It has been a week since we participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and I can still feel excitement inside myself. What a glorious day!!! It was raining when we got up, it rained almost all the way downtown, but just as we arrived in front of the Great Lawn, it stopped raining and the sun came out. God’s timing is so perfect!! Everyone was buzzing around setting up and greeting people. The Lawn was a sea of white and purple shirts, everyone showing their support for the Walk. There were youngsters, young adults, middle-aged adults and those of us with grey hair (Al adds, some of us without hair!). Even some dogs turned out for the event.
You could feel positive energy and excitement from the people who were registering everyone to the folks manning the various booths to the announcers who talked of their personal experiences with Alzheimer’s. Al and I were fortunate enough to be on the stage and be introduced, Al as someone with Alzheimer’s and me as a caregiver. Beforehand, when we were asked to participate we were told we would not be saying anything, but the announcer changed plans midstream, as announcers sometimes do. He began asking Al questions about living with Alzheimer’s. I have to tell you that I held my breath because I wasn’t sure what Al would say or if he would be able to handle the questions under pressure. But I was so proud of him. He spoke from the heart and answered all the questions beautifully. I guess all those years of public speaking paid off. He felt proud of himself, too, because was able to still do something he has always been able to do in the past. Since there are so many things he has been robbed of doing, this was a great accomplishment. Sometimes we don’t give our loved ones enough chances to still do things they were always able to do. Thank goodness our announcer allowed Al to be himself and talk out about his disease.
There were so many people who worked so hard to make the Walk to End Alzheimer’s a success. I can’t begin to name everyone so I will just mention one person. As chairperson, Bonnie Hackbarth showed her commitment to end Alzheimer’s right from the beginning. Her energy, excitement and enthusiasm were evident throughout the entire planning process. I never heard her get discouraged or negative. She was an inspiration to everyone. I can’t think of another person who could have done the job as well as she, so Bonnie, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!!