I know...I know you're probably thinking what is she complaining about- but quite the contrary. Today- June 21st is known by the Alzheimer's Association as "The Longest Day". The summer solstice is in motion creating one of the- if not the longest days of the year and a great opportunity for you to not only volunteer, but to donate or even lend your support in the form of being active in order bring awareness to Alzheimer's disease.
So why do I celebrate the longest day? I do so in honor of my late and dear Aunt Lucinda- known to others as Cindy, Lucy, Crazy Lady, Old Lady etc., who passed away last December, but was fondly known to me as Aunt Twin, because we share the same birthday- June 26th. Which reminds me ummmmm family and friends it's not too late to ship those gifts. But, I wouldn't mind if they came in the form of a donation to the Alzheimer's Association in her honor. You have 5 more days. I'm just saying. Just click the link below.
Many times you hear of families who struggle or endure these types of health issues, but it never really touches you until it happens to someone you love. I never expected her passing to impact me as much as it has or to miss her as much as I do. Watching my aunt's journey unfold was bittersweet, because while I was able to spend time with her throughout her battle, it was saddening on the days when she didn't recognize who I was. To see the look on her face when asked "who is this" or "who am I" and to observe this puzzling look that overcame her as she struggled to remember was so daunting. You could see her trying so very very hard to remember, pushing herself to do something that we consider to be so simple-as to remember and she just couldn't.
But those moments never overshadowed all she was to me. She was a constant in my life. Present for every major moment and all of the little ones in between. So when she began to decline, it was a no-brainer to be by her side as she had always been by mines. I'll admit, there were moments when I would want to shy away from visiting because it pained me at times to see her in that in that way. But I also knew those were probably the times when we both needed each other the most. Even in that state, she was still just as ornery and hilarious, a flirt with the cute male nurses and flashing that gold-toothed smile, which reminded me that even in the midst of it all, she was in some form, still with us until God called her home. She lived by her own rules and played life the way she wanted to. She was my spirit animal and if she wanted to do something- she did it. She didn't ask for permission, she didn't need your permission and she didn't care what you thought. She was as strong as she was sensitive and she made sure I knew I was "her girl".
Today, I completed an hour full body workout with the Black Panther soundtrack in my ears and my Aunt in my heart. So even if you cannot donate-get that brain moving by going for a walk or a run, hitting the gym, going for a swim, reading a book, playing some board games with your family or better yet stay up all night playing Spades, because that's what my Aunt would have did and argued with my Mom until the sun came up. And then be blessed that you have made it to see one more day and one more time around that beautiful solstice sun, because there are so many loved ones whose time has gone, but their memory and their spirit lives on.
Happy "Longest Day" Everyone and Happy Early Birthday "Twin"- this one is for you!
XOXO, "Your Girl"