Joyce was born in 1931 in Camden, MN. She sewed, sang in the choir and was inseparable from her best friend, Jean. Joyce wanted nothing more than a happy family life raising a bunch of kids.
She got the bunch of kids (two girls and two boys), and worked hard to make it a happy family life raising them on her own. And it was a good life even though it was back in the day when divorced women didn't raise kids alone. But with the help of her mother, she did just that - raised 4 kids to be solid, productive, faith-filled adults while putting herself through 6 years of college. She was the first social worker on the Bone Marrow Unit at the University Minnesota Hospitals. And she was a very good social worker.
But approximately 2003, dementia began an insidious infiltration into her life. Over the next eight years, it robbed her of her short term memory, then her long term memory. It confused her words and jumbled her thoughts. It took away her ability to swallow, to make decisions, to have the conversations she loved to have. What it didn't take away was her spirit, her strength and her sense of humor.
Joyce was my mother. And she had Alzheimer's Disease.
On June 4, 2011, surrounded by her four children, one of her two cherished daughters-in-law, and two of her beloved grandchildren, Joyce lost her battle with Alzheimer's.
We will miss her spirit, her laughter and how she modeled her faith. But she taught us well, so we will continue the good fight for her.
Save a place for us, Mom. We'll see you in heaven.
Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in
Alzheimer care and support and the largest private, nonprofit funder of
Caregiver Support Group
Caregivers come in all shapes and sizes but they have one thing in common. They love someone who is living with dementia, and they have a desire to gain support and to give it, to share the painful moments and find joy in the smallest things.
If you would like help finding a support group in your area, please contact me. I'd love to walk beside you on your journey.