Daisy Dementia . . . Over and Out

J:  It's been four weeks since GRB died.  Some days it seems like he just died, other days it seems he's been gone awhile.  We've kept busy with travel and work since the funeral but the lingering sadness and profound emptiness of the Parkway still hit me whenever I have a quiet moment. 

E's boys have all but taken over the Daisies' suite, turning it in to their hang out.  But enough of Sweet T and GRB remains that it still feels like a punch in the gut each time I wander into the room.  I know that E has plans for the space, and little by little the Daisies' presence will fade away. And I know that soon my heart will begin to believe what my head is telling it:  that the Daisies are in a better place and all is well on the streets of heaven because they are patrolling them hand in hand.  And the sadness will mellow and fade.  And we will be left with memories.  Memories of two lives well lived.

Thank you for following us on our journey over the past two years.  I hope we have helped others who are traveling or have traveled the road that we've been on.  If you are still on the journey, hang in and treasure each long, difficult, quirky, seemingly endless day.  You'll look back when it's over and wonder where all the time went.

iI think I speak for all of the blog writers when I say It has been cathartic to be able to share my thoughts and feelings.  Daisy dementia  . . . over and out.

The Last Best Day

J:  I was at the Rec Center today on the treadmill next to a mom and daughter team who were talking while they walked.  They were talking of mundane things: what they had done over the weekend, plans for the coming week.  It was clear to me that they talk often and are in tune with what is going on in each other's life.  And I started thinking: when was the last time I was able to talk with my mom about anything? 

I know in the world of terminal cancer people often talk of the "last best day".  The day that stands out as the one where things in the patient's life were normal and then were never normal after that.  So I started scrolling back in my memory, trying to recall when the last time was that I had a mundane conversation with either of my parents.  I grew sadder as I had to continue to turn back year after year.  And I realized that our conversations over the years changed from the mundane talks between daughter and parents to the concerned calls that I would place trying to determine if they were still ok on their own.  These calls were quickly followed by calls to my siblings to report my findings.  It became a very labor intensive job - the management of declining parents.

I wish I could remember exactly what I said on that last best day.  But I can't.  But what I can do, going forward, is be sure to have the conversations that I need to have with people.  To make sure that I don't leave things unsaid.  So watch out- I'm probably going to be calling soon!

The Worst Kind of Homesick

J: When I went to college I was SO homesick.  As soon as my parents pulled away it started: this awful feeling that my life was driving away and I was in a free fall.  For the first 18 years of my life my parents were my bedrock.  They were the vine and I was the branch.  Then I just got cut off and stuck in the middle of Indiana. It took me almost my entire freshman year to get over the feeling of wishing I was home, in the safe secure environment I knew so well.  

Now the vine is gone.  The feeling of loss is so profound that I feel it in the soles of my feet.  My head knows that the vine had changed, withered, and was dying for years.  But it was the only vine I'll ever have and my heart aches.  My siblings, the other branches, have all scattered, back to their homes and their lives, our connection forever changed.

I remember, back in those first lonely months of college, counting the minutes until I could call home.  Just hearing my parents' voices on the phone calmed me and made me feel more connected and less alone.  The last few months of their lives neither of my parents were able to say much, and what they did say made no sense.  But they were still there.  Their presence, as the vine, was my orienting point.  Who am I if I'm not taking care of my parents? 

My head knows they are in a better place, the vine healthy and whole.  My heart feels like it did in September 1984.  Does anyone have heaven's number?

GRB's Eulogy


Thanks for coming here today to celebrate the life of our Dad.  His death brings a new chapter to his journey and Wow, what a sendoff.  Look Around. Thank you Fr. John Tim and Ray, as well as everyone participating today for this great celebration of my Dad's life.  Dad was brief in his words, but impactful.  I'll try to do the same.

Some adjectives to describe our father and grandfather of 15 are: humble, kind, generous, thrifty, competitive, active and at times "quirky".

Humble and Generous:  Dad was an anonymous philanthropist who felt his reward and recognition would be given to him in heaven; there was no need for naming rights.  God knows what was done.  That's the way Dad would want it.  While he enjoyed some of the trappings of success he ever let success get to his head, and he was always looking to help others.

He was Kind: Dad lived the Jesuit Mantra of being a man for others.  That's known by many of those who are here today.  He taught us humility, how to love, how to respect others, how to be a gentleman, and selfless acts of kindness and love;  that was GRB.

