Alzheimer's, Here's my Middle Finger

Alzheimer's, Here's my Middle Finger

As the holidays roll around, I cannot help but think about the things I'm thankful for...and the things I'm not-so-grateful for.

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There used to be so much color on holidays. Everything was vivid, bright, and happy. It seemed like there was never anything wrong. The swirls of the leaves in fall and the transition to cold Christmas snow used to hold my favorite memories.

I would be with family, extended family. The emotions in the air were always that of sheer joy and enjoyment with one another. We were just happy for our health and elated to be in the company of people we didn't get to see that often. Thanksgiving and Christmas were truly magical days to experience with the greatest people of all: my family.

But, Alzheimer's, you took that away.

You've left those memories in the photographs that lay in our family albums.

You took that joy from my mom.

My mom.

You took the happiness of the holidays, and, more, importantly, life in general. You stole her independence, her job, her memory.

She struggles most days to say what she needs to. I've gotten into the habit of finishing her sentences, so she doesn't have to rest her face in her hands and wonder about what word comes next or what tangent she was on before she got derailed. She leaves kitchen cabinets open when she attempts to cook food, and sometimes forgets why she's standing at the stove.

My mom asks me the same things over and over, just trying to understand what my schedule is like for the week. She'll obsess over tiny details until things get done. Hell, I had to get my passport for a class next semester, and she asked me if I got it until it mailed to my parents' house.

My mom sometimes can't remember my birthday. I had to write mine, my brother's, and my dad's in her Notes on her phone. She also forgets that those are written there.

My mom sits at home all the time. She's condemned to prime-time reruns until my father gets home. She eats blueberries and yogurt every day because her doctor says it could help to fight you. She has coloring books that she doesn't touch, and hatred in her heart for you, this damned disease. She hates that she can't go anywhere on her own, that she can't drive. She hates the amount of medications she has in her pill-calendar that my dad fills for her every night. She especially hates when she doesn't remember to take them right away.

But's not her fault at all. It's yours.

My dad hates that it's that way too, but he'll never stop taking care of her.

I wouldn't even be able to write a list of all the things that man does for our family, especially for his wife. The list would be too long, but you know that. While some things he needs help with, like remembering the passwords to accounts he didn't control before or how to print screenshots from a cell phone, this man does it all. He's truly the best father that I could ever ask for, but, Alzheimer's, I knew that before you stepped foot in our door.

You've stolen the better times from my mom, but you've picked the wrong family to mess with.

I call her almost every day to make sure she's okay. I reassure her that everything is not her fault, but yours. I remind her that she isn't what's eating at her memory, and she is still the woman who raised me with my father.

But, I know that one day she won't be.

As the tears stream down my face, I know that's true. And it's all because of you, Alzheimer's.

You're the reason she's quiet at get-togethers. She's fearful that she will stumble through her words or her actions. She never used to hesitate to talk or say how she felt, or question things. You took away her confidence. You make the magic disappear, the color fade. Holidays will never be the same. But most importantly:

You're taking away my mom.

Fuck you.

God, I hate that's all that I can say. You have no cure; you have no way to ease the pain. You are the only thing I genuinely hate in this world.

But you'll never make me stop loving her. She is my mom no matter what you take away. She is mine and will always be mine. You'll never have all of her, never. I'll make damn sure of that.

Happy holidays, Alzheimer's. Here's my middle finger.

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23 Names Moms Of Millennials Have, And What Kind Of Mom They Probably Are

Behind every millennial is a mom with one of these common names.
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It's always interesting to learn the first names of my friends' mothers.

Most of the time, their name fits them perfectly. Behind every millennial is a mom with one of these common names.

1. Karen

Karen is smart, reliable and a friend to everyone she meets. She loves to go above and beyond. If you have a question, you call Karen, and she always has the answer.

2. Barbara, AKA Barb

Barb can get a little sassy, especially if she's had a few glasses of wine. Barb loves to laugh and have a good time. Beware: she might steal your clothes from your closet.

3. Jennifer


Jennifer is the hot mom who doesn't look a day over 30. She was popular in high school, and she's still popular now. She's not a regular mom: she's a cool mom.

4. Pam

Pam has the best chocolate chip cookie recipe in town. She loves going to bake sales and antique stores, and she gives great hugs. Pam makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. There's not a mean bone in her body.

5. Michelle

Michelle is a born caregiver. She loves taking care of others and is especially great at being a mom. All the best moms are named Michelle.

6. Carla

Carla love boat rides and beer. She has at least one shirt with an American flag on it.

7. Lisa

Lisa is so responsible, it's scary. You know Lisa was put on this earth to mother everyone she meets, even complete strangers.

8. Nicole

Nicole is hip and trendy, especially if she goes by Nikki. Nicole thinks she's pretty cool, and even though they might not want to admit it, her kids think so too.

9. Brenda

Brenda has a great smile. She radiates happiness everywhere she goes. If Brenda was a color, she'd be yellow.

10. Tammy

Tammy is a teenager trapped in an adult body. She loves to be tan and spend time outdoors. Everyone knows Tammy has an alter ego when she drinks, and she's usually hilarious.

11. Kathy/Katherine

Kathy/Katherine is the laid-back mom who would secretly fight anyone that hurt their baby. Don't cross a Kathy/Katherine.

