Life is for Living Every Day

Thoughts on Faith, Family, Love, Laughter & Life

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Either you’ll have it, or have to look after someone who has it

Dedicated to all Moms who may have forgotten they are moms | Photo by Gale E
“My mother had early-onset Alzheimer’s, and it took her four years to die. She was only 44; I was 14.” ~ Karolyn Grimes

“I hate Alzheimer’s. It is one of the most awful things because, here is a loved one, this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly, that person is gone. They’re gone. They are gone.” ~ Pat Robertson

“I’m in awe of people out there who deal with Alzheimer’s, because they have to deal with death 10 times over, year after year.” ~ Marcia Wallace
♥   ♥   ♥

Alzheimer’s, Dementia … mention these diseases to me and I get really angry.  I am angry because they tear the patriarchs of our family away from us. I am angry because these diseases eat away not only at bodies but at minds once brilliant and shining, leaving nothing but ashes blowing in the smoke of obliterated memories. I am angry as I watch atrophied muscles in legs and arms refusing to cooperate, under dimmed eyes which always seem to ask: “who are you, where am I, how did I get here, why don’t I know any of these people?” These questions really cut to the heart when it’s your mom (or dad) wondering what’s going on.

But in case you didn’t truly know …

  • The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.5 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Of the estimated 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2017, an estimated 5.3 million are age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 and have younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
  • One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
  • Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.

Because of the increasing number of people age 65 and older in the United States, particularly the oldest-old, the number of new cases of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to soar. Today, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s dementia every 66 seconds. By mid-century, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.


If you haven’t seen the movie “Still Alice” starring Julianne Moore I invite you to download it and find a quiet moment where you can watch uninterrupted.  After you have recovered from all of the emotions, take a breath and then watch this interesting and informative TED Talk by Lisa Genova, author of the book Still Alice (on which the movie is based) as she speaks to the audience on how we can possibly avoid Alzheimer’s. I for one will seriously need to catch up on my sleep and attempt to learn new things more often.

But what about you? Is anyone in your family affected by this terrible disease? Are you a caregiver? How has it affected you? What have you learnt from the experience?  In observation of Mother’s Day I am inviting you to please share your story; someone out there needs to know they are not alone in this struggle.

Click here for a little of my personal journey: Alzheimer’s is Real – Part IAlzheimer’s is Real – Part II; to read more thoughts simply search this blog using the word: Alzheimer’s.


Photo by Nathan Weithers |


“Especially Now” by Joy DeKok, Author


Dementia is hard. We often feel alone in the journey even when we know thousands of others are on the same path. I want my path to cross with theirs. It’s so easy to rejoice when others are rejoicing – it’s much harder to mourn with those who mourn. So, we acknowledge the pain of others politely, but would rather not get involved in it. Grief is messy, but there is strength – even power – in mourning together.  As difficult as dementia is, faith in the God who is Hope means we are not hopeless. Faith in Jesus means Mama and I have forever – this nasty now and now isn’t the end. We have forever. That’s the confidence that helps me when she forgets my name.  I believe God wired us to be impacted by stories – His and each other’s. Telling what we’re living through with faith and honesty is one way I let the my corner of the world see that Christ is in me.  I’d like to say writing about this journey is an unselfish act. That wouldn’t be 100% true. I also write to heal the wounds in my own heart.  

Joy Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring! And Easter Bonnet Love

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This week’s photo challenge included the following note:

For this week’s challenge, share a photo that shows what spring means to you. It can be a flower in bloom (or a field of them!), a May Day celebration, or your dog luxuriating in the grass after a long winter indoors. Maybe it’s a shot you took on a spring break trip, or your family wearing Easter finery.

In Barbados we only have a wet or dry season.  The rain either falls a lot or hardly at all.  So even though I can’t really speak to Spring or any of the other seasons I can speak to Easter, one of the most celebrated times of year here.  There is kite flying, Easter bonnet parades and services in local churches to look forward to, and although I have photos to show you examples of these things which we experienced over the past few weeks, I decided to share instead the most important thing of all about this particular Easter (Spring in a sense) for our family.

One of the best times we enjoyed was with our aunt, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and resides at a wonderful home (Age Assist Highgate Retreat in Highgate Gardens) with loving nurses.  It all started with the idea for an Easter Bonnet parade by the Administrator.  I wasn’t sure how this was going to work out as all of the sweet ladies in the home were suffering from either Dementia or Alzheimer’s and would not be able to help in any meaningful way.  However, relatives were asked to contribute the raw materials and the nurses got together to begin the production process – shown below.  It was definitely a labour of love and I couldn’t wait to see how the bonnets would look at the end.


Trying to plan how our aunt’s bonnet would look


Think that’s a little too many eggs for one hat though


This hat is almost done already and looking quite nice


A few more finishing touches here and we can tick this hat off as completed


“Look at the confusion on this table,” was my first thought when I entered the “work” area


Birds are much better than chickens for this creation


Working magic by applying lots of tiny flowers one at a time with a glue gun … when will the home administrator finish? We hope in time for the big event.

On Easter Sunday, relatives and friends of the residents came together for an evening of tea, and to witness the parade/modelling of Easter bonnets.  There was lots of food and laughter and of course some exceptional looking hats.

Our aunt’s hat came in second!  Woo hoo!  We were so excited! Her prize was a fruit basket filled with lots of goodies, including her favourite grapes.

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A good time was had by all, but admittedly Alzheimer’s and Dementia are terrible “Winter” diseases.  Yet we are happy to experience little Springtime celebrations as we seek to maximise all and any opportunities to spend time with these beautiful women who are so much a part of us … especially at Easter.

This gallery contains 14 photos