Sunday, September 28, 2008


The art of letter writing has pretty much gone by the wayside with email and text messaging these days. That is too bad. I've always enjoyed letter writing -- as many of you may know. When we were young and in school we were encouraged to have pen pals -- remember those days? In fact, my oldest brother married his pen pal who lived in England and they have been married 40 years! Right now, my sister-in-law's brother has been writing to me from England and it is so nice to go to the mail box and actually have a letter waiting for me some days. I've enjoyed writing to him as well.

I've written before about my letter writing to my son. The day he was born I wrote him a letter and every year on his birthday I have written him a letter. I put them all in the safety deposit box not knowing when the appropriate time to give them to him would be. Since my Alzheimer's diagnosis these letters have become even more precious to me. I'm able to share my feelings with him while I still can and when I can no longer remember what is going on at least he will know how I was feeling at some point. I have struggled to know when the best time he should received these letters. At first I thought it was when I died. He knew that I wrote them and at some point he would get them. Then, when he turned 21 I thought that would be the time. But, I decided to give them to him the night before his wedding this last August. We were alone together and I had gone to the safety deposit box to get all 25 letters out and put them in a box. I thought since he was starting a new chapter in his life, that I would give them to him. It was one of the hardest things I have done. I shed quite a few tears and I'm not sure why. His first reaction to me was -- "I don't want those now!". I don't know if he thought that this was an "end" of some sort or what. I told him that he didn't have to read them now -- he could read them five, ten or twenty years down the road. I added a letter that he was to read first -- and that bascially told him that I didn't care when he read them, but once he did I wanted him to tell me that he had read them if I am still alive. His other comment to me was "Does this mean you are going to stop writing me letters?" My response to that was "I didn't say that!" But, he has 25 letters from me now and who knows -- since his birthday is coming up I might write another to put away in the safety deposit box. I guess my reason for giving him the letters now is for him to decide when the right time to read the letters would be -- not for me to decide. Perhaps when my mind is to the point of not remembering him or what is going on it will bring some peace to him -- knowing how much he has meant to me through the years and how proud of him I am -- I may not be able to tell him that at some point and at least I know I'll have it covered!

I guess what made me write this post is that I just finished reading the book "Wednesday's Letters". It is about a man who wrote his wife a letter every Wednesday that they were married. He wrote them thinking that he would die before his wife and she would have them to read as a sign of his love. I won't spoil the book for you -- but it turns out they die together and the children find the letters. What ensues is a beautiful story and reminded me so much of my letters to my son.

If you miss getting letters in the mail from friends, write one yourself to a friend. You might get one back.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm here. Every time I sit down to write something, the words don't come out right or I can't get my fingers to do what they need to do on the keyboard. I find that I am making a lot of typing errors lately and it takes me forever to write something.

I go back to the doctor tomorrow. I have finished taking my daily B12 shots. I feel a little better -- a little more energy anyway. Not sure that the balance issues are any better. We'll see what the doctor has to say about it.

Lots of things have been happening with Alzheimer's related events. It seems to get busy in the fall and spring. Of course, our Memory Walk is in November. With the economy the way it is, I'm sure that our fundraising efforts will be affected. I am also still participating in a national study group about Alzheimer's issues. Those serving with me include people for the National Institute on Aging, the Veteran's Administration, the Center for Disease Control, The Administrtion on Aging and the National Alliance for Caregiving.....just to name a few. Our charge is to help define a national strategic plan for Alzheimer's. I've also been appointed to a new "Senate Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementia Study Commission" for the State of Georgia. It will be dealing with various issues including safety of persons with Alzheimer's Disease, dementia care practices and recommendations, future needs for services and the state's responsibility. The Senate resolution for this commission states that it must have a person with Alzheimer's Disease on the commission.

Also, I would like to remind everyone about the American Express Members Project. If you are an American Express card holder and could vote of the Alzheimer's initiative, the Alzheimer's Assn. has a chance of winning some money based on where the project ends up in the final list. Right now, the Alzheimer's initiative is in first place. There is still a ways to go so if you haven't voted, please do. The website is

A shout out to a fellow blogger -- Dee in Canada. Dee's mother has Alzheimer's and she chronicle's her time with her mother. Thanks for your kind comments Dee and hang in there. We are all in this together.

Friday, September 19, 2008

World Alzheimer's Day

Is this Sunday. Hug someone you know has Alzheimer's.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I know it has been awhile. Thanks for all the emails and comments. I've had so much to write that I couldn't get in all in a few paragraphs.

Went back to the doctor last week after my MRI. The MRI didn't show anything drastic like a tumor or a stroke -- which is a good thing. My Vitamin B12 level is low so I am now giving myself daily injections of B12 for awhile. I'm feeling a little better since the B12 shots have started to kick in -- more energy anyway. I'm still having some numbing in my face and some problems on my right side, but we will see what the doctor says after looking at my MRI more closely. I go back in a couple of weeks.

College football is here in all its glory. I enjoyed watching three games at once yesterday with my remote control in my hand clicking back and forth between games. I have a hard time following a lot of times by switching back and forth, but I do it anyway.

This week I'm catching up with some old friends. I've been pretty bad about that lately because I have been traveling so much. I have to pace myself and only schedule so many "events" for the week. That's hard for me to do -- I can very easily "overbook" myself and then have several days of trying to rest up. It's hard to say no to people. I have lots of friends having birthdays this month and next and try to at least go to lunch with them for their special day. It's hard keeping up with all of it.

I promise to try to do better in the coming weeks of updating my blog.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Now that summer has come to an end I am hoping that I can get back into the swing of things -- which quite literally means getting back to my routine. That has been lacking a bit this summer and I really need it.

My neurologist's appointment this week didn't go so well. The balance issues have gotten much worse and I am going to have another MRI. Some other problems have cropped up as well so it is probably a good time for another one. It has been 18 months since my last one, and we noticed a good bit of change on the last one from the previous one. So, I'm anxious to see this one as well. We probably won't know a whole lot for a few weeks.

Our trip to Michigan was great. It makes me miss the midwest -- the cooler temps, the drastic season changes, the cheap produce (including watermelon!), and the lifestyle. They say you can't go back home again, but it is sure nice to visit.

My house needs cleaning, I have lots of scrapbooking to do from the summer and have to catch up on many things that have gone by the wayside this summer. With all the travelling we did this summer -- between graduations and weddings, our family travelled over 35,000 miles in three months collectively. When you are going from west coast to east coast several times that adds up. But it was all worth it.

I still have some resting up to do and when I do I will post some more about our trip to Michigan.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Another happy couple

Rachel Atterberry and Mark Vaughan are married! We just returned from their wedding in Michigan. The wedding was beautiful and I was honored to be a part of it. Thanks to Rachel, Mark, Pody and Rick for making it a terrific weekend.