He was Thrifty, Active and Competitive:  Dad liked a deal and never wanted to pay retail-he wanted to see the invoice.  What I don't remember about Dad is the big sale, the new car or material things that he infrequently rewarded himself with.  He simply wasn't flashy.

Active: If you were around him at work, you'd best be working: no water cooler talk.  What GRB wasn't was a loafer, a lolly gagger or worse yet, a dogger!  He had no tolerance for laziness.  Work ethic and winning was his way of life whether on the tennis court, golf course, or in the office and helping others was a part of that work.  Dad's genuine interest in the wellbeing of other people and in helping families made him a great insurance salesman.

His Actions spoke louder than his words.  Some emblazoned memories I have of him are: breaking away from the  office for daily mass at the cathedral; being a big brother to the Mramor boys;  kissing my mom when she came home from work every night;  taking communion to shut ins; his arms flailing while power walking and his infamous loud sneezes!

K: Quirky:   Our Dad had many subtle nuances; some of them funny, some endearing and many just outright annoying.  My mother was a patient woman!

The grandkids on the Parkway nick-named him GRB for his initials.  This was a fitting name which later morphed into a verb and an adjective.  We now refer to anyone who can't sit still as "grbing"--someone who freaks out about the traffic, weather or delayed flight arrivals as "grbing"  Dad did all of the above.

Our Dad disliked the following three things with great fervor: chaos, pets and sleepovers.  So the fact that he had 4 daughters and one son did not lend itself to a "grb free" kind of life!  He struggled.

He loved to walk and probably walked across the country in total miles.  This led to the inevitable need for replacing his walking shoes often.  In his last few years, NONE of his children wanted to take him to the shoe store. It was just too traumatic.  He wore a size 10 or 10 1/2 - never quite sure.  He tried them all on numerous times and decided on one but usually bought the other resulting in returning them the next day!!  Many shoe salesmen have probably developed addictions due to GRB!

Dad was a picky eater unless it was a burger.  He would cut up his burger into 1/16" size pieces and slowly eat it, however he never finished an entire burger!  He would wrap up the small leftover and put it in the fridge.  My mother referred to these little remnants as turds!  Totally gross --totally GRB!

From his overabundance of sunscreen that he would lather on, to the high white compression socks he wore with his walking sandals, or his sunglasses (which Ellen said looked like something out of the witness protection program) GRB was always styling!

Regardless of all his quirkiness, Dad was true to his beliefs and never waivered.  You could count on him and and always knew what his reactions would be regardless of the situation presented: a controlled calm followed by a very long walk.

You taught us well Dad and will be missed.  We all pray that Heaven will be "grb free" and peaceful with you and Mom holding hands.

G:  And finally.....Once his message and yours was conveyed he began tapping his knuckles on his desk or tapping his foot and nodding at you which meant that the meeting was over!  He's probably doing that right now.  Well, his life journey may be over, however his eternal life journey is just beginning and his legacy lives on;  Godspeed Dad.

Game, Set and Match

J:  It's over.

GRB has fought the fight.  He has finished the race.  He has finally won the title he chased for so many years:  he is in heaven with Sweet T by his side.

Yesterday as we watched him battle all of the indignities that this life had thrown at him I thought again about what an amazing man he was.  He couldn't talk at all, so he couldn't tell us what was hurting him or how we could help him.  But even if he could have talked, he wouldn't have complained.  That wasn't his way.  He was a quiet man who preferred to be in the background in so many ways.  Though he built a successful business and was generous to so many people and causes, he preferred this to go unnoticed.  He was never the loudest man in the room, but he could make people feel very special by his genuine interest in who they were and what they were doing. 

He rarely said the word love, but his actions spoke of the love he had.  Love for his wife, his children, his grandchildren and his God.  This legacy of love will live on with all of us who were lucky enough to have been a part of his life.

Where do we go from here?  The 27 month long Parkway Project is complete.  What's next?  I don't really know.  I, too, feel like I've finished a long race and fought a long fight.  But I know me and I know E and something tells me we will figure out a way to recreate the Parkway Project into something bigger and better.  One of our parents' favorite mottos was "to whom much is given, much is expected".  We have been given so much.  The honor of helping our parents over the past 10 years has not extinguished the feeling that there is more that we can do.  Thank you for following our journey and stay tuned for what's next . . .

Plugging Holes in the Dike

J:  GRB continues to amaze us with his variety of symptoms.  He has gone from CHF and labored breathing to pneumonia to suspected blood clots to bed sores and most recently, to vomiting.  If I didn't know E better I would accuse her of munchhausens by proxy.

