kept her alive for what felt like a lifetime of two years.  

          I went to teach my English class today, about a week after the visit to my grandparentshouse.  We had the read “Everday Use” a couple of weeks ago.  I brought some of my dish towels and lay them out and told the students that I had been thinking about Alice Walker.  I told them the story of going to my grandparentshouse and my students were captivated. I believe that at that moment I felt truly invested in the literature that I was introducing.  I felt as though, on some level, that I was living a tiny thread of the authors words for a moment.

          I thought about how much stuff that my grandparents collected over the years, even though they didnt appear to use half of it anymore.  I don’t think that Grandpa and Grandpa were everyday-use-kind-of-people.   I went home that day and emptied out a closet.  Of course, most of what was in the closet went to the Salvation Army.  I now feel better about the the way things happened with my grandparents.  Therapeutic writing perhaps?

          I think of my grandparents and their home often and am hopeful that the positive recollections that I have will not fade anytime soon.  Packing my lunch today, I fill a Tupperware from my Grandparents house. As I leave for the day, I eye the very new-looking antique towel hung upon my stove and smile.  My joyful expression then fades as I return to wondering about the lies that we all told to Grandpa.  When is it okay to be so deceitful?  How many times can you watch a person grieve for the very first time?  It would have been torture to make him relive that moment over and over again because he would not recall it. But we would.  Was it more for us, not to see that pain and anguish, perhaps because we were also reliving the sadness we also felt?  I also began to wonder how many times I had been lied to because the intention was that it was for my own good.  Could it be that it was really for the benefit of someone else because it was easier than telling the truth?  It’s quite painful being an adult.  Grandpa, I don’t know how you did it for so long. 

What Are Your Thoughts?

Thank you Jenny for sharing your family with us.  There are many twists and turns, as we make decisions while caring for someone with dementia.  What are your thoughts about not telling the truth to someone with dementia, to avoid them reliving a painful situation?

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Many attendees commented that she was one of the best speakers they had heard.” 

Pat Sylvia, Director of Education & Member Development LeadingAge Washington

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Learning To Say Good Bye

Learning To Say Good Bye

There are so many levels and forms of “Good Bye.”  Most of us don’t realize the full extent of the process until it’s our turn to walk the path.  It may be a child leaving for kindergarten or college, a divorce, a decline in health or the ultimate… a death.  Even though I have ventured down each of these paths before, every time it is new and fresh with lessons to be learned.memom

Since my Mothers passing in February, I have gone through the typical ups an downs of my grief and loss.  Missing her is something that I really can’t even put into words.  i will be doing fine and then the next thing I know something triggers a strong memory.  It could be a smell, a picture, a phrase someone says or even a faint voice I hear on occasion and I would swear she is right next to me.  Her presence still feels so close.

In the past few weeks a new decision was put before my family.

What to do with my parents beautiful lake home.

lake 1The decision was far from easy.  Although my brothers and I now own it together, our lifestyles are very different.  Not everyone lives in the same state and so the logistics for using the cabin became uneven.  Each with our own busy life and trying to maintain our own homes, adding a another into the equation complicated things to say the least. Seeing eye to eye on fiscal responsibilities and life philosophies can be difficult in a family. The past couple of weeks have been painful for us all, but the decision to sell seemed to be the only real option.

Going through and staging the home for sale I cleaned, and packed and tossed and cried.  I prayed for clarity and peace in my heart as my soul aches over the decision.  When I would  sit to rest, my eyes would scan over all the belongings…

The old ugly glass lamps which my mother loved have now become so precious to me.  My fathers recliner that comforts me as I try to relax.  Moms loon collection and glassware which is more than any one person could ever use… The simple scents of old perfume, the feel of dads tools in my hand.  It’s amazing how we look at things differently once someone is no longer physically in our lives.

The end of a era so wonderful and filled with joy.  The emotions  are embedded in my body.  When I cry, not only do tears come, but at times my stomach twists, turns and aches in pain over the loss of them.  Yet when I laugh and remember the times of joy.  My emotions are just as strong; making me smile, laugh boldly and even tears of love and hope and joy will stream down my face.

It is all up to God and the universe to lay out the future and what is to be.  All we can do is make the best decisions with the information we have at the time, and let go. And then let go again and again.

