Turning Purple…

Hi Friends!

We all have so much on our hearts these days. I hope that you are safe and healthy in your corner of the globe. News reports of the devastating wildfires out west and the aftermath of Hurricane Sally along the Gulf Coast seem unimaginable. Sending renewed strength and hope to all those affected. Know that you are in our thoughts…

Here in Illinois, the sidewalks, trails, and tracks are turning purple all month long! We are honoring 2020 World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21st) in whole new way. Instead of huge Walks to End Alzheimer’s, families, friends, and small groups are walking in their own communities for this very important event.

Our family was grateful for the efforts of Team Spectrum in today’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s!

Our Saturday was off to a very chilly start. The sun quickly warmed our hands and hearts as we looked forward to this meaningful day. Our first stop was a nice visit with my parents this morning. My mom and dad are both being very brave as they strive to live their best lives throughout this pandemic. What powerful lessons in resilience they are teaching us all!

The heartbreak of a loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease has been extra challenging during the time of Covid-19.  Wearing masks conceals important facial cues, like friendly smiles. So, we try extra hard to smile with our eyes! Spending more time inside at home can be frustrating when a loved one with cognitive decline feels the need to walk around more and more. We are so grateful for the pretty indoor areas where my parents can stretch their legs and chat with their neighbors. On warm, sunny afternoons, they enjoy listening to music and watching the birds from their balcony, overlooking a beautiful, wooded area. “Elbow Hugs and Kisses” just aren’t as good as the real things, so we laugh each time we do these silly actions! Although a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease may not remember that we came to visit, each time they glance at a fresh picked bouquet from my garden they will know just how much they are loved!

This afternoon, my husband and I enjoyed our very own Walk to End Alzheimer’s in a pretty little park. We were the only ones there! 🙂 As we followed the trail passing a prairie area and a peaceful pond, we shared our hearts and so many family memories. In the shade of the tall oak trees, our feet crunched over fallen acorns with each step. We noticed the scampering squirrels and a black swallowtail warming its wings in the afternoon sun.

It wasn’t long until a family of swans joined our Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 🙂

The colorful flowers on our t-shirts represent the reasons that people fight to end Alzheimer’s.

Blue = I’m living with the disease.

Yellow = I’m supporting/caring for a loved one with the disease.

Purple = I have lost a loved one to the disease.

Orange = I support the cause,

a world without Alzheimer’s.”

Although we are all walking in our own communities this year to be safe from the Corona virus, we are all sharing the same hearts. Just knowing that so many others are intentionally walking to fight for a cure, makes me feel less alone. It’s proof that we are all striving for the same thing. We are all in this together!

The moment we returned home, 

I went online to make my donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.

It always feels so empowering to help make a difference!

♡♡♡

If you are able, I encourage you to help us find a cure

by making a donation, too!

Just click here.

Click here to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Alzheimer’s Association is a vital resource for those suffering with this heart-wrenching disease, their families, and their caregivers. They are leading the fight against this disease! They offer so many valuable online seminars. The ALZ Helpline (800-272-3900) offers live support 24/7 from caring professionals to answer questions and concerns. Their helpful webinars present the latest research and extremely helpful information for caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association funds vital research and clinical trials in search of a cure. The research studies presented at the 2020 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference are very interesting and quite promising! I am truly grateful for the work of the Alzheimer’s Association and the difference they are making for so many families, just like mine.

Click here to read last year’s post, “Sharing My Heart.”

Although my blog only turns purple once each year, my family is living with this disease each and every day. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is so much more than a fundraising event. During this special time, we honor all those who are impacted by this heartbreaking disease, their loved ones and care partners, and those who fight for a world without Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

White flowers = I feel hopeful that we will find a cure.

With all my heart, I HOPE that one day,

in my lifetime,

we will find a cure and see the first person to survive this disease.

The end of Alzheimer’s starts with me! ♥

The reason is LOVE.

With hope,

Dawn

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10 thoughts on “Turning Purple…

  1. Very heartfelt post about an issue that we all hope will be cured in our lifetime, and it certainly needs support from us all. I applaud your efforts to support the two people who were there for you all through your life who now need your support. I know they truly appreciate everything you have done with the move and now making sure they are cared for in a loving and safe environment. This virus has turned our world upside down, and I hope to live again in a world that does not include the word, Zoom, as part of my necessary options and where we can once again give a loved one a hug. Stay well, Dawn, and my best to your parents.

    • Heartfelt thanks, Judy, for your love and support! It is my honor and pleasure to help my sweet parents in every way that I can. Our family has been through so much over the past few years, but we are always stronger together.
      My parents enjoy their Independent Living apartment. Just three weeks ago, family members were allowed to come inside their senior living community for the first time since mid-March. We are delighted! Two visitors at a time, wearing masks, and six feet apart is a huge step forward.
      Judy, my mom and I are planning to work together in their courtyard gardens to deadhead the Stella d’Oro daylilies this week. 😊 I’m hoping we can encourage another rebloom! We have a nice, sunny week ahead!
      I’m sure you are very busy in your garden these days. Wishing you a beautiful start to Autumn, my friend!💗

  2. Alzheimer’s is probably one of the most insidious diseases out there along with ALS. My neighbor had it and my 89 year old aunt has it. There is a lot out there robbing people of full lives. It’s lovely to see you doing your best to bring this one disease to a close. I love the color purple and I like how your different colored flowers signify the different aspects of a disease that one person has while it affects so many others. My sister worked in a care unit for Alzheimer’s patients for a while. It’s quite difficult to be an observer of this destruction of a human. Thanks for doing what you can.

