***Note that I don't know if Jen is still donating from her card sales so check with her for that information.
I went to a funeral on December 23. It was expected but still very sad. The funeral was for my friend Anne. She was one of my coffee buddies but had been in a care home for a few years now. Anne had early onset Alzheimers disease. Anne was only 67 when she passed away.
I spoke at her funeral and would like to share some of the story of Anne here. I like that it will be written down and remembered. Anne will be remembered even though she couldn't remember any of us.
What could be more appropriate to make us think about those with Alzheimer's than these Forget Me Nots.Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams. You can have a look at her gallery by clicking on the mosaic on her site. Jen generously donates money for Alzheimer's research from every set of these Forget Me Not cards. Have a look at all of her cards though. You will find several that will be your favorites.
Anne’s Alzheimer’s had already started to affect her when I first met her but it wasn’t that obvious at first for if you know our coffee group we thrive on silliness and humour and we all joked about our memories being terrible.
Anne knew she had it though and as it progressed we all started seeing more evidence of its grasp on her. The one part of Anne that wasn’t fading away was her sense of humour. She kept us laughing.
Anne had some favourite sayings and due to the memory lapses we would hear them repeatedly throughout the morning.
We all knew “not to let the door hit us on the way out” and that “the door is not an a-hole, it won’t shut itself”.
She would order a plate of waffles with a mound of whipped cream on top most mornings. Then she would say she didn’t know why they brought it to her because she didn’t even like them. As she lost track of time she would start showing up to the coffee shop hours before us and then wonder why we were all so late.
Almost every day she would cross the street to pick up some things at the grocery store before going home. And every day the thing she seemed to need the most was a carton of ice cream. I don’t know what she did with it all but I suspect if she hadn’t walked so much she would have been as big as a house.
My favourite “Anne” moment came one morning while I was driving her home after coffee. We saw our coffee buddy Jim walking home with his dog. Anne asked me to put the window down so she could whistle at him which I quickly did. As we got closer Anne blew hard through her lips a couple times with only spit coming out when she turned to me and said “I forgot how to whistle” . I thought I would drive off the road I was laughing so hard.
Anne had a thing for sirens. Not an emergency vehicle could get by that coffee shop without Anne checking on which way it was going. She would go all the way out to the highway to track its direction for us and come back with a report.
But the most important thing about Anne is that no dog ever went un-petted while Anne was around. Even the ones who would bite any one else who went near them. She truly loved all the dogs and they knew it.
And we all know that dogs are the best judges of character.
I am sure you all know someone who suffers from the effects of Alzheimers. I know that there are walks and fundraisers in every community. I know it is a sad thing for families to deal with the loss of the parts of a person, long before their eventual death. I know. I know.