12. Nancy

Nancy sometimes loses her temper and then immediately second-guesses her parenting. It's probably because she's working too hard and not drinking enough wine. Give your mom a break.

13. Mary


Mary is an angel that fell to Earth. There's no way anyone could have beef with Mary. Give Mary a hug; she deserves it.

14. Janet

Janet's goofy, but she's really good at hiding it. Once she relaxes, though, Janet has the best laugh. She's also got a heart of gold.

15. Stacy

Stacy's that mom who will come to all of your baseball games twenty minutes early with a picnic basket full of sandwiches for the whole team. She loves wearing her hair in a ponytail and lives in her Mom Jeans.

16. Susan

Susan has a pretty severe resting bitch face, but don't let it fool you. She knows how to get down. Susan's purse is covered in buttons -- you know the kind: a headshot of a kid playing sports. She probably drives a minivan.

17. Amy/Aimee

Amy/Aimee never ages. She's fun to be around and has friends of all ages. Amy/Aimee works hard and is successful because of it. If anyone deserves happiness, it's Amy/Aimee.

18. Sherry

Sherry's great on the days you need a little pick-me-up. She might not be the best person to call in a crisis, but she sure knows how to make you smile.

19. Melissa

Melissa is beautiful. When you're with Melissa, it's easy to forget there's anyone else around. It must be hard having a mom who's hotter than you.

20. Stephanie

Stephanie is a pretty cool mom, especially on the weekends. She loves getting her hair done, her dog and drinking fruity frozen drinks with a little umbrella.

21. Cindy


Cindy's got an attitude. She might look sweet, but don't let her fool you. Don't bring your boyfriends or girlfriends to meet Cindy unless you're really serious about them, because she might scare them away.

22. Tiffany

No one knows how to break it down like Tiffany. She loves to dance. Wherever she goes, the party follows.

23. Carol

Carol is the strict mom who likes to give lectures at every opportunity. Don't be so hard on her though: she means well. Cut your mom some slack, kids.

Cover Image Credit: Whitnei Photographei

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I Need You To Stop Calling Immigrants "Illegal"

An introductory piece to my retelling of immigrant stories highlighting why these people specifically chose to come into the U.S. "illegally"

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Since I was a kid, I've been surrounded by talks of illegal immigration. I remember being scared watching the news covering illegal immigration. I remember being overly cautious whenever near law officials and most of all, I remember peers and adults calling illegal immigrants aliens, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, and terrorists. What they didn't realize is that these illegal immigrants that they are describing are people I know.

Or maybe they did realize because as ugly as it is to say, the United States is a xenophobic place.

Everyone blames these immigrants for being illegal. Yes, they crossed the border or overstayed their visas but what no one is blaming are events that led them to do that. The majority of immigrants don't want to leave their home country but are forced to, due to violence, poverty and the lack of jobs in their communities. Immigrants come to the U.S. not just for themselves but for a better life, since when has this pursuit of happiness been illegal? Is it only legal for the white community?

No one blames the U.S and the Mexican government, who have in no way formed a solution for this problem, instead choosing to encourage xenophobic and white supremacist views. No one is blaming President Trump who continues to spread lies about immigrants, who continues to spread false facts, especially exemplified in his recent address. No one is prosecuting ICE officials who are responsible for having 22 immigrants die in their detention centers in the past 2 years. And since this whole government shutdown began over wall funding, not one story has overtly focused on the immigrant story.

There are immigrants who have been in the U.S for 18+ years and they are just as American as I am and every other U.S. citizen. They are just as hardworking and contributive to society. The only thing that separates them from the U.S. populace is a decision that they made when they were young adults and had no other option. A decision they made before 9/11-- before serious security checks were increased, especially targeted at individuals from other countries.

The reason that 12 million+ illegal immigrants are "illegal" is to blame on xenophobic views in the U.S. The so-called wall that will supposedly keep out gangs, drugs and violent immigrants from the U.S-- is it any coincidence that it is only separating Mexico and Central America from the U.S.? Why not build a wall separating Canada from the U.S.? Because the simple fact of the matter is that the United States does not care whether white people come into this country.

So many people in the U.S. are not able to comprehend the reason why so many immigrant families come to the U.S. They don't understand their stories and the several centuries of events that led to this. The only way that White Americans would be open to this idea of freely crossing borders would be if these immigrants were white-- mimicking exactly what happened in America when Europeans colonized.

Throughout these next few months, I hope to be able to retell immigrant stories-- the reasons why they migrated to the U.S., and especially how they are currently living the American Dream. These immigrants are so often wrongly represented by xenophobic views labeling them as the villain to the U.S. citizens' story that it is time that these "illegal" immigrants get to have their stories truthfully told, especially to stop the fear-mongering that surround these individuals and their lives. These stories that will be published are also not meant to paint the whole immigrant experience in a happy, innocent tone. Immigrant stories are filled with harsh realities that many individuals in the U.S. have had the privilege of not experiencing, but should otherwise still be knowledgable about.

As U.S. citizens, living in privilege is something that we take for granted, to the point that we don't even notice the adversities occurring in other countries-- ignorant to the reason why many of these individuals look to the American Dream as an emblem of hope.

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