The worrying does us no good but to make us spin in doubt.  We all must move forward as difficult as it is and live our lives – fulfill our missions and walk our own paths.

mom and dad weddingI am so grateful to have had such wonderful parents who filled my heart with love and compassion.  Both excellent teachers and leaders in their own way.  May they understand how difficult it is for us to let go of the cabin.  May they appreciate how we all feel their home deserves a wonderful family who will care for it the way they did. A family who will have the time, money and energy to maintain the home in a loving fashion.  A family who will love it and share it with their friends and family, creating beautiful moments of joy, that will one day be truly appreciated at a soul level.

If the cabin is meant to sell it will…

if not, well I guess we still have lessons to learn.

May you each process your own loss in all the various forms it comes in.  May you find peace within your journey and blessings in the lessons you have learned.  May you find the ability to share openly your emotions with others, so you can fully release the pain you feel.

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The Wisdom Journey: Discover the New Power of Elder Circles

 The July Free Teleseminar Presented By:

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The Wisdom Journey: Discover the New Power of Elder Circles

Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Time: 5:00 pm PDT/8:00 pm EDT for 1 hour

Are you aging and feeling isolated and lonely? Do you live far away from resources, or are you homebound?

Do you want to leave a legacy of your life journey but don’t know how – or maybe don’t have people close to you that you can talk to?

In this teleseminar, we will discuss why it’s important to look at our life journey and the connection between the Elder Circles and leaving a legacy. We will also explain how you can find joy in your life, no matter what your circumstances.

Medical studies estimate that 10-30 % of elderly are homebound. Being isolated and lonely is a risk factor to developing cognitive disorders, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Join ARPF and guest speaker Del Jones, one of the founders of Elder Circles, as we present this outstanding program that provides a safe, respectful place to share your story and reflect on your life. We will also share the new Elder Circles With Out Walls (ECWOW), and how you can join the telephone circles from the convenience of your own home.

To register, go here

 

For more information on Dementia and Caregiving click below to go to our website.

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Hi Everyone,

I wanted to update you on everything going on in my life.  You see there has been a big turn for myself and my family.  On December 21st, 2014 we put my Mother on hospice.  She was responding so well in fact, on Feb 21st, hospice had prepared me that mom most likely not be eligible for renewal.

At 4pm, Monday Feb 24th she got the flu.  By 11pm she had a 103 temperature.  At 7am Tuesday morning they suspected pneumonia.  We were able to get a few teaspoons of thickened juice in her, midday Tuesday.  Little did we know, that would be her last supper.

dorothy_moeschter_eyes_open_1

Miracles Started to Appear in Our Lives

My brother Scott who lives in PA, was already en route home for a “surprise” visit when I called him, and a few hours later he walked in the door to be with mom.  Family members who had not talked in a couple of years spoke.  Ex-spouses came together to honor mom.  Even my ex-husband Tom and his new wife Maureen joined the vigil.  Maureen recited the Rosary and brought holy water to bless my mother.

We found out one of mom’s great granddaughters Aniah, who is three years old, had been talking about my mother for the past two weeks, saying she was going to heaven.  Another friend of mine, Jennifer could hear us singing “You Are My Sunshine,” to mom.  She said it was so loud in her ears, she didn’t know where it was coming from but she was instantly in a wonderful mood and felt energized, happy and peaceful. She too started singing the song in her own house.  Another friend, Mary, stayed the night with my mother.  This is a woman who had never met my mother! How beautiful and gracious she was.  I know not only did my mother appreciate her presence, but so did the whole family.

Three years ago when my mother was on hospice, my daughter Danielle, could not bear to let grandma go.  This time she was the lead horse – strong and compassionate taking on my role as I was not able to there.

Letting Go Without Being There

You see a few months ago, my mother started coming to me in dreams.  She told me she was getting ready to go.  She told me to start writing her obituary.  She told me to observe her getting her hair done and to watch her get a bath as I need both for training programs.  She told me I needed to be gone so she could bring the family together and I needed to continue to speak and be an advocate for the cause.

I had two speaking engagement in Arizona and had to leave on Wednesday the 26th.  Such a difficult time for me, yet I knew this is where she wanted me to be. You see I have been the one in many situations to be with loved ones when they pass. I of course wanted to be there for mom too.  I held strong to my faith in my mother and her plan.  So I got on that plane and left knowing I would most likely never see her again.

I Was Blessed With Miracles Throughout My Trip

Starting with my friend Judy who drove me to the airport and helped be stay calm and focused on my mother’s wishes.

To several close friends who were checking in on me: Chris, Amy, Cindy, Sue, Tre, Jennifer, Patty, Beth, Kelly, Anne, Diane, Marta, Janie, Joann, Eilon, roger, Carol, Nancy, Jonatha, Anita and so many others.

To getting a TSA pass to bypass screening at the airport.

