Summit County is my stomping ground and has been for over 50 years. I love this area and the things it has to offer. I'm fascinated by the talent I see around me and the many ways it manifests itself in the tapestry that is life in Northeast Ohio. I have a particular interest in how we nurture ourselves with the foods we eat, the way it gets to our table and how we relate to each other over that table. You'll likely find me cooking, eating or talking about food.
Friday, November 28, 2014
DEAR ALZHEIMER'S, IT'S THANKSGIVING.
This our week of Thanksgiving and yet the strongest emotion I have are of hatred for you. I struggle with finding things to be thankful for and they are there. Family. A warm, safe house. Freedom to do mostly as I please as long as I don't harm others in the doing of it. All good stuff.
And yet. There's you. You have invited yourself to all of my special holidays. I don't ask you to be here, but you came and will not leave. While you're here you do a lot of damage and I keep wondering "who's going to fix this" or "who's going to pick up after that"? The answer is me.
For every household where you have decided to take up residence, there are the "me's". We're the Caregivers. We try very hard to be thankful for the time we have with our loved ones whom you've afflicted but it's damn hard. You've taken yet another day that is supposed to be special and turned it into sadness.
Thanks to you, Thanksgiving becomes a time of confusion for those we care for. They see all the people in a place they are used to being quiet and become confused. To make matters worse, they have no idea who those people are. Yes, there is conversation, but mostly about things they no longer understand or recognize. That makes everyone sad. For that alone Alzheimer's, you should be ashamed. But you have no shame, do you? You keep at us until you suck the fun out of most things.
So this Thanksgiving I will take my hatred and turn it into action. I am planning ways to raise money to kill you. I will sell cookies or participate in walks. I will speak loudly to anyone that will listen about what a horrible thing you are.
I will also speak the things people don't want to hear. Mostly about how to recognize you in the people they love. No one believes you'll visit their house, but you will. Statistics show you'll be in half the households where there are people over the age of 80. And with baby-boomers getting older every year, that's a hell of a lot of households.
That's a lot of people like me. Think about that my friends. For every person who is stricken, there are 3 or 4 people like me who end up caring for them.
Thanksgiving? Just another day. I'll only be truly thankful when we find a way to kill you and you're name will be as foreign and as unrecognizable as I am to my Dad and I was to my Mother before you took her.
You have my attention, Alzheimer's. I have my eye's on you. You're welcome.