Yesterday he officially entered home hospice hopefully to bring him some relief from the endless symptoms from which is is suffering.  It's pretty unreal to see the hospital bed back in their suite again just six weeks after they took it away.  I sort of feel like a prize fighter in the 11th round - we just keep getting knocked around by all of this. 

Sweet T was only in hospice for 8 days before she earned a ticket out of here.  I suspect GRB will be around longer than that.  But hopefully he will be peaceful, something that he isn't right now.

Prayers for GRB . . .

An Ode to the Eldest

J:  I just dropped K at the airport.  She spent almost a week here, arriving last week when it looked like GRB was heading to meet Sweet T.  She hung out all week at my house or E's house and was able to get a real feel for life on the Parkway.  GRB seems to have turned the corner.  His meds are helping and his breathing isn't sounding quite as awful.  He seems almost peaceful.  I'm going to credit this to K.  

K is a peaceful person.  She is a lot of fun and can light up a room with hilarious stories if she wants to.  But she can also fill a room with peace with just her presence.  I know that she has worked very hard on learning to just be.  Coming from the Type A family that birthed her, this hasn't been easy.  But she has succeeded.  And everyone who comes into contact with her feels this peacefulness.  It's no wonder that she still has her friends from grade school who she met with while she was here.  It's no wonder that she has a bevy of friends in Dallas.  People sense her peace and want to be around her.  I think GRB picked up on this peace this week.  

Thank you, K-Bone (as my boys call her) for your gift of time and your peaceful presence.  The Parkway is a better place because of you!

GRB in Denouement

J: This has been a rough week for GRB.  Pneumonia. Exacerbated CHF.  Fluid retention. Pitting edema in his legs. He's a mess. 

Yet he's still GRB.  His general demeanor is unchanged.  Today he was asking if he could play football.  He doesn't seem distressed.  He doesn't ask about Sweet T.  He isn't interested in hearing about where she is.  He is unaware.  Which is a true blessing.  

We pray for a quick and painless reunion with Sweet T.  Please pray with us . . .

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

J:  Sweet T and GRB never got to test out this theory, because they were never apart for more than a couple of days.  GRB did not travel for work and Sweet T would never take a trip without her man.  When Sweet T was alive and well and we would tell her that we were taking a Girls' Trip she would be alarmed.  "What if your husband has an idea while you're gone? " She would ask us.  We got a good laugh out of that one!  

But now, 4 weeks after Sweet T headed north it appears that GRB has A LOT of ideas that he is anxious to share with her.  So many ideas, in fact, that his heart is growing fonder, and weaker, at the same time.  He's struggling to breath and keeps reaching for something or someone that isn't there.  It's like his spirit is searching for the other half.  For 56 years they were together.  They've been apart for 4 weeks.  It looks like that is about to change.

Prayers for GRB . . .

What Remains . . .

From a guest columnist, one of Sweet T's dearest and oldest (by that I mean long lasting) friends

MDH: In these cold days after the death of my dear old friend, I
have been thinking about her legacy. In the words of an old
Tina Turner song..."for every life that fades, something beautiful remains."
Every mother/ grandmother's dream is that those
she has loved and nurtured learn from her, and absorb those things she values
most deeply. That they be her "something beautiful" that will remain.
Mary Terese taught her family what was important to her by telling, 
by showing, and finally, at the last, simply by being. In that being, 
diminished as it was, she taught the most. 
She gave her family the chance to practice returning all
the love she had poured into them. They did not let her down.
It also occurs to me that the unsought, but most lovely legacy of her
long, hard journey - is her grandchildren. They are, indeed, the something
beautiful that remains. In particular, the Parkway BOYS
who often faced situations that were challenging, sometimes annoying, 
even embarrassing. Their faithful care, kindness,
good humor, flexibility and patience built them into unique young
adults of compassion and character.
So, in the end, Terese's dream did come true. Her family lived the faith
and loving care that she valued most deeply, especially -
those Grands: her legacy: the Something Beautiful That Remains.

Hand Signals from Heaven?

J: GRB has been sleeping a lot lately.  Like 14 hours a day.  The GRB of old would have been aghast by this type of lassitude.  Back in the day when we would attempt to catch a few extra Z's he would march in, pull up the shades, and announce that "this was no flop house - get up".  But no more.  He sleeps a lot. 

