I walk for my father, Birch and for my sons, Forest and Randolph.
My dad; Birch, a Navy veteran, was a brilliant and hard-working man who worked his way from the ground floor of IBM through the ranks to a vibrant career as manager and auditor of the company. Even brighter than his professional career was his dedication to his family. His girls; my mother, sister, and myself, were his entire world: his motivation for his every action.
His father had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s later in life and I will never forget hearing my Dad tell me over the phone through tears that he too had this disease. Our family has watched this vibrant, thoughtful and intelligent man being reduced to a shell of his former self.
I miss the conversations I had with him because he can no longer grasp the words to say, and the frustration in his eyes to be unable to do for us – let alone for himself – is heart-breaking. It is as if I am trying to hold large handfuls of sand in my hands, while those grains, the elements that made my Dad the amazing man he was, escape my grasp.
My sons have never known the man I grew up with and this alone is a tragedy. Their memories of their Papaw will be tainted with Alzheimer’s and it makes me angry. I walk in honor of my Dad as well as for my sons’ futures – one where this disease cannot impact their lives like it has their Papaw’s.
Please join me and register for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s!