Susan is an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker, along with her husband Alan who were in our area filming a project a few years ago on lead poisoning for the Discovery Channel and that is how I met them. We have stayed in contact, as they continue to seek funding to complete their work on that subject.
In the dream my friend and I went to an impressive art gallery and Susan joined us with her understanding of the passion of the talented artists and their work, when exiting I realized I had not worn a mask. It was a MASK DREAM and the struggles of wearing one!
One of those talented people was Lauren Pelaia, one of the creators of "The Picher Project" which I attended last fall at Feinstein's/54 Below in New York City where I met her mother. I got a post from Lauren I would like to share with you:
"My mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in 2017. The pandemic brought a whole new world of challenges. For the first few months, my brother and I didn't even enter my mom's house; we sat outside her screen door in lawn chairs. Since March, we have not been able to hold her hand, truly hold her hand, without a glove in between. For months now, she has not seen our faces without masks. Stakes are high, to take off a glove, to eat with her, to show her our smiles, could have such a consequence for her or us.
Given these,"uncertain" times, it's shown me the importance of the current moment. Don't wait to start living your life; to take that risk in school or work, to buy that thing you've been wanting, to learn a skill, to call a loved one to tell them you love them. We spend our whole lives saving, but for what? Sometimes, there are bad days, sometimes there is no why. The one thing that gets me through, the one thing that makes me find strength when I didn't think there was any left, is looking at mom, thinking about how brave she is, how strong she is, I'd like to think that, if I have half of her DNA, maybe I'll get the honor of being half the woman she is one day.
I promise you, there is no better time than now to remind people that you love them, to put the little things aside and realize that the only thing we have to get through each day is each other. The pandemic has created and amplified problems for many people and the same goes for individuals and families struggling with Alzheimer's. There will be a survivor one day; I will fight until that day comes.
We are all struggling in so many new ways. I ask that, if possible, you consider donating to my walk team, Team I Love You, for this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's. Please join me in honoring my mom and fighting until we find a cure to Alzheimer's." Donate to a Walker
I didn't lose my mother to Alzheimer's I lost her just before she turned 92 with her brilliant mind reclaimed after stroke impacts. And physically fit. The morning of the day she left to die she was in bed doing bicycle leg exercises. Later while walking, she fell and her head bounced against the floor. "Fiddlesticks" she said in the hospital as she left for brain surgery. The last word I heard her say before the head trauma's damage took her away from us: fiddlesticks.
She actually could play the fiddle. I had forgotten. I have forgotten more than I can express. I am not going to funerals now. but I can walk for Alzheimer's and will be thinking of head traumas that can happen in a moment. And throw a young friend over the handlebars of the Raleigh Portage Touring bike that quick. A slick sidewalk fall could have been my moment last week, but the overhead work I am doing repairing the ceilings at home must have helped me have neck muscles that kept my head from bouncing off the pavement.
My mother never had a headache. Her mother often had them and would ask her, "What kind of a head do you have anyway?"
These precious brains in our heads are complicated intricate machines, and can be rattled just once too many times before shut downs occur. Sometimes in that blink sometimes it takes years to unravel. And sometimes the cause of what changes our brains stays in the cause unknown column.
Exactly my question. What kind of a head do we have? We know traumas from falls of all sorts can hurt us, but what triggers dementia? and Alzheimer's? Not yet known.
We know lead can have long term effects to our brains even before we are born. Lead is a thing we can remove and EPA will be funding more removal from this county as long as we keep asking for it. We must do what we know can protect these precious brains. Call DEQ and get your yard tested for lead. 800-522-0206.
Respectfully submitted ~ Rebecca Jim