Memory Walk 08: Good Times, Good Group, and a T-Shirt Too

Alz T-shirtYes, a little behind. But here we go! On October 26, 2008, hundreds of walkers gathered in New York City and across the country (more walks taking place later this month in towns across the country) to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. So far, $842, 791 has been raised. I managed to raise about $780 and score two t-shirts in the process. Score.

It was a beautiful day for a walk—thankfully, just the day before it was pouring out! I joined my support group and a posse of friends and family and we were off! The walk was pretty short, no more than a mile and afterwards we gathered at our fearless leader’s apartment for brunch. Thank you Wendy!

I think for me this was one of the first times I actually felt useful. Not only did I raise money for a great cause, I was able to support others who were walking with me. When it comes to dealing with my own demented mom, is that I often feel totally helpless and alone. The day reminded me that I’m not alone and there is a crew (my support group) who, while on their own very distinct paths, can empathaize with me. I avoided participating in the support group for a long time. Going to these montly meetings often served to remind me of how depressing my situation is and that it won’t get any better—the future is grim. But at our last meeting something clicked. I got it and I saw the value of hoofing it to the Upper West Side (from Queens) just to talk and to listen. I am not alone. My feelings are normal. I will not be judged.

So the lesson here? Go for a walk (you may get a bright purple T-shirt) and consider hooking up with a support group through the Alzheimer’s Association if you haven’t already.

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