The crazy thing is, though, that almost as soon as he falls asleep he starts moving his hands.  Often he mutters things too, but the hands are always moving - reaching for things, smoothing things down, waving - all sorts of hand motions.  So this has lead us to believe that he and Sweet T have developed a new form of communication - a  heaven to earth type thing.  Our guess, now that Sweet T is enjoying heaven in a fully restored state (read: a little bit of Iced T has returned) is that she is getting on GRB about the bad habits she is witnessing from above. 

I can almost hear her saying "GRB - get up out of that chair and get moving.  Put down that beer.  Clean up that room. Tell those kids to quiet down".  I assume he listens for awhile (while he reaches for her hand), tries to let her know that all is well (as he does the smoothing down motion) and finally gets tired of listening to her (the waving motion).  Sweet dreams? Not if Sweet/Iced T has the last word!

The Silver Lining

J:  "How's your dad?"  It's a question that I'm asked almost everyday since Sweet T has died.  The answer is, he's ok.  He doesn't ask about his wife or wonder where she is.   He doesn't seem upset by the giant empty that is their room now that Sweet T and all of her paraphernalia are gone.  No more wheelchair, no more potty chair, no more hospital bed, no more Sweet T.  When I walk in the room it's like a gut punch each and every time. 

But he doesn't seem to notice.  Which I guess is the silver lining of this damned disease.  It is so hard for me to see him all alone in their big room. But it would be even harder if he was grieving, pouring over photo albums and lamenting the old days and times gone by.  I guess it speaks to the power of the disease that it can erase 56 years of memories.  Or maybe it's Sweet T at work, taking care of her man from up above and keeping him at peace until they can be together again. 

It's a silver lining in the middle of a cold winter.  We'll take it.

. . . Putting it My Way, But Nicely . . .

J The King and I was one of our mom's favorite musicals, and one of her favorite songs was Getting To Know You.  If you are not familiar with it, one of the lines is "Getting to know you, Putting it my way, but nicely. . ." I'm pretty sure that is what she's been doing since she got to heaven.  She is making up for lost time by letting God know exactly what needs to be done, but in the nicest possible way.

I do not like this time of year.  The short days and lack of light have always been hard for me. The days when the sky seems to be sitting on the ground and everything is a leaden gray are the worst.  My mom knew this and was always concerned about how I was coping.  But since she has died the sun has peaked out almost everyday.  It's like she's up there telling God "let's get some sun in the CLE each and every day." But saying it in such a nice way that God can't help but comply.  This morning as I was out walking things started out pretty bleak.  But as I hit the half way point of the walk the skies opened and the sun shone brightly.  I doubt my mom even had to remind God.

Thanks mom!  Now, could you talk to God about that house that I need a buyer for . . . 

Shoeless on the Parkway

E- We have continued our efforts to keep G inside with the shoe free 'invisible fence' concept. The temps have dropped here and there has been snow on the ground rather regularly. These climate changes keep him indoors until we are able to let him loose in the community. He has many new freedoms as a single man and the caregivers are assisting him with leaving our home quite regularly now. 

This morning I was working in my home office and I overheard the discussion in the kitchen between a caregiver and G. It went something like this... "G..are those your shoes".. G replied "YYEESSS!!" (in a near scream, knowing now he would be free to roam outdoors if wearing shoes). The caregiver said, "I did not know you owned Doc Marten boots"...to which G replied " I AM A DOCTOR!!!!"

So there you have it..He's single, he's a doctor and he's on the move!! 

I quickly informed my son that he best store his shoes upstairs unless he wants to permanently lose them to the doctor. 


Sweet T's Eulogy

J:  Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us yesterday.  The church was overflowing with friends and family.  It was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.

Here is the text of the eulogy that E and I gave:

Thank you for coming here today to celebrate our mom’s life.  It truly is a celebration, because, while we are sad that our mom isn’t with us anymore, we know that she is in heaven and back to being the Mary Terese Kahl Blaha that she once was.

Many of you have followed her life over the past couple of years through the blog that we have been writing.  Through the blog we have shared our parents’ journey through dementia.  But prior to that, our mom had quite a life. We’d like to share a little bit about who she was.

I think four words can sum up who Mary Terese was.  Wife.  Mother.  Faithful German.

Wife.  Our mom loved being the wife of George.  They were married right after college and she took on the role of Mrs. George R.  Blaha like it was her job.  She quickly learned to cook his favorite meals.  He didn’t have a very adventurous palette, preferring meat and potatoes, or potatoes and meat, but she never complained about the monotony of staring at pack after pack of ground meat. 

