The Longest Day 2018
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Ashley's Story
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Ashley’s Story

Thank you for sharing your stories. You are an encouragement to me.

In Tribute to Donna Gayle
She was born in 1954. A petite but vibrant woman to say the least.
I met her in 1996, and from this point onward, she became my mother too. She is not my mother-in-law as some would say but my mom.
Shocked in 1997 when she blurted out unexpectedly “Ashley, are you pregnant?” and took Adam and me to the nearest pharmacy to buy a test. She was the first one I called when I got the results. It was not planned and some were a little weary. But life moved on and she was going to be a grandmother. She chose the name “Nana” for her first grandchild, Kayla, to call her.
We had our ups and downs over the years as anyone, but she loved me. She loved her two boys, Adam and Jeff, and Kelly, Jeff’s wife. She has three amazing grandchildren now, Kayla, Karson and Reagan who all love their Nana no matter what. Most of all, you could tell she loved her husband Jacob and was the best example of how a wife should take care of her husband. She cooked as a gourmet chef, the house was always spotless and she worked a full time job.
Why do I say loved? I really don’t know. I believe she still loves us although we haven’t heard those words in quite awhile. It’s like she is here but not here. This is all new to us as a family.
She is only 54 years old. We have taken care of her the best we could with all of our heart and might. She is not verbal. She has to be fed, bathed and clothed. She woke up one morning in December 2007, and did not recognize her husband, Jacob of 35 years. She had to be placed in a nursing home. The doctors label her with the dementia/Alzheimer’s symptoms, but she has never been specifically diagnosed. We saw the decline over the past 10 years but never expected this so soon.
We visit her in the nursing home as much as possible. Being only 54 years old she stands out. She has dark hair with highlights of silver. We have good days and bad. She has good days and bad. Sometimes it seems like she really knows us. She doesn’t talk but just mumbles but those sounds are her words and that is talking in her eyes. Sometimes she will just talk and talk and although we can’t understand a word, we smile or agree with her as she leads the way in the conversation.
She is still among us physically but I miss her. I am selfish. As I look through the other stories posted here I know I am not alone. I hold on to the hope that this disease will be exterminated one day for everyone.
Isaiah 33:24 ~ And no resident will say: “I am sick.” The people that are dwelling in the land will be those pardoned for their error.
Rev. 21:3-4 ~ With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”


Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.