Saturday was the Memory Walk and something serious happened that day.  My mom’s sister, my Aunt Kathy, was by our side at the Memory Walk and we had a great day.  But when she got home, she discovered that her husband had collapsed while she was out with us. 

Uncle Jack has now been at the hospital for four days and things don’t look good.  He has been in and out of the hospital a few times this summer but this time things appear much more dire.

So we’re in the midst of yet another family crisis… this time staring death straight in the eye.  I can’t help but wonder what this is doing to my dad’s already-existent thoughts on dying.  And what’s going through my mother’s mind and heart as she and Dad continue to visit their beloved brother-in-law in his hospital bed.  They know their day is coming.  They have to be going through an intolerable amount of emotional stress and personal anguish.  We all are in our own way.  This is a very poignant experience.

I only heard of the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk a few weeks ago during my ongoing research.  But it sounded like a great opportunity to empower myself, family and friends to actually DO something proactively to fight Alzheimer’s and to celebrate the power we have as a team! 

Feeling my way around the process at the last minute, I emailed loved ones about the cause and the last-minute date of the walk, and I invited them to participate either physically or financially.  

Well, the walk was today and we had so much support that the thought takes my breath away.  AND we had so much fun!!  Amidst the walk, we ended up feeding the giraffes by hand, having butterflies land on our heads and polar bears swimming overhead.  It was an exciting celebratory day of love and life!  And it was nice to be recognized by people from the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter; it felt like I belonged.

Especially considering the short amount of time I had to prepare and spread the word about this effort, I’ve surprisingly discovered that our team, Firek Power!, raised enough money that we are a Top Five Family Team!  Who-aaa!  Take THAT, Alzheimer’s!

Team Firek Power! at Memory Walk 2007

Team Firek Power! at Memory Walk 2007

Mom is the 1st adventurous soul!

Mom is the 1st adventurous soul!

Dad goes next and loved it!

Dad goes next and laughs!

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I take my turn feeding the giraffe...

My reaction to feeding the giraffe!

My reaction!