She ironed his shirts. And his pants.  And his hankies.  She darned his socks (who darns socks?) She learned to play tennis and golf.  When there was an article in the PD about someone who had been promoted to a new position, she’d clip the article out and give it to my dad as a lead.  When she sent letters to school with us explaining our absence, she would sign them Mrs. Geo. R Blaha. 

She took great pride in her role as the woman behind her successful man.  She carried herself regally and enjoyed being mistaken for Nancy Reagan.  Her abstemious nature and rigid self discipline were the envy of many. Though she did always pour that one glass of wine that she tucked behind the can opener after she tied on her apron.  This probably helped her cope with the stress of dealing with another pack of ground meat.

She exercised everyday and we have her to thank for passing on the importance always striving to look our best.  Mrs. George R Blaha always shone.

Mother.  Our parents were married in November and our sister Karen was born the following October.  They wasted no time.  But in truth, our mom had been a mother for a long time before that.  The oldest of the Kahl family, our mom was her mother’s right hand man right from the start.  Our grandma gave birth to 13 children, but 7 of them died shortly after birth because of  RH incompatibility.  So our mom helped her mom bury 7 children.  Our grandpa had tuberculosis and twice had to be hospitalized for months at a time.   Our mom worked side by side with her mom to keep the show on the road. 

So when she finally had a family of her own, she knew just what to do.  We were definitely raised with the “stick” not the “carrot” mentality.  It was her way or the highway.  There were rules, and schedules, and lists of chores.  I can vividly remember riding my bike home from St. Chris for lunch and finding the note at my place at the table saying “No lunch until that bed is made”

Having grown up poor, she took frugality to a whole new level.  Nothing was ever wasted and there was no need for doubles of anything.  If we wanted an extra pair of jeans or a new pair of shoes (that didn’t come from Wrights Shoes where we had to buy all of our shoes because he was a client of our dad!)  She would suggest that we go “splitsies” meaning that she’d pay half if we’d pay half.  We struggled hard to be cool. 

She transitioned quickly from being a busy mom to being a busy grandma.  She had 15 grandchildren in 10 years.  And 13 of them were boys.  She watched a lot of Little League games.  By being a good grandma she taught all of us how to be good moms.

Faithful  Our mom had a strong, simple faith.  She was a rule follower and that made her a good Catholic.  She was not overly pious or incredibly devout.  She was more of a Martha than a Mary.  Her faith was faith in action.  Over the past few months as we have visited with her friends they all reported how Terese was the first to show up with baked goods when there was a life event.  A sickness?  A death? Our mom was on it.  I can’t tell you how many times we’d walk in the door to the wonderful smell of something freshly baked.  And as we’d head to the drawer for a knife to cut into the delight, she’d stop us saying “ that’s not staying.  So and so’s aunt’s mother’s uncle’s cousin just passed so it’s headed over there.”  No matter how remotely you were related to the deceased, if they died, you could expect something baked from Terese.  She firmly believed that any sorrow could be ameliorated by some date and nut bread.  Over the past few years, as her health changed, her faith was unshaken.  One of her favorite prayers was “All things are passing.  God never changes”.  She lived that faith til the end.

German.  Our mom was strong willed.  She was stubborn.  She did not forget.  She did not have a bad temper, but if you did something to displease her, you knew about it.  For a long time.   She always felt that her way was the best way, and our way was not.  Some of her favorite phrases were “ Absolutely, positively not.  Period Amen End of discussion.  She did not leave a lot of room for negotiation.  She would remind us that she was our mother, not our friend.  She kept meticulous notes if we had to borrow money from her – or if we were short on our end of the splitsies .  She had a running tally of money owed that she kept posted in the juice glass cupboard.  Loan sharks could’ve learned a thing or two from her.  And she could sniff out BS.  If you told her a story that she wasn’t buying, she would roll out her trademark HMMMM which meant that she knew that you were likely lying and would soon be in trouble.  She ran a tight ship

Wife.  Mother.  Faithful.  German.  I have laughed and cried while writing this thinking about who our mom was before Alzheimer’s Disease took her from us.  I have learned so much from her.  And I strive to be the faith-filled wife and mother that she was.  As the disease process advanced, our mom lost her strong, German edge.  She mellowed.  We nicknamed her Sweet T because she was always sweet.  She died as she lived: regally, faithfully and sweet.  I love you Sweet T!

