The Stamps I Use

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Stampin' Out Alzheimer's

Jen Tapler has teamed up with Susanna Boyd of Papercraft Planet to once again organize a Stampin' Out Alzheimer's virtual paper-crafting week long event starting May 25.

All the deets can be found by clicking on any of the hyperlinks above.

I made a donation to the event because my paternal grandmother was afflicted with Alzheimer's. I was away at university and then moved away to Ottawa as she began and finally completed her downward spiral with this terrible disease. On the occasions when I was at home during university breaks or visiting from Ottawa, I saw how rapidly she went downhill.

It is truly devastating when the woman you remember as strong and vigorous and who lived next door to you for all of the first 18 years of your life no longer remembers talking to you just the night before for hours on end. When she looks at you in puzzlement, searching for a name and failing to find one. When she gets frustrated because she can't remember why she popped in to your parents house (her house was right in front of ours) or gets angry because your Dad says he will be out in 5 minutes to do a chore for her, not right away.

When you pop in to her house to check on her and see that the stove is on, burners blood red and Nan is nowhere in sight. Or, late at night, in the wee hours of the morning, you hear hammering coming from her house and see her silhouetted in her porch window, nailing her door shut because of the paranoia that has set in because she is forgetting where she put things and thinks people are coming into her house and moving them around.

Then the final stages come and not only does she not remember her grand-children, but also her own children. Finally, taken into care and slipping back even further, clinging to life through the "miracles" of modern medicine. My last memory of my grand-mother is very painful for me and I have to force myself to not think of her the last time I saw her.

Instead, I choose to remember her teaching me to make partridge berry pie as a little girl. I had my very own special pie pan - in reality a little tart pan - to make my own little girl sized pie, lattice top and all. Or making bread - with my own little pan so I could have my own small loaf. And of course, stopping at Nan's on the way home from school at lunchtime to discover she is cooking halibut - and having her dial the phone number to my parents next door to ask if I could stay for lunch, all the while sitting on the counter next to the electric frying pan nibbling on fish as it completed cooking. Listening to my Mom laugh as she said "Let me guess, Nanny is cooking halibut?"

If you have known or know someone afflicted with this terrible disease, check out the sites linked above. You'll be glad you did.

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