To the stranger by the name of Webb, who became a welcomed friend sitting next to me on the plane. He too touched by dementia, his mother-in-law has it.

To my daughter Danielle, who thought to use FaceTime, so I could see my mother and say goodbye as she was taking yet another turn as I sat in the baggage claim area at the airport.  Danielle, your brilliance to use this technology made being away bearable.

To the woman who sat next me at baggage claim and handed me a Kleenex as she heard and saw me say goodbye to my mother, via FaceTime.  She too had lost her mother this past year to dementia.

To the wonderful technology of FaceTime which allowed me to actively participate in my mother’s last days.  Allowing me to guide and support my family as needed, to be able to see and talk to my mother, to be able to see our family rally together in honor of her.  As I write this now I’m in tears feeling so blessed to have been able to be involved at that level when I was from so far away.

To the warmth and beauty of the Arizona sunshine that filled my heart and soul which so badly needing filling.

To wonderful Mindy with the Mesa Alzheimer’s Association who so kindly picked me up from the airport, took me to get my rental car, drove me back to the hotel and then helped me with a dry run at the conference center where I would be speaking at on Friday.  Mindy, you are an exceptional meeting planner and human being.  I so deeply thank you.

To the hundreds of comments and likes on FaceBook from people all over the world sending prayers and love, hugs and scriptures, poems and pictures.  You have no idea what your support has meant to all of us.

To having a 6-plus hour virtual vigil via FaceTime with my whole family as my mother slowly slipped away.  This allowed me to actively participate in her dying process, something I thought I had to let go of, to be out of state.  I can’t tell you what a difference this made for me and I believe for my mother and other family members as well.  It was exceptionally beautiful.

To all the wonderful staff at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation who so lovingly cared for me on Thursday.  Kirti Khalsa you are amazing! All those that worked so hard to coordinate my talk and to those who showed up for my presentation.  For the beautiful flowers in my room to the candle which I will be using in a ceremony to keep mom’s light alive.

To feeling my mother’s surge of energy enter me 5 minutes before going on stage for my ARPF talk.

To Kirti Khalsa, Tryn Rose, Conni Ingallina and Carolyn Sechler for a lovely dinner after our ARPF event.

To Tryn Rose for the beautiful card she snuck into my suitcase.

To the hundreds of people at the Alzheimer’s Association conference on Friday who loved my “chickens” and made me smile.  A special thanks again to the team of professionals who pulled off such an amazing event.

To Frank and Mary Granberg, who were so lovely to meet with and a special THANK YOU to Frank.  He made me a hand craved “Purple Angel” from wood.  I was a bit overwhelmed at his kind gesture and will be bringing this to the funeral as a symbol of the power of my mother’s advocacy for change in our dementia care

To the wonderful spiritual team who lifted us all throughout this very long week.

To my mother with her set plan in tact with miracle after miracle to keep us strong.  For her ability to let go and not wait for my return so the pain could come to an end for her and those that loved her so deeply.

On Friday February 28th, at 7:45pm my mother took her last breath and slipped into the heavens with my daughter Danielle at her side.

To Rita Anand who was with me at dinner and who so kindly allowed me to take the last distressed calls from my daughter who was watching her best friend and grandmother slip away before her; and who also shared seeing my mother’s last breath via FaceTime with me.  Rita, you were the perfect soul for me to be with at that very moment.  Thank you for making the connection for us to meet.

To Rita who also went home that evening and cleansed herself and then lit a candle in my mother’s honor as per India tradition, to carry on the light of my mother.

To all of those who were able to come back to say one last good bye to my mother or who were continuing to send us prayers of support through this difficult time.

To all of the wonderful and loving staff who cared for her over the past 13 years…our gratitude goes out to you.

May you rest in peace my lovely mother.  May you dance amongst the stars, giggle with each gentle breeze and love with the power of each ray of sunshine.  You have not only been a wonderful mother, but a good friend and amazing mentor to me.

May Your Legacy Live On

alz Lori mom photo logo

I will continue to raise awareness by educating the public as we remove the fears and stigmas caused by this disease.  You have accomplished more than I ever could have imagined mom.  Thank you for letting me play a role in your grace-filled plan.  I know the struggle and pain you went through to help our global society have a better understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia and the additional supports so badly needed.  For that I am honored.  Know I will not quit.  I am committed to carry on your dream.

I pray you know how much you were loved and what an impact your have had around the world.

Your devoted daughter forever and ever

Lori

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For additional information check out Alzheimer’s Speaks

which was started in my mother’s honor.

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