Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Walk to Remember

7:36 p.m. Today's project was for Steve and me to join my team in the "Walk to End Alzheimer's" Inland Empire event at Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park.

It had been a real strain to get to the park by 8:30a.m., and as a team captain, I should have been there by 8:00. We had a bit of an episode with our lab Jada, who started barking from her crate in the garage about 2:30 , then I let her out. Back upstairs to bed. She started up again, so  I gave her some water. Then, unbelievably, the was at it again, so I woke Steve up, which was very difficult, and sent him downstairs--he's her great hero, so it was the only card I had left to play! He got her quieted down, but then could not find his way back to bed. Seems the night light had been left off. Needless to say, I changed my cell phone alarm from 5:30 to 6:00. Thankfully, we picked up another couple of hours of sleep.

Psalm 127:2  says, "The LORD gives His beloved sleep," and so He did. After our devotions and a good breakfast we were on our way by 7:45. Another grace from the Lord was that I had run into our Care Pathways coordinator Darlene at the Somerford Place carnival yesterday, so Steve and I were able to have our team t-shirts on already, which would save us time on arrival at the park.

Thousands of people attended along with sponsoring businesses such as Ralphs, Genworth, (our long term insurance carrier) and several of the in-home care agencies, residence homes, health care providers, and of course, the Alzheimer Association with several informational booths and opportunities for advocacy.  Many large family groups were walking with pictures of a beloved parent or grandparent on their shirts. There was a real atmosphere of love, kindness, and shared sorrow, along with determination to see a difference made through advancements in medicine and treatments.

Once we registered and found our Care Pathways team table, we took seats in front of the stage where good rock music oldies from groups like the Eagles was playing, provided by 99.1 FM. Refreshments were plentiful and free, so I took Steve through the line to get water, cracker packs and scones. The Don Francisco coffee booth was very popular. 

We thought the walking would happen right away, and that awards would come later as it got hot. But there was a ceremony, which began with the Star Spangled banner sung by a very talented local singer. Two "Laker Girls" were there signing pictures, and sadly, didn't even rise for the National Anthem until almost the end, probably because someone told them to. How embarrassing! Otherwise, besides sitting in the sun awaiting the signal to begin walking, things went along smoothly.

In the picture, you see some of us wearing flowers in differing colors: blue for Alzheimer's sufferer, yellow for caregiver, and purple if you'd lost someone. I realized while filling out flowers for Steve and me, that we fit several categories. If we think too deeply about these losses, we would be tempted to tears. We've lost his father Lorenz and his brother Larry. Steve has the disease, and I am a caregiver.  

If we were to dwell on these losses, as well as the personal loss of freedom and normalcy for the two of us, we would be tempted to be depressed. And when I think of my children and our niece and nephews, It could cause utter despair. But we have the Lord, and have learned to grasp the moments, hours and days of happiness and togetherness that the Lord still allows. I encourage my children to live their lives to the fullest, serve Jesus actively and with their whole hearts. And not to be afraid to have their own children because the disease is inherited, true, but there's no telling which generation may get it or be skipped. In other words, they are not to live in fear!  They've all gotten married but the youngest one, to spouses who are well aware of their father-in-law's condition. All of them plan to have children sooner or later. 

They have taken to heart II Timothy 1:7,

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I posted my 3-generational reason for in choosing to walk today on Facebook:

"I am doing the Alzheimer's walk in memory of Lorenz and Larry, and with hope for my children." 


  1. Oh Dana, that's so good that Steve went on the walk! Our walk was Saturday also. Left two ALZ husbands at the house and put coffee on for them. When we returned, Jake still had cream in his cup and hubby still had his cup ready to be filled with coffee! More news on my blog--my hubby actually passed his Alzheimer's driving test! About ten people commented on his passing this on Facebook.

  2. Hi Carol, I'll have to friend you on FB, or you me! How cool that you can leave your hubbies together and let them enjoy their time, if not their coffee, lol!!!

  3. I tried to friend you on Facebook, but it didn't work. You need to befriend me, okay my new Social Media Christian friend going through the same journey with our husbands.

  4. Hi Carol, I tried to find you as well, and unless you are the DUI school instructor from Florida, you didn't appear!!

  5. Yes, Dana. I am the DUI instructor from Florida. I teach that part-time.