    • So true, Marlene! Both Alzheimer’s and ALS are heartbreaking diseases. I strongly support research to find cures. I lost a dear college friend to ALS and spent much time with her until the very end. I truly admire the strength of loved ones who must fight these heart-wrenching health battles.
      We can ALL do our part to fight against Alzheimer’s in so many ways! Taking walks (so great for brain and heart health), adapting to a healthy, nutritious lifestyle, and stimulating our brains by learning new skills all make a difference. New research is showing promise. I just read about a study showing that getting flu shots each year seems to offer some protection against Alzheimer’s. Fundraising and bringing awareness of ALZ are two of the important ways we can help fight this horrible disease. Thank you for being here, Marlene, and for sharing your heart with us!
      Stay safe and healthy, my friend! I think of you each day when I see the wildfire reports from Oregon!🙏🏼 Sending big hugs!💗

  3. Thank you for the reminder. Usually I see something about the walk on FB; but my donation is made in honor of Jim.
    As of 2018 the estimated cost of caring for Alzheimers and other dementia patients is $277 BILLION a year, and that doesn’t include unpaid caregiving ! It is such a devastating illness both financially and emotionally. A cure must be found.
    Fall has arrived in West Texas at least for the time being. We had 5 1/2” of much needed rain and daytime temperatures are holding steady in the 80’s with early mornings requiring a long sleeved shirt. It feels so good. I hope to eventually get outside to enjoy the weather and spruce up the garden beds, but if I don’t get it done, it will all be there next year. I no longer fret about what doesn’t get done. I am sure you and your mom will enjoy working in the garden. Sometimes I can entice Jim to sit in the yard while I putter, but not very often.
    I may try this week.
    Happy Fall!

    • You are such a blessing, dear Chris! The costs will continue to skyrocket as so many Baby Boomers age. Through Alzheimer’s family support groups, I have met so many men and women who gave up their careers to become unpaid caregivers. It truly is a devastating illness, both financially and emotionally.
      So grateful that you received some much needed rain, Chris! Hope your cooler weather will last. Give yourself grace and do the things that matter most to your heart. ‘Simplify’ is the magic word!
      Chris, all of your advice for my front porch garden beds worked out perfectly! Thank you so much!! The beds are smaller now ~ just the right size for this season of life. 😊 Last week, I mowed the new grass for the first time. It will be so much simpler than fighting the battle of the weeds. Now I can putter in the backyard garden beds to my heart’s content! I’m hoping to find more time to ‘putter’ in my little Paper Garden downstairs, too!
      Wishing you and Jim sweet, cozy Autumn days! Sending huge hugs all the way to West Texas!💗

  4. I’m so glad you and John could take your Alzheimer’s walk with no folks around. Your commitment to Alzheimer research is commendable. It sounds lovely with all the pond and pretty swan that certainly showed off for your photo! I think of you often and how your parents are dealing with this pandemic. I’m sure your “visits” ,as difficult as they may be, must be very comforting to them and you! Being a caregiver is emotional, but you must be so thankful to have them nearby instead of in Arizona! I hope you are taking good care of yourself.
    These are certainly trying times in our history. Please take care of yourself, my friend. xoxo

    • Our walk felt just perfect, Martha Ellen! It always feels so empowering to make donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. As you know, this heartbreaking disease often leaves families feeling helpless. Fighting for the cure gives me hope that one day, in my lifetime, we will see the first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease!
      The beautiful swan family stopped right in our path. I walked up very close while they posed for photos! They weren’t in any hurry to move along. We just laughed!
      I’m so very proud of my parents for the way they are handling the pandemic. It’s extra challenging for them. I know they would prefer to be living near the mountains and Saguaro cacti in Arizona, but I am so relieved that they live nearby now so we can help out! So many of their friends and neighbors in their beautiful senior community have also moved across the country to live closer to their adult children. Families like ours are such a blessing in our lives!💕
      Thank you for thinking of me, dear friend! I’m practicing self-care and still documenting in my bullet journal every day. I’m ‘savoring’ the small moments that bring me joy. This year, for the very first time, I have added a second ‘word’ for the year ~ ‘pivot.’ 😉 Things are constantly changing… and I ‘pivot’ quite often!
      Wishing you and Grayden happy, healthy Autumn days! Enjoy the cooler temperatures on your peaceful morning walks. Sending huge hugs all the way to Virginia!💗

  5. Dawn, this is a lovely post, and so heartfelt. Alzheimer’s (and dementia too) are so isolating. I can’t begin to imagine all of this with a pandemic. I’m sorry. You are the world’s best daughter. I like to believe that your parent knows and feels your care no matter what stage they are in. I’m glad you walked, followed by a donation. You are a good soul. xo

    • You are so kind, dear Alys! It always feels so good to be a part of something bigger than us. Just knowing that other families touched by Alzheimer’s were walking on the same day in their own communities helps me to feel less alone. I still think about that day. This week the Alzheimer’s Association reported that a very promising drug will begin clinical trials. I am feeling very hopeful that we could see the first person to survive ALZ in my lifetime. Heartfelt thanks for your past support of Alzheimer’s research, dear heart!💕 You have been in my heart so often in October! Sending huge hugs, Alys!💗

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