Throughout her life she has been a giver. She was very active in her church, her sorority, local and national charities and civic organizations, particularly ones that uplifted women, children and the disadvantaged.
She taught English Literature at a local university for four decades after receiving her advanced degree and was very devoted to her students.
When I was growing up, I always looked forward to my summer visits to her home in the south and spending time with her, my uncle and grandmother.
She had an expansive network of loyal and loving friends from which she would gather all of their kids who were my peers and proceed to throw parties and set up introductions and daily activities for the entirety of my month long stay. It was magic.
Her visits to our family during the Christmas holidays were equally as joyful. No matter what we were doing, her being there made the season more special.
What I have treasured most is her ability to truly get people and detect when someone is in need of support even when it isn’t readily apparent to most.
She has always cared deeply about the well being of others and her sage advice, even now, is on point and has been a guiding light throughout my life.
She is my model of what a kind and generous spirit is and what I have always aspired to be.
She drove her car into her late eighties but became a danger on the road and began to display signs of serious forgetfulness. In 2010 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
My uncle passed away in 2003. With no family left in her home state and her closest friends passing away or moving out of state to live with their loved ones, I brought her to my home state and placed her in the best assisted living facility in the region, which happens to be located near me. It remains the very best in the area for her needs and the only place that she has lived as an adult, outside of her family home.
She has been there for seven years and has thrived though her initial introduction would not have predicted that. She struggled before becoming completely acclimated to her surroundings. Now she views the residents and staff as her extended family. On October 16th of this year she turned 96.
I see her every day, administer morning and evening medicine and accompany her to weekly dance classes outside of her community. Her doctors are thrilled with the relatively slow progression of the disease and attribute that to her schedule of activities and the connections she has been able to cultivate.
She encountered some unexpected expenses earlier in the year which adversely impacted her ability to keep her monthly payments current and is now $5000 in arrears. Playing catch up has been challenging for most of 2017.
Her facility has been patient and is giving her some additional time to get back on track. If she is unable to do so, she will have to leave.
I had counted on the help of someone I trusted but was told at the last minute that they would not be able to follow through which is why I have established this emergency fund for my aunt and would very much appreciate any help.