Shari G. - Three Generations Lost


My mom died of heart disease at the age of 55.  Her mom, my Granny, and her sister, my Aunt Lucille, and her neice, my cousin Jennifer, all died from the perils of Alheimer's.   I know in my heart my mom is grateful she did not have to suffer like her family did for so many years.  Granny was divorced, living alone in Houston when we moved to New Jersey.  We would get calls from police in Houston about Granny being found walking the streets in the middle of the night. At the time, she was in her late 50's, and only had my Aunt Lucille to help her locally.  As the years progressed so did Alzheimer's. Granny was placed in a state institution... in the mental ward.  Mom was worried constantly, but had three teens to raise and was 1500 miles away.  She went to see Granny, and came home feeling so depressed as her mom did not know who she was.. didn't recognize her daughter.. In 1966 Granny passed... but it was only a couple of years later that her sister, my Aunt Lucille was arrested for wandering around the streets at night.. She too had lost her ability to take care of herself, and did not know her children or my mom.  Aunt Lucille was placed in the same facility as Granny....she lived, or existed there for five years before, she too passed away.. Lucilles youngest daughter Jennifer, was showing signs of memory loss.  She was 52 at the time.  We would hear the stories her children would share, and know that Jenny would also be fighting this disease.  Jennifer was once a model and an amazing mom. Now she was distant, confused, afraid, and knew that she would die like her mom.  Jenny was never committed, as she managed to get to Canada, as she met a man who thought she should go with him and leave every one she ever knew behind. We were notified of Jennifer's death weeks after she passed.  Her daughter shared the awful experiences she witnessed her mom go through.  Three generations... all my mom's family, have lost their lives long before they stopped breathing.. My sisters and I pray every day, that somehow we will miss this and our children won't have to go through what my mom went through.  Every day with Alzheimer's there are people who miss the person that was once 'there'... the sadness and the madness, is in our hearts.  Caregivers were not available when this happened.. a family lost, and hearts broken .  I miss them every day.