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The Walk to End Alzheimer’s

September 14, 2012

I inherited a fondness for snail mail from my mother. She religiously sends me at least one card per week. On the latest, a vintage-drawn ice cream cone floats in the middle of the paper. Below that, a fun font asks “What’s the scoop?” With grammatical perfection, Mother describes the minutiae of her day – where the dogs pooped, which flowerbeds she weeded, why she needed to run an errand in Kennesaw and therefore stop by DSW.

Sometimes Mother’s understated storytelling comes across as more hilarious than she intends.

My dear Bobbin:

Today after supper Daddy asked me where I put the leftover cornbread. And I said, “I wish I had known you wanted more because I wouldn’t have thrown it away.”

When I walked into the kitchen a while later, I found him leaning over the trashcan eating the cornbread.

We are looking forward to seeing you this weekend!


Mother often sends Timber and me identical cards with similar messages. We received the same holiday greeting from Mother one year in college. The following excerpt earned a slot in the Making Fun of Mother Hall of Fame:

I went to a Christmas party at the Lances’ house today, and Barbara had the most beautifully decorated tree. It had the BIGGEST BALLS.

Timber and I particularly appreciated Mother’s extreme bolding and underlining of “biggest balls.”

Mother instilled in me a respect for the art of the handwritten letter and mourning of its slow demise. I have been trained to promptly postmark Thank You notes and distribute 75 personal holiday greetings each year on average. While most people know me as one of the United States Post Office’s most loyal customers, I recently realized I should write Mother more often — and nearly went broke stocking up on missives at Richards Variety Store. For a few weeks I sent Mother and Daddy cards containing what I hoped were inspiring quotes; however, I couldn’t bring myself to stamp a few of them since, given the situation, they drip with bullshit.

'Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.' - Orison Swett Marden

One of them says:

Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them. – Orison Swett Marden

I recognize that the goal of my blog is to approach Daddy’s illness with positivity and humor, but Alzheimer’s disease presents an insurmountable obstacle. I read somewhere that no one survives Alzheimer’s and I quote, “Alzheimer’s will take you down.” The best my family can do is cope with Daddy’s diagnosis with strength, a good attitude and grace, and love each other while we walk down this road.


This mantra more accurately encapsulates the past few months of my life:

When bad things happen I feel like calling God and saying dude WTF.

But I probably shouldn’t send that card to Mother and Daddy either.

I guess Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a completely insurmountable obstacle; after all, current medical research continues to propel scientists closer to a cure or, more realistically, a vaccine. I feel angry that a cure probably won’t be approved in time for Daddy but also optimistic about the quality of mental health my peers and our children hopefully will experience in our old age. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Atlanta, which will take place at Atlantic Station on Saturday, September 29 at 9 a.m. Walking on behalf of my father will make me feel less powerless beneath the weight of this cruel disease.

Learn more about the walk taking place nearest you »

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    September 26, 2012 5:54 pm

    I like the second card, but I approve of your decision NOT to send that to our parents. Dora and I will also be at the walk. I’m looking forward to it!

  2. September 26, 2012 8:10 pm

    I’m glad Dora is coming! Adriana also is joining us. Ryan can’t wait to hang out with all The Girls. Hahaha! Our group will be so diverse…

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