February 11, 1935.  That's an important day in our family.  It's the day that Gladys Elaine Cochran became the only daughter of Lloyd and Dorothy Cochran.  It's our Momma that we celebrate on this day. It's bittersweet, because we are so glad to celebrate her and be with her, but it's also a barometer of the decline in just a few short years.  Alzheimer's has robbed her of so much, so many family members that she will not ever know, or they her; of being able to express what must be going on in her body as it withers.

We are blessed that Mom is safe and well taken care of by wonderful caregivers in a community where they are trained to deal with memory loss and Alzheimer's.  Some are not as fortunate and we realize that.  Still, it's so hard to remember years past, and the giggling that our Gigi would do when the whole family was together.  She loved her kids and grand kids, and now great-great grand kids.  And we loved to make her laugh!  She would get so embarrassed so easily.  It was a challenge for us!

My dear friend Waylon Holley was inspired by our story of Mom to write a beautiful song, after he saw the tattoo on the inside of my arm.  It says 'I will remember for you.' When Mom was able to talk she would get frustrated over the things that she couldn't remember.  I would always tell her, 'That's OK Momma, I will remember for you.' That line became my tattoo, and a beautiful tribute from Waylon Holley. I'd like to share it with you.

My greatest joy every day is to be able to spend time with my Mom.  Some say that she doesn't even know that I am there, but I can see a flicker of recognition in her eyes and even when she can't open her eyes, she will nod when I talk to her.  If you have a loved one suffering with Alzheimer's, talk to them!  They can hear you.  Tell them over and over that you love them, because maybe, just maybe you will get a sweet reaction!

The Alzheimer's Association continues to raise money and awareness of the Alzheimer's Disease.  We hope to find a cure. If you'd like to more information [Click here]. To donate here in Southwest Oklahoma [Click here]