How many of you know someone who has battled Alzheimer’s?
Back in the early 2000’s (can’t remember which year specifically), my grandmother, the one I referred to dearly as “Maw” was diagnosed with the disease. It started slowly, but progressed faster and faster until eventually there was nothing left of the person that she once was. She was a beautiful soul and so full of life. When the disease took over, she spent many of her last days not even remembering who some of her children were.
It was awful to watch her fall apart that way. Every time I went to visit her, it broke my heart just a little bit more to see the person that she once was slipping further and further away.
Alzheimer’s is hereditary. And the fear that some day (though I pray in the very, very, very distant future…if at all) I may find myself falling victim to this disease. I hope that soon we’ll find a cure for it and rid the world of its heartbreak. But if we don’t, I love knowing that I’ll have my blog to look back on and remember my life. Though not as poetic as the works of Allie Hamilton in The Notebook, this little corner of my existence could certainly bring a few memories to mind.
Should I forget…there are a few things that I always want to remember…
……The simple joys of what it felt like to hold my husband’s hand for the very first time that November night. The way the music of Jeff Bates was playing in the background; the air was frigid and cold as we huddled together, sharing the pockets of my North Face jacket. The smell of boiled peanuts and carnival food lingering in the air around us. I want to remember that moment…that second in time, because that’s essentially the very instant that I knew I had met the one I’d been waiting for my entire life.
……The pure excitement and fear that overwhelmed me that second those two pink lines appeared for the first time. Joy, happiness, and gut-wrenching terror at the realization that I was going to be a mom.
……What it feels like to love, and be loved, unconditionally and eternally by someone. Especially when it is the only someone you were ever meant to be with. I waited a long time to meet Josh; worrying and doubting that we would ever find one another. But we did. And despite all of the little moments that work to drive us apart, we’ve grown closer and continue to thrive as a team, day after day.
……What it felt like to hold my precious baby boy in my arms for the very first time. The baby kicks and wiggles that were felt while he was still inside my womb, didn’t even do justice to what that very first instant of skin-on-skin bonding was like. I felt every emotion known to man that second. And I’ve never felt more love flow through my body, heart, soul and mind. Both for my son and for my husband—the wonderful, amazing man who helped bring me my son.
……How Josh and I curl up together, the same way, every single night. Both on our left sides, with my arm wrapped around his chest; his hand placed on top of mine. Every night, without fail, we fall asleep together, our breaths syncing with one another until we both drift off.
……The gentle and natural way that Noah’s little head finds a place on my shoulder whenever I scoop him up. First thing in the morning, with the sleep still in his eyes, he walks to me and says sweetly, “Good Morning, Mommy” before finding my arms and snuggling up for a few more minutes of rest. His goofy smile, he silly laugh…the way he absolutely and totally completes the life that I’ve been given.
……The softness and smoothness of Noah’s tiny little cheek against mine. Whether we’re cuddling on the couch or wrestling in the floor, he always pauses for a few seconds to love on his mommy. The way his tiny little hand wraps around my finger and his big blue eyes light up whenever the two of us are together. We share a unique bond, my son and me. One that will not never be broken.
Should my memory fail me, in one way or another, I hope that if nothing else I’m able to look back and realize that I was given and blessed with a beautiful life, a happy and healthy family, and all of the love that I could imagine. Things are far from perfect, but the good heavily outweighs the bad. And if this is the outcome of those “hard” times we battle, I’ll take it. Because I can’t imagine life getting any better.
If you knew you were going to lose your memory, what things would you include a letter to yourself?