Happy Birthday, Mrs St Louis

Posted: February 9, 2015 in Humour
Tags: , ,

salaway     Once a year, we all get to celebrate one particular day that is special to us. That there are billions of people here on earth and only 365 days in a year, we are pretty much guaranteed that although it is our own special day, we share it with several others. Still, it is our day and we deserve to think of it as special. After all, it’s the day we came to be, the day we came out of hibernation, the day we began the journey that leads us to today.

There are many permutations of course. Some people are single, others alone, and many other situations that can make the day a somber one. However, to me, the saddest birthday is one celebrated by a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

My mother in law Gisele us one such person. My wife’s mother. At one time one of the smartest, vibrant and sensible person I knew. A stern but fair mother, a mother-in-law who never interfered with our marriage, a loving wife to an equally awesome father-in-law, she was also an unparalleled professional as a principal and a teacher. She championed the underdog. Many kids ate a meal when they otherwise would have gone hungry. Many had coats and mitts and hats and boots where they may have frozen instead.

Gisele, for the past 10 years, has slowly sunken into her Alzheimer’s. At first it was the small things. Anne was the first to notice. Eventually we had to intervene on her behalf. We finally got her in to see the doctor, and she never came back out. It was stunning. One day you are cocooned in your happy place, the next you are thrown into a medical facility….sink or swim. It seems callous, but really it was the best the family could do. Safety and reality made it so.

And now, today, we celebrate her birthday. She really has no idea that today is her day….and for that I weep. My poor wife and her father and brother are pondering their life with their mother, and would likely give anything to hold her and shower her with gifts and celebrate the mother that brought them to where they are today. It just isn’t fair.

Love your loved ones today. Hug them, tell them that you love them, tell them that you care. While you can. Do it for all those who can’t. Give if you can for research to combat this dreaded disease. Raise awareness. Don’t just wait for birthdays, where a special day becomes a reminder instead of what you have lost.

Let’s be positive.

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