Monday, January 25

A Sad Task

Sunday brought an in-home memorial service for a lovely neighbor who had been in a nursing home with Alzheimer's Disease for 15+ years. When we first moved here, she was young and pretty and had a very active life. The first signs of a problem occurred when she was about 46, I think. The last time (about 2000) I saw her (before she was placed in the nursing home) another neighbor had brought her to the new home of a former neighbor for a small gathering. She carried a small recorder with a tape of her husband's voice so she could remember him. It made us incredibly sad to see her like that. By that point, she also had trouble remembering her children or their names. Not long after that, she was placed in the nursing facility. Her otherwise good health kept her going until last week.

Our women's group took up a collection for flowers, and kindly asked me if I wanted to do them. I did want to, of course. They think of it as an imposition; I look upon it as a blessing which benefits me much more than them. I was able to do four arrangements, and delivered them Saturday afternoon. Her daughters family and her husband now live in her former home, which is a nice continuity for the family and for us. I went back today for the service at noon, and found at least 60-70 people, some neighbors and mostly friends and family. Since the camera is on the fritz again, I don't have photos for you, which is too bad, since I was happy with the way the arrangements turned out.

16 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

How sad about your friend. I'm confident that the flowers were gorgeous!!!!! What nice neighbors you are!!!!

Gilly said...

Alzheimer's disease, and senile dementia, which seems much the same, are terrible things. I've heard it described as "living dead".

But the service, and your beautiful flowers must have brought come comfort to her husband and children. They suffer so much seeing someone they love disappearing before their eyes.

Pat said...

46 is very young to be stricken with that awful disease. My brother was in his early fifties and he clung on for years and then died within a few days of my mother's death.
It was good of you to do the flowera and I'm sure they would be appreciated.

Olga said...

A gift from the heart came bring back in kind to the giver. It sounds like you have a wonderful neighborhood.

Arkansas Patti said...

How sweet of you to do the flowers.
That is just so heartbreaking that she and her family suffered for such a long time. Such a dreadful disease.

oklhdan said...

It must be wonderful to be able to use your talent to share with others. They must admire you and your work!

Tracie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. It is special that she had so many family and friends who still cared about her. I'm sure that your lovely flowers were much appreciated by her family.

LL Cool Joe said...

My father-in-law has Alzheimer's, and I spent all of yesterday afternoon with him. It breaks my heart to see him now. :( :(

It ws lovely of you to do the flowers.

robin andrea said...

How sad that her symptoms started when she was so young. that's a long time spent forgetting your whole life. It's a tragic illness.

Granny Annie said...

We all fear this disease more than any other. God bless her passing.

Grannymar said...

Sorry to hear you have lost a link in the chain of your neighbourhood. Alzheimer's Disease is so cruel with no respect for age. I am sure the flowers were wonderful.

sage said...

Thanks for doing the flowers... This hits home.

Star said...

Both a sad, and a lovely, post.

Looking to the Stars said...

I'm sorry to hear of your friend. How wonderful it was that you got to do the flowers.

My husband's grandfather had this disease. It was very hard to watch it sap a vibrant life. Gilly said it best, it is hard to watch someone disappear before your eyes.

But, flowers say so much and do so much for the soul :)

srp said...

Alzheimers is a cruel disease... especially for the family. My deepest condolences.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Very Very sad, Judy. What a truly terrible disease this is---And to hit someone so young....!
I'm sure your arrangements were beautiful, my dear. (I hope you get your camerta fixed, pronto!)