By Jeff Baird, Sunrise Reiki Colorado ♥
I first started paying attention to Alzheimer’s when it ended Ronald Reagan’s life. It was hard for me to comprehend how a man who was at one time the most powerful man in the world, could no longer remember who he was. I had a hard time wrapping my head around this. It was at that moment that I realized how devastating this horrible disease really is. I continued to hear about other well known people who also suffered with Alzheimer’s. My thought then, and at this moment, is we have to do something – Now! A seed was planted within me.
Alzheimer’s makes people prisoners in their own bodies. What devastation it leaves in its wake as the afflicted no longer remember loved ones. How brutal can you get?
And as those with Alzheimer’s suffer, they know deep down that something is not right. It makes them unsure of themselves, and the fear must be devastating. I saw this with my mom. Her and my Dad shared some horrific, yet beautiful moments together. What I mean by that is this –
I remember Dad telling me how my mom had just had yet another unthinkable Alzheimer’s accident. As my dad cleaned up the mess and washed her, she said, “I’m so sorry honey.” Dear God. This brings me to tears. That’s what I mean by horrific yet beautiful. Even in her deepest suffering, she knew certain things, and would have these occasional Mom type moments. This makes this disease even more brutal as it teases loved ones with brief glimpses that remind us of better days. It did everything it could to rob Mom of her dignity, but Dad would not allow it. He was fond of saying, “Take the bull by the horns.” He most certainly took the bull by the horns and fought for as long as he could. Then, an angel appeared at the perfect time.
Karen Malucci, and her husband Brad took Mom into their beautiful home based facility where she would receive the tender care she needed until she passed. Karen and Brad were much better equipped to take care of her at that time, and they became very close with my Dad, and all of us. They’re family. They loved Mom, and she loved them too.
Over the years, I have turned down countless opportunities to represent products that required me to hit up friends and relatives for money. I am just not wired that way. I don’t want to be “that guy.” You know, the uncle at Thanksgiving who has some incredible offer for you to buy mouthwash in 5 gallon tubs, and save thousands of dollars every time you buy toilet paper by the truckload, and travel during specific times and stay at certain hotels so you can save even more. Then, you get to bring more people on board with you so that you can retire a millionaire. I’ve heard it all; including the well disguised pitches that try to trick you into joining the structure that is shaped like a pyramid. Thank you, but no thanks. That stuff is not for me. So, believe me, it’s not easy for me to ask friends and family for money.
But, when it comes to Alzheimer’s, I have to change my mindset. I just saw something else on the Bowlen family before I started writing this. The same thought that hit me with Reagan, struck me again. It’s no secret how much I love the Denver Broncos, and to have a little bit of an understanding of what the Bowlen family is going through, makes me want to fight Alzheimer’s even more. Please help us by donating to our cause and/or joining The Little Fellas for the walk on Saturday, September 15th. Your contribution really does matter and will make a difference. For more information on the progress we are making, please visit www.alz.org. This organization is doing great things. They really are. They use the money wisely.
p.s. My mom was an angel. Everybody loved Frannie. She was a very bright light. Even in her darkest moments with Alzheimer’s, she still kept a smile on her face. Many with Alzheimer’s have moments when they get mean. But, this never happened with my mom. She didn’t have a mean bone in her body – Alzheimer’s or not. She was so outgoing. We used to joke that she could have been mayor of Fountain Hills. She knew everybody as a friend. I am honored to be her son. She taught me to always try a little harder and do it with a smile on my face. God Bless You Frannie. Until we see each other again – We are going to kick Alzheimer’s where it counts! This is for you and Dad.