Safe Home, Sweet T

J:  Heaven gained an angel today at 8:58 when our beautiful, sweet mother took her last breath.  E and I were with her and her passing was peaceful.  We brought GRB in to see her right at the end, and he seemed to know that she was leaving.  He kept mumbling softly "you're a good woman".  And that's exactly what she was.  A good, faith-filled, faithful woman.  A wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend.  She will be deeply missed.  But we feel a huge sense of relief knowing that she is no longer suffering.  Her beautiful mind has been restored and she is residing in heaven with her parents and all 9 of her deceased siblings.  She's probably giving orders.

We already miss you Sweet T.  Safe home.

Notre Dame, Our Mother

J:  It was 35 years ago today that I received my acceptance letter to be a part of the 1988 class of the University of Notre Dame.  I will never forget seeing my mom walking up the street waving an envelope over her head.  It was the coveted "fat envelope" that meant that I was in.  We stood and hugged on the corner of E. Shoreland and Wooster and I'm sure people thought we had won the lottery because of the way we were celebrating. 

I was recounting this memory this morning as I held Sweet T's hand and looked into her beautiful eyes.  She was such a huge support for me and the number one cheerleader of my fan club.  She encouraged me to reach for the stars.  She knew I could do things that I wasn't sure I could do. 

And now she is so diminished.  Her eyes are cloudy and her gaze is blank.  Her body is breaking down and her heart is slowing down.  It is time for her to die.

Notre Dame, Our Mother, take her home to be with you.

Love in Abundance

J:  Tonite was magical.  E asked for Christmas carolers, and they showed in droves.  So many beautiful people arrived with song sheets in hand to sing carols for our parents.  Sweet T, newly ensconced in her hospital bed, was all smiles as they serenaded her.  From Jr at 10 months to seniors in high school - so many wonderful young men and women came and lifted their voices in song for the Daisies.  I am sure everyone in heaven heard it.  I'm certain heaven has quite a few choirs, but tonite's group, in the Daisies room, would be tough to beat. 

Thanks for the outpouring of love and support.  It truly takes a village.

The Coat Off My Back

J: Things are getting a little hairy on the Parkway.  Sweet T is sliding quickly and we all seem to be focused on her.  As a result, GRB has been getting little attention.  Last night, two people inadvertently administered his night time meds, so he was double dosed.  This caused a little extra crazy to ensue.  Somehow, despite the amount of medication he had on board, he managed to get up in the middle of the night and make his way to the mudroom where he selected his grandson C's coat and decided to wear it back to bed.  C is extremely good natured and helpful, but he has his limits.  When he heard that the coat was on GRB's back, he was not happy.  He promptly went in and divested him of the coat, only to find that it picked up the essence of GRB overnight.  Again, he was not happy.  Poor C headed out the door without his coat.  He gives a lot, but not the coat off his back . . .

Turkey Trot

J:  Happy Thanksgiving!  This is my favorite holiday, and, thanks to waking up when the boys came home at 2:38 this morning, I've been able to enjoy just about every minute of it. 

I'm sure as I'm typing that people all over the country are lacing up their shoes and heading to a Turkey Trot to start the day.  The turkeys have been trotting for a while here on the Parkway.  We have a pack of 7 wild birds that roams the parkway on a daily basis, stopping traffic and causing everyone to pull out their phones to document the strange group.  So I guess I've been thinking about Thanksgiving, and trotting, for a while now.

So, on this day of thanksgiving, I'd like to give thanks to all of those who have trotted in and out of our life here on the Parkway over the past year. 

First of all, I am thankful for my family; my wonderful husband and boys who walk with me through everyday.  Your constant, loving presence keeps me moving forward. 

Next, I'm thankful for my sister and her family who keep that crazy show across the street on the road.  Truly, they walk on water.

I'm thankful for my parents, who taught me to walk.  

I'm thankful for the caregivers, who walk in everyday with smiles, and kindness and compassion.

I'm thankful for my brother and sisters who are supporting the Parkway in every way they can.  They might not walk the Parkway very often, but their love and prayers support us.

I'm thankful for our parents' relatives and friends who walk in for a visit and break up the day for our parents and the caregivers.

I'm thankful for the legions of friends and neighbors who ask about our parents and let us know they are praying for them.  You make our steps lighter

I'm thankful for the doctors and philanthropists working to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease, so that soon no one will have to walk this walk.

Webster's Dictionary has many different definitions of the word "walk"  One is "to move along by foot, advance by steps".  And another is "to pursue a course of action or a way of life". Here on the Parkway, we are doing both.  Our course of action is not always clear, but we keep moving forward, step by step.  Day by day, we "walk by faith when we cannot see" (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Thank you to all who are on the journey with us.