Thursday, April 30, 2009

This weekend

If things go according to plan this is what is happening this weekend --
Go to memorial service for one of the shooting victims below
My son comes home for a long weekend
Visit my friend Carol and her grandbabies
See Georgia play Florida in baseball
Go shoe shopping
Head to Macon for Manhattan Transfer concert

And, my brother is back in the hospital in Illinois.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Sad Day In Athens

Many of you may have heard that today, there was a shooting at a community theatre here in Athens. Three people were killed. Here is a link to the story from the Atlanta Journal Constitution

It is so sad. I knew two of the three victims. They had been involved in community theatre for quite awhile and both great people. Athens will miss them.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Town and Gown Theatre family.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

This week I was volunteering at a charity golf event. One of the ladies working the registration area with me was talking about her book club and mentioned that they had just finished discussing "Still Alice". If you have been following my blog you know how much I like this book and that "Alice" is so like me (although in the book she is fictional). The other lady was talking about how sad the book was and that is was so awful what she and her family were going through. I hesitated for awhile before I said anything -- I'm never quite sure what to say -- I don't like to point out my Alzheimer's but sometimes I think I should. I mentioned I had read the book and actually knew the author. I was hoping that that would start someone asking me more questions -- like how do you know the author? How many authors do you know? But no one did. I thought that strange and let it go. We were busy doing our assigned jobs at registration and didn't feel like that was the time to go into it. But afterwards, I wished I did say something. I'm not sure what I would have said, but I would have said something. Sometimes I never know when to keep my mouth shut -- sometimes I don't know when to open it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A week or so ago I wrote about the tv show Friday Night Lights and the character on the show that has Alzheimer's -- or Alzheimer's related symptoms, because I'm never sure on the show whether they have acknowledged that she has Alzheimer's -- she appears to. Anyway, in last week's show her family is taking her to an assisted living facility and she is going through things to take. There is a photo of her grandson when he was seven years old (he is now a senior in high school) that she wants to take. He keeps telling her not to take that photo. She then says "when I have one of my spells and can't remember I want to look at this photo so I can remember you" -- or something close to that affect. Last summer, I went through a similar experience so having her say the words really caught me off guard and I realized what I probably sounded like. But, last summer I insisted on getting a new photo done of my husband, me and my son for the explicit purpose so "when I get into a home this a photo I want to have in my room -- so I can remember you". Kind of scary when you hear someone else say it. It's kind of like when you say something and you sound like your mother.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Photos from Trip

I got to meet my friends Pody and Rick from Champaign while I was in Illinois. I had to be sure that the Illinois logo on Rick's shirt showed so people didn't think I was hanging around a Tennessee fan. And, my great nephew Oliver is the handsome young man on my lap. Oliver was born in November.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Back Again

I'm back from another trip to Illinois where I was visiting my ailing brother Bill. He just can't seem to catch a break. We received some more disheartening news of his condition while I was there.

My other brother, Tom, and I went to dinner with Bill's children, Elizabeth and Jonathan. They are in their late 20's early 30's and have families of their own. As I am, we are all struggling with the problems Bill is facing. They want answers and so do I. Unfortunately the answers are somewhat elusive. I feel bad in that Tom and I are the "adults" if you will in this situation and we are not able to help Elizabeth and Jonathan with the answers they need. I feel so helpless. I feel like I should be able to provide the support they need and I can't. I've never really felt like the "grown up" giving out advice. But, they were looking for it and I couldn't help. No one can -- and that is the difficult part.

As I look at the situation, I realize that in my own life people feel helpless because they can't help me either. But, I'm not looking for help in terms of what people can do for me. I just need people to be around me for friendship and companionship -- not to forget about me because I'm sick. There will be days when my family needs help and I hope my firends are there to help them when the time comes. I feel bad that I am going to be a burden on people and hope that it isn't too bad. I feel as inadequate about that as I do about not being able to help my neice and nephew find the answers they need.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

This and that

This goose along with another goose made it to our house today. We have had so much rain in the last week or so that in the background you can see the water standing in our front yard. I don't know if these geese made a detour on their trip up north or what but they were certainly looking for food. We feed the crows, the squirrels, other cats and whatever comes our way in the back of our house. We usually feed them cat food -- I know it sounds weird but they eat it. The geese didn't seem to care that much for it. But they were lovely to watch before they flew away.
Today I went to a funeral. The father of a man I used to work for passed away. The service was lovely. He was loved my many and it showed. Life is just too short.
Friday Night Lights is a show that airs on Friday nights about high school football in Texas. Last week while I was speaking at the Alzheimer's Conference there I had the pleasure of meeting one of the character's grandfather. His grandson, Jesse Plemmons, is a Champion for the Alzheimer's Association. Jesse's grandmother had Alzheiemer's. Coincidentally, in the show there is a story line that involves another character on the show with his grandmother who has Alzheimer's. Although it is not clearly stated that that is her condition, it is understood to be -- at least by me. Anyway, the show has been dealing with this story line in a very dignified manner. But last week it struck a chord with me. I could see myself in the character and it is scary. Just as I saw myself in the Still Alice book. You can talk about this disease a lot, but when you see yourself, it is scary and becomes even more real. It's hard to explain, but it is also hard to watch.
HBO is coming out with a series beginning in May about Alzheimer's. They have been working on this for about two years. I have been to several conferences where they were shooting. I believe it starts May 10th and it is a four part series. It will be good I'm sure as they have put a lot of time and effort into it. I'm not sure if it is something I can watch either -- I know I'll tape it and watch it over time, but I'm not sure if I can watch it all at once.
Terry Moran, one of the hosts of ABC's Nightline program just did a short series on Alzheimer's. He has Alzheimer's in his family and he goes the through the process in his piece about getting his DNA tested to see what his chances of getting Alzheimer's are. Here is a link to the piece He also interviews Meryl Cromer, a member of Newt Gingrich's Alzheimer's Study Group (ASG). I had the pleasure of working with Meryl on a prelude committee to the ASG about a year and a half ago. She is a true crusader. And, in the piece she also finds out what her chances are for developing Alzheimer's. She now cares for her husband and mother who both suffer from the disease. Please note that the tests that they had only were indicators of developing Alzheimer's not that they would definitely get Alzheimer's. During my diagnosis I had a spinal tap which indicated that I carried one of the genese for Alzheimer's but it didn't necessarily mean that I would get Alzheimer's -- it was just one of many markers in my diagnosis. The story is interesting and I thank ABC and Mr. Moran for doing it.
I'm off to Illinois again on Saturday to visit my ailing brother. I'm hoping to find him in better spirits and in better health. I'll report when I return.
Thanks for reading and sharing your comments with me.