Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The "In Memory Of" Flower

I apologize for my silence. I have been in grief witness protection. AKA wine lockup. I haven't been able to articulate how this feels. I can partially blame my stellar public school education for my lackluster vocabulary and dump the rest on being a working mother with two and a half kids, a dog, a lagging social life, and summer schedules. 

The truth is; this doesn't get better. It changes. But it doesn't stop. There is no stoppage of unrelenting grief. It alters itself to fit into your lifestyle but it doesn't go away. It permanently changes your personality's chemical makeup. I am not Katharine from 8 years ago. We are unfortunately not the crazy Boylan family you knew and loved. We are different. We are still here, but we are forever changed by this disease.

I have walked in the Charlotte Walk to End Alzheimer's for 6 years. This will be my 7th. It began with me and Mom in symphony park hoisting our yellow (caregiver) and blue (Alzheimer's patient) flowers. Lunches at Roosters to celebrate our team. Matching shirts. Boozy afternoons on the back porch implementing our fall planting schedule. I carried this torch with and for her. 

This year I will hold a purple flower. The "In Memorial" flower for those that have lost a loved one to Alzheimer's. 
We have lost a blue flower.

We have lost BB. My mother. My beautiful, glowing, supportive, loving, silly, crazy mother. 

She is so much more than a plastic flower.
But on October 13th I won't have her with me. She will be there in spirit but I can't go hug and kiss her afterwards and tell her how successful we were. I can't hold her hand and help her keep the pace of the course. I can't order her favorite Mushroom Pizza from Roosters and toast her with Dewars. I can't help her into her pajamas and tuck her in with nightlights. I can't touch her. Can't read to her. I can't hold her.

I can't call her. Hug her. Listen to a voicemail from her. Read an email from her. She was slowly ripped from me for seven years. I have no digital reminders. 

She is gone.
Alzheimer's took her from me. She was 69. My kids are 3 and 7. It isn't fair. I need her so much right now. I'm an exhausted working lonely mom and I need her so much. I have questions that only she can answer. I need a hug. I need a girls weekend. I need MY MOM. 
I hate asking for money. Fundraising is exhausting. Especially year after year with no breakthroughs to mention. I do this because I am scared to death I will develop this disease. I do this for Amelie and Ford. I do this for the hundreds, YES hundreds, of messages my lowly little blog gets about people or friends of friends going through this same diagnosis and needing advice. I do it for all of you. It is going to affect you in one way or another. 

Please consider donating to my Walk to End Alzheimer's team. I am a motherless Mother. It is a lonely and sad place to be in your 30's.  

My Mother was the brightest light with the biggest heart. She loved all of you. And she meant it. And I do this to continue her legacy.


  1. First of all, big hugs. Second, know that your story and your mother's story and your family's story and your father's story have been heard. I, like many others I am sure, check in every so often and send back good juju and light. I'm not sure why I'm choosing today to comment for the first time other than I had an odd inkling that you might want to know that your words are appreciated and that you have silent cheerleaders. Drink the wine. Don't worry about us. But, if you need to spew, go right ahead.


  2. First of all, hugs. Second of all, please know that your story, your mother's story, your father's story, and your family's story have all been heard. I'm usually just a lurker, but I check back every so often for updates and to send good juju and light your way as I'm certain many others do. I'm not sure why I'm inclined to post a comment for the first time today. I just have an odd inkling that you might appreciate knowing that your words are heard and appreciated. You have many silent cheerleaders.

    Stay on your wine game. Do what you need to do. If that includes a blog post or rant or spew, great. We will listen. If not, we'll send those good vibes anyway.