My Naomi

My Naomi was young at heart, and that youthfulness must have spilled over to her good looks. She loved to laugh….I wonder now…could this have been her secret remedy against wrinkles and frown lines? It’s possible, of course, since laughter is the best medicine after all! She was active, always busy, and took very good care of herself.

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It Is Well With My Soul

About a month after Mom passed away, I was visiting Dad when I heard another resident, Emily, say to a volunteer.  “I want to watch THAT TV!”  She was pointing to the wall covered in crosses – all shapes, sizes and colors.  It’s beautiful.  I guess when she glanced up at the wall, Emily thought, at least for a few seconds, that she was looking at a TV, and she wanted to see more of that show!  The volunteer leaned down, whispered something in her ear and kept pushing her wheelchair toward the dining room.

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Remembering Januarys Past

It’s the middle of January, and I’m waiting for an x-ray.  I notice my reflection in the glass above me.  It’s strange to see myself in a hospital gown, on an x-ray table…waiting for the technician to tell me which way to turn next.  I think I look older now, or maybe I’m just tired.  Some days, my hands shake too much to put on mascara, and I have circles under my eyes.  Most days, I don’t think I look like I have cancer, but….looking at my reflection now, maybe I’m wrong about that.  I do see Mom in my eyes…I definitely favor her, and I like that.  Memories of Januarys past scroll across my mind.

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The Bush Family & Memories Made in a Yellow House

Dad seemed confused, so I found some pictures to show him. We looked at a picture of him and Mom dancing at our son’s wedding; he liked the picture but didn’t know the people. We looked at pictures of him as a young boy and a picture of his father. When I pulled out the picture of the yellow house, nothing about it registered with him either. He seemed more settled, but I realized, once again, that none of those memories, even of this very special house, were still tucked away in his mind.

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The Alzheimer’s Inheritance & Research

Research has been going on behind the Alz scenes for many years.  I had never given much thought to what exactly this means until I read the book, The Inheritance by Niki Kapsambelis.

Auguste Deter was only 50 years old when she met Alois Alzheimer in 1901.  Alzheimer was the first to recognize, after her autopsy, that lesions he found in her brain were linked to what was referred to as the “disease of forgetfulness”.  Most doctors in that field had little interest in his work at the time.  Sadly, he did not live to see his findings proven.  He had, however, laid the groundwork for future generations.

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Game-Changer

Still Alice was a game-changer for me

Shortly after I let coworkers know that we were grappling with Alzheimer’s disease in Mom’s life, a friend gave me this book written by Lisa Genova.  Since then, I have read it two times, listened to it on Audible once, bought many copies to give away to others, and I’ve seen the movie!

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“Still Alice” is a game-changer

Lisa Genova has a degree in Biopsychology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University, and she is a master storyteller.  She weaves together the account of Alice Howland, a Harvard professor, who finds herself facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at just fifty years old.  From the beginning, Genova allows the reader to walk in Alice’s shoes, experiencing the diagnosis and life afterward, through Alice’s eyes.

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