On June 21, 2018 the Alzheimer’s association held an event called “The Longest Day.” It occurred on the summer solstice, and it was all about love for those affected by Alzheimer’s. Those who know me are aware that my mother, as well as many other family members, had Alzheimer’s.
I have to admit that I have allowed myself to be busy enough that I missed the announcement of this event until two days before it happened. We are a company that gives back, so I knew that I needed to participate somehow even at this late date. The question was what to do with so little time to prepare. I went online to the Alzheimer’s website and discovered that this event was a personal event you would do with your own team. That was exciting because it meant we could perform any activity that would honor those we care about who had or have Alzheimer’s.
Andrew and I sat down and decided to dedicate that day to our family as we both have family members who had been afflicted with Alzheimer’s. We decided to pick activities that each person liked to do and perform those activities in their honor on “The Longest Day.” After that I announced our intentions loudly on Facebook and put the donate page up. Even though there wasn’t much time left before the event, we got several donations.
On Thursday the 21st, we got up with a plan and the feeling that we were honoring our family. My Godson came over in the morning, and he helped me with the first task which was to do something cold in the summer. My father loved to be silly and have us stand around campfires in the summer and pretend to warm ourselves, so he and I drank hot cocoa and shivered in June. It was great fun. I told him stories about my dad whom I recently lost to vascular dementia, so I felt he should be included in the event.
The afternoon came along and now Andrew and I needed to really focus. We hiked in the woods in the rain (with an umbrella) for my Uncle who hiked the Appalachian trail. Andrew then baked sweet potato pies with his grandmother’s recipe in her honor. It’s possible that we might have required our children to donate in order to get a pie. I spent the evening sewing with my daughter-in-law. I’m teaching her to sew just like my mother taught me. Lastly, I read in honor of my grandfather who was a publisher and loved books.
We shared our day with our friends on Facebook and Instagram as it was happening so they could learn about our family and, hopefully, gain a better understanding of Alzheimer’s. We also raised a little money to help increase awareness and search for a cure.
What I learned from this is that giving back to our community doesn’t need to be a huge event or raise tons of money. It can be as simple as baking a pie or checking on a neighbor. Just think if each of us did one thing a week to help someone else how much positive energy and help we could bring into the world we live in.