Love Everyone To The Fullest
Health and Wellness

Love Everyone To The Fullest

You never know how long you have.


Alzheimer's and Dementia have been described by a doctor as being "imprisoned in one's own rapidly shrinking brain." When I was younger, I didn't really know what Alzheimer's or Dementia was, I only heard about them here and there and on commercials. These commercials would always show elderly people and would say things like "If you've had a loved one with Alzheimer's and Dementia and took (insert name) Medicine..." or "Living with a loved one with Alzheimer's or Dementia is hard."

What these commercials never said was what it was really like. Never showed those who suffered knowing that they could not remember something. Never showed their loved ones crying in the middle of the night because they were witnessing that struggle, of knowing you can't remember something, or even someone.

For some, their memory goes slowly, something small forgotten here and there. For others, it happens instantaneously. It's hard to know which is harder. For the person who has Alzheimer's, it's harder for them when it goes slowly because they know it's happening to them and they can't stop it. For the family, it's almost worse when it's instantaneous because they wouldn't remember you or where they are. Honestly, it's hard for everyone no matter what.

I was young when one of my family members started showing signs of Alzheimer's/Dementia. She lived at home with her husband for years and they were very good at hiding how much the disease took hold of her. It was about two and a half years ago that she got very sick and went to the hospital, and that is when we found out how far it had actually progressed. When she was released from the hospital, the decision was made to put her into a nursing home that had a specialized unit for patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Like anyone with this disease, she had her good days and her bad days, but in the beginning she could remember some of her family members by name. She didn't alway remember, but she knew who was important to her. Her close bond with her sister meant that she remembered her almost the longest.

But the person she had the strongest bond with was her husband. Even as she continued to decline you could see the love in their eyes when they looked at each other. When he would do something silly she would lean over to us girls in the room and say "He's just so cute!" There were times she wanted to just hold his hand so she knew he was there. Their relationship wasn't perfect all the time (as no real relationship is perfect) but they certainly set my standards high.

They gave me faith that marriage isn't something that can be thrown away. It's something shared between two people that grows as they grow and morphs into different stages as their lives grow in different stages. From newlyweds to having your first kid, your last kid, your first child getting married, your first grandchild, first great grandchild, travel, family reunions, weddings, sickness, injury, funerals, and, sadly, the death of your spouse.

Alzheimer's is real and it's a scary disease. You never know when it could take hold of your brain and how much it will force you to forget. Who knows, maybe soon scientists will find out what causes Alzheimer's. Maybe even find a cure. But for now, I urge everyone to say "I love you" every chance you get. Live your life without fear. Do things that scare you, things you never thought you'd do. Travel the world with your loved one. Be friendly to everyone (you never know what kind of day they're having, it could change their lives). Treat others how you want to be treated. Love to the moon and back a million times. There can never be too much love in the world.

"Be kind to one another." - Ellen DeGeneres
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments