Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Would you rather tell someone you have Alzheimer's or Cancer?

Today I find myself very upset over an incident regarding my mother where a little flexibility would have gone a long way.   As I am sure you can tell by several of my posts my mother has a unique relationship with my son.  He is the apple of her eye probably due to the fact he is always hugging on her, talking to her, teasing her, or carrying her around in his arms.  We tell him she is the little sister he never had and she loves every bit of it.

Ryan recently was asked to be in an activity where he will be wearing a tux and escorting girls modeling  clothes.    The mother of the boy is invited along with all the girls and their moms. Ryan and myself are considered guests and therefore do not have to pay. 

The day I received the call to notify us he was chosen to do this I immediately thought of how much Lily would enjoy watching this event.  So I called one of the organizers and made the request noting that I would be happy to pay all expenses associated with her coming.

Today I was told that a decision was made that she could not come because  if they make an exception for one grandma they would have to allow all the other grandmas to come.  They know my mother has Alzheimer's which apparently still did not change their decision.  I can't help but wonder if my mother had cancer, another terminal illness, would the answer have been the same.  Someone may say "but your mother may live for several more years." Yes, but by next year she may very well have forgotten her grandson as she has already forgotten her other grandson out of state.  So every occasion now is important to us as a family.

I do not believe those with Alzheimer's disease receive the support and respect that others do with other terminal illnesses.  There is such a stigma attached to mental illness which is sad but true.

Perhaps the answer might have been the same for a grandma dying of cancer, but if so, what a sad society we have that exceptions cannot be made which would enrich that person's life if only for that moment in time.


  1. This is such an inspirational and beautiful way to encourage others who face this trying journey. I hope this blog allows you, and others who read it, to find joy and resolution to such a difficult disease. God sees the many sacrifices, tears, prayers and love you and the family give. May God bless you now and always.

  2. What a wonderful comment. You whoever you are have made my day! Thank you.