Monday 19 January 2015

My Walk for Memories

Jan 19, 2015

I'm starting of the week with a blog post. As long as I finish it today, I will be happy. It will start of the week correctly.

Although I wanted to do a week of gratitude, I'm going to focus on one specific moment of my week that I'm grateful for.

I've got a whole lot of things floating around in my brain. They're making me stressed (at times) and busy. This post isn't about that, it's about something else I've been doing, along with others.

Walk for Memories

These past few weeks, I've been fundraising for Walk for Memories, a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Alzheimer Society.  I started off slowly. I'm not really sure how to ask people for money, and I feel awkward doing it.  The money is for a great cause, but I'm still not good at fundraising. I do a lot of social media fundraising. Facebook and Twitter because it's the passive aggressive approach I'm good at. I asked a few people at work as well.

The good news is I reached my goal. I just wish I could do better. There is always next year.

We did this walk once before, but took an accidental two year break. I'm not sure why we didn't get to it during the two years, but it felt good to join in again.

Why I walk?

My sister and I walk for our Grandma Burton, and my mom walks for her mom.

She lived with Alzheimer's her last few years. I'm not sure what she remembered and what she didn't. She didn't know she had it, but my family watched and saw the changes in her.  

As an example, my grandfather died after she was diagnosed. The night he passed away, Grandma was there to say goodbye. Her kids (my mom and her siblings), explained to her, more than once, that he had died. I wasn't there, but cried just hearing it. Having her ask, "Shouldn't we tell Don where I am?" after they told her he had passed away, must have been heart breaking. 

I think this sums up what it's like having somebody close to you with Alzheimer's. 

I remember one Christmas, when Jodi and I went to pick her up in the home she was living in. It was a bad Christmas as it was because we were dealing with a different loss. We picked Grandma up, and drove her to Plenty. Neither my sister or I were sure if Grandma knew who we were. She didn't know where we were going. She was excited to come though. Although she couldn't remember, her humour was still there. She was quiet and polite most of the time as the disease progressed, but she still came out with things that made us laugh.

Growing up, my grandma was tough. She was smart, she was hard working, and she remembered ALL the important details. 

I sometimes felt like I couldn't live up to her expectations, but I was wrong. That's not a criticism of her, it just means she wanted us to be our very best. She was proud of all of her grandchildren. 

She always remembered our favourite cookies, and our favourite candy. She was loving, and she was kind. 

Her family was her first priority. Always. 

I've missed her smile since she passed away, but I missed her before that.

Another Reason I walk:

I walk for myself. I walk for my mom, and I walk for my sister. I walk for the future. I don't know if I'll end up with this disease, but I might. It might be something that my own family will have to deal with as I get older. This is something that may be passed down, and I hope to make life a little easier for everybody who deals with it in the future, by donating and fundraising for the cause right now. 

This is important. It's a scary disease, and think if life was fair, nobody would have to deal with it. Life isn't fair, and it's something many people have to deal with.

If I do end up getting it, my family will be the people who are hurt by it. I don't want that.

The Walk for Memories Event

This is a great event, and every time I go, I think about how many more people could be involved in it. I think it'll continue getting bigger and better as the years go by. I'm not sure how many walks there have been, but I hope to be involved with many of them in the future.

Here are some more pictures from the event:

(I'm going to publish this, but will add more pictures from my camera tonight. These are just the cell phone pictures, and I don't have many.)
(Update: more pictures added.)

As for why I'm grateful: I'm grateful that my family participates, and we have each other. I'm grateful that my sister and I can tear up during the start of the event, but are still able to laugh at one another. I'm grateful for the people who donated. I'm grateful that I remember right now. 

Side note: I finished the post on the day I started! WAY better than last week!

As always,

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

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