Friday, September 25, 2015

Am I Dying?

Charlotte Walk to End Alzheimer's 2014

Walk Weekends are emotional. They are also celebratory and healing. The Charlotte Walk is this weekend and to see all the other yellow flowers (Yellow signifies Caregiver) is comforting. We aren't in this alone. The number of blue flowers (Someone with Alzheimer's) is what gets me every year. There aren't many.

After the Asheville Walk last weekend my father cooked his famous Shrimp and Grits for his out of town team members and everyone ended up on the deck. Once the crowd had left Mom turned to my Dad and asked "Am I Dying?". He was stunned. And because he couldn't lie to his wife of 41 years he told her that yes BB, there is no cure. She immediately asked if the little boy knew. The little boy is my 47 year old brother. She then picked up her phone and called me. When I see my phone ringing with her name I get chills. Something has forced a moment of clarity that she is able to pick up the phone and dial me. I answered at the height of witching hour in our house and she says, "I'm dying". I didn't know how to respond or what sequence of events had occurred to start this dialogue.

She promptly handed the phone over to my Dad who explained that after the long weekend she wanted to know if this disease would kill her. She was also concerned with who knew. When Dad responded with everyone she wanted to know how. Well, Katharine writes about it and lets people know how you are doing. And BB said, Well that is nice of her.

I hope that she would be proud of me for sharing her story.

If I kept our battle against Alzheimer's bottled up it would be an injustice to my Mother. Nobody should be in for the shock we have been in. I hope the movie Still Alice showed people a glimpse of how Alzheimer's can slowly (in our case rapidly) take someone away from you. I am also very vocal about our fight because we need help. We need support. We need calls and hugs and emails and love. From my status last week on her most recent Dr's visit I received almost 70 comments. Each one had both my father and I in tears. A woman I have never met here in Charlotte dropped off Alzheimer's Walk cookies and a bottle of wine. Tears. We need you. We are losing BB and need your prayers and thoughts and texts. Being needy isn't fun. Asking for money isn't fun. Admitting you need help is somewhat embarrassing and dings your pride. Fundraising for Alzheimer's can feel like cold calling. I know people are tired of my updates but I can't stop. And I won't stop because this disease is horrendous and is taking apart my mother slowly and painfully. 

We need you.

Krewe BB will be rolling this weekend rain or shine. We will be at Charlotte Symphony Park at 9:00am for registration and 10:00am the ceremony begins. Look for us down by the stage and to the right.

To all those that have donated so far I am forever grateful. I am currently the #3 fundraiser in Charlotte (on the participant level). I have almost hit $5,000. I pray these funds help find a cure. My link is here.


  1. Kat- reading in your parents driveway before getting BB. Tears always with your blogs and posts. Got to thinking how grateful I am to have my mom die of cancer because she knew me to the end. That's a messed up thought and selfish on my part but Alzheimer's is horrendous and takes a village! Gotta run give love to your momma & got Dillon with me today. He said I LOVE BB and I don't want t go to school! Ok- you don't know remember her but that excuse pulled at my heart strings! Have a great walk- we will be sending lots of ����

  2. Thinking, praying and sending love your way! Your strength and words are help to so many. Thank you for what YOU do. And thank you for BB for being the beautiful face and story behind this hideous disease.

  3. You are amazing. The grace with which you live each day is an inspiration. I wish that I could walk with you this weekend and help in some small way to hold you all up when the time comes. At the very least, my thoughts will be with you throughout the day.

  4. Continued prayers for you and your family, Kat. One day, we will find a cure! I so wish I could be there tomorrow to walk with y'all and show my support! Love you! ;*

  5. I am always thinking of you and praying for you. You and your mom cross my mind everyday. I can't imagine how hard this battle is. There will be a cure one day and your hard work will have helped pave the way for that. You are such an inspiration and I know BB is so proud of you. Keep on fighting and I hope the walk was a big success. xoxo

  6. I recently lost my mom to a combination of Alzheimers and Parkinsons. There are no words; this is so hard for all involved. I cry with you, and probably like you, wonder if this will be my fate also.

  7. Katharine,
    You do not know me but in one of those New Orleans type things - my parents knew your grandparents.... Your grandfather was quite a character to put it mildly! I saw your parents at dinner down here last spring and had a laugh or two.
    I stumbled upon your blog a while ago and somehow made the connection. Your blog is so honest and true. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Ruth Blum (Maginnis)