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My grandma was diagnosed with this disease almost ten years ago. On January of this year, we lost our family matriarch. she was the glue that kept us together. My parents moved my family to Louisiana about 23 years ago. The hardest part for me, was that my mom was not able to be there for her mom, even though we tried to visit often. So the care was left to my aunts who lived close to her. After the disease took over, it was hard to see my grandma, because i remember how she used to be. My grandma was one tough cookie. She had been alone since my grandpa passed away in 72.

*From a memorial service that we had for my Dad’s caregivers.

Aside from my family, there is no one in this room who knew my Dad before last year so I thought I would take a few minutes to introduce you.

Frank McDermott was actually born Francis, but everyone called him Frank or Frankie.  In his 50’s he decided that he had enough of signing his name on official documents as Francis so he legally changed his name to Frank.  He was just very practical that way.

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Sons and Daughters

I loved my nanny so much. She was warm and cozy and always smelled like the perfect mix of flowers and ivory soap. She was constantly feeding me, hugging me and making sure I was warm (socks were required even in the middle of July). She was classy and reserved and beautifully dressed. She was sneaky too. She would slip me $100 bills whenever I was home from college and would make me promise not to tell anyone. She would tell my brother and I both separately that we were her favorite grandchild but would always later deny it when we tried to make her choose.

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