For June, the genre-istas at RTG are giving a Shout Out to our favorite charities. This month is also Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a cause near and dear to my heart. And here's why:
Each summer, right about this time, I was packed up and shipped off to my grandparents’ house. I had a room to myself with two twin beds on either side of a lace-curtained window. A maple dresser and a chest of drawers stood on the opposite walls. All the furniture matched, too, which made me feel like a princess. The closet was full of alarmingly bright polyester pantsuits and flower print blouses scented with perfume. And if I dared to trespass through this polyester jungle, far in the back, I always found her mink stole (which everyone knows is an all-important accessory when pretending to be royalty).
The first morning of every stay, I awoke to the scent of bacon, eggs, and waffles. Coming from a household of make-your-own bowl of non-sugar cereal, this was quite the treat. Not only that, but my grandmother always set out orange juice in tiny, matching glasses (and real orange juice, too, not like the Tang my mother could afford).
During those visits, I was Grandma’s girl, the moniker that meant I was precious to her and her alone. My older sisters received the same special treatment when they had visited, and we all remember when we would walk through the door to her gleeful exclamation: “Oh, there are my girls!”
As the years passed, the summer stays ended and our visits primarily surrounded holidays throughout the year. Even after my sisters and I married and started having families of our own, we were still her girls. Until one day when… we weren’t.
Alzheimer’s slowly claimed our grandmother.
At first, it only took a few gentle reminders of who we were, and then her eyes would light up and she would clap with glee at having her girls with her again. After a while, those moments of recollection were only on her “good days.” Until finally, she was simply happy to have the attention of the strangers who called her Grandma.
I spent those years missing her while sitting beside her.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Every year, I like to repost this blog in the hopes that more people will help find a cure, and that fewer will lose a loved one to this abhorrent disease.
~USA TODAY bestselling author Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order ... but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series, The Duke's Christmas Wish, and the Season's Original Series. For more on her upcoming novels, sign up for her newsletter at www.vivlorret.net