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Your Healthy Community: Remembering family for those who can't remember

By By Katie Sciba
Aug. 16, 2013 at 3:16 a.m.

Katie Sciba

As school is approaching, I am so thankful for the fun we had at the family bay house. The breeze was still cool off the bay even in the heat of a South Texas summer.

The clouds were in partnership with the sun, taking turns giving us warmth and coolness. I smelled the salt, children laughed, and birds sang as the wind whistles in my ears.

"Who's that down there," my husband's grandfather called to us.

We called out hello to him, and I watched him settle into the rocking chair on the porch. Every one knows who Pop is, and he tries to remember who people are. It is hard for him now, but I know he still remembers family.

I wondered what he thought as I observed his reflection. He grew up here. He owns the land. He has more than 85 years of memories here. I wouldn't be here if not for his life, his hard work and his love for his family.

He has held this whole place and this family together forever it seems. Yet, he goes before us all into this unknown stage of old age and the last seasons of life. I am grateful for him, his faith and for all the generosity so many have experienced because of him.

His example gives me hope for our life and future generations. He led a successful life, raised a strong family, and had a good business. Now, he has Alzheimer's disease, and it is hard to tell what is on his mind from moment to moment.

Everyone has teamed up together to care for him in the best way possible, while letting him be who he is at the same time.

Many of you can relate; there is nothing easy about coping with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that affects behavior, memory and thinking. It is not a normal part of aging, and a person with Alzheimer's disease usually has symptoms that get worse over time.

There is not a cure for this disease, but there are treatments for the symptoms. This weekend as you are reading this article, AARN Health Services is sponsor an event called Saddle Up for Alzheimer's to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.

This means that I am running around sweaty at the Brackenridge Event Center in Edna taking photos, watching some crazy people milk wild cows, waiting for team roping to start and hoping my girls win something in the barrel race Sunday.

It really is a fun-filled weekend with events for everyone. I hope you'll put the paper down, after you read it of course, and make your way over here. Remember these folks in our families who, with their minds and lives, contributed to this community now struggle with their minds because of Alzheimer's.

They deserve our help to find a cure, so join us. We want to hear about how you remember what family means to you. Log onto our Facebook page by searching AARNHealthServices and tell us in your own words: Family is ...

Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.

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