Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Memories Matter, Love Never Forgets

 June 21st to most is the Summer Solstice. This day the sun is at its highest point, and we get the most hours of daylight and least hours of darkness of any day of the year. 

In our family, this day is more than the Summer Solstice. It is The Longest Day, the day with the most light, to fight the darkness of Alzheimer's, a very personal disease for our family. 

My Grandma Chesery, my mother's mother, fought and lost a long battle with Alzheimer's. 

In late 2019, my mother was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  As she slowly began to forget a little more each day, Pops stepped in, without hesitation, as her full-time caretaker. Doing all the things she couldn't remember how to do or could no longer do for herself. Always concerned that his JJ was taken care of, up until the day he died.

The Alzheimer's Association uses this day for fundraising through whatever activities you choose, as well as to recognize all the caretakers out there who have the Longest Day every single day. 

This year we celebrated the Longest Day, with Pops in mind, we donned our purple shirts and headed out to the shoreline for some good old-fashioned pizza. We found ourselves at a nice outdoor table in Old Saybrook at a place called the Pizza Palace. If you buy 3 pizzas you get 1 free, so why not get 4 pizzas!

 Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of the pizza, we ate it too quickly. But we had a nice selection. One with just sausage, one with eggplant, one with fresh tomatoes & basil, and one with buffalo chicken. All delicious and cheesy. 

Krystina, Carol (Krystina's mom) Nana, Alan & Maverick (who also had purple on that day)

Our front door went purple for the Month of June for Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness month.
This adorable little gnome, that declares Memories Matter, was made by a cute little shop on Etsy, called Victoria's Vanity Shop. He will probably live on our door most of the year, not just in June. 

There are 55 million People globally that are living with some form of dementia. 
More than 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars are spent globally on dementia.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's
More than 11 million family and friends are care givers to someone with Alzheimer's in the U.S, giving 16 billion hours of unpaid care to their loved ones. 
Please join our family in the fight against Alzheimer's so we can find a cure for this awful disease. 

I've taken over Mom's care now. I know I will never be as patient with her as Pops, he was a saint, but I'm trying to make him proud and care for her the way he did. With the help of my loving girlfriend, family and friends I know we will make it through the Longest Days. 
For us, it's all about making the memories with Mom. Because even when she forgets, love never forgets & memories always matter!

Monday, July 18, 2022

Welcome to the Family

 In a blink of an eye, and here we are in mid-July, and I haven't been so good about keeping you all informed of the happenings as well as Pops always was. 

Alot changes in 3 months, especially when you are learning the "new normal" without having the heart of your family. 
I would be lying if I didn't say it hasn't been tough, or a learning curve without Pops around. 
I would also be lying if I didn't say I think about and miss him daily. 
There will always be a piece missing without him here. 

But enough of that, Pops wouldn't want us crying over him, he would want us to continue on and to enjoy life to the fullest, and that's exactly what we are trying to do. 

Part of doing that, has brought a new member to the family. 

On April 29th, we welcomed our newest family member, a 10-week-old Rescue Black Labrador Retriever, who coincidently was born the week Pops passed away, a little divine intervention to bring him to us perhaps. Pops would have loved this little guy!
 Please let us introduce you to our little boy, we named Maverick. (Yes, because we are huge Top Gun Fans!) But it suits him very well!

He quickly stole our hearts and became an immediate part of the family. 

How could you not love that face!

As you can imagine, he has been keeping us pretty busy. But he has adjusted very quickly and has made himself right at home. 

He has been very therapeutic for all of us. Always knowing when one of us just needs that little bit of extra love and attention that day. But he chose his main person very quickly!

Nana & her puppy

With the new Pup, we have been trying to spend a lot of time outside and enjoying the fresh air. 
 A lot of our outings lately have taken us to People's State Forest in Barkhamsted. 

Peoples State Forest runs along the West Branch of the Farmington River.
It's a great place to have a picnic for the day, take a swim in the river & cast out a line.
It's very dog friendly, and Maverick seems to love it just as much as we do. 

Playing in the pine needles

Alan & Maverick after his first swim in the Farmington River

Nana & her Pup on a walk

Family photo in the woods

Krystina, Nana & Alan on a walk

My family, as well as my girlfriend, Krystina's family have spent a lot of time in People's Forest growing up, so it's really nice to be able to make new memories here now, and to reminisce about all the good memories that we have had here over the years.

It's really nice to be able to get away in the woods, not so far from our backyard, and relax for the day. 

If you ever get the chance to come out and enjoy this area, take the opportunity, it is worth it.