This post is a reminder for me of why I should scrapbook
or whatever you want to name it . . .
I haven't been scrapbooking very much lately. Mostly just making blank travel journals or cards.
But I'm making a conscious decision to change that and get back to my scrapbooking roots.
This post is dedicated to Margie.
Someone I love very much. Someone who is an integral part of my life.
Margie is 85 years old.
By the time Margie was 6 (or maybe 7) she lost both of her parents.
My Grandma (Margie's mother's sister i.e., Margie's aunt) took Margie in
and raised her with my Mother - essentially having two daughters instead of just one.
The house was a duplex.
Full of relatives - all from Spain (Asturias and Barcelona to be exact).
On one side lived my
Great-Aunt and Great Uncle + one of their brothers + one of their sisters + their daughter
On the other side lived my
Grandma and Grandpa + two of my Grandma's brothers + my Mom + Margie.
A very long covered porch at the back of the house connected the two duplexes.
And this is how they grew up.
Surrounded by family.
I know for a fact the floor boards on that porch were worn from foot traffic between the two duplexes. Once the girls (Margie and my Mom) were married, almost every Sunday and definitely every holiday, we would gather with family (including cousins) and share cocktails, stories and photos. It was a great time to gather - noon on Sunday - and we rarely missed a week.
Margie was an integral part of this family. And Margie was the one through the years that we relied on to remember the workings of all the distant relatives - who was related to whom - who married who - what were they doing - where were they living - all those things families talk about when they get together. When Mom and I would talk on the phone and try to remember something about the family, inevitably our conversation would end with "I'll call Margie. She'll remember."
Except for the fact that currently Margie resides in a care home. with her enemy - Alzheimer's. And doesn't remember. We have to remind her who we are. And it's so sad to see our Margie like this. It breaks my heart.
We visited Margie just this weekend.
I'm not sure she knew who we were or recognized all of us. I'd like to think she did, but if you know of someone with this disease, you know exactly what I mean.
We sat and talked and I told her a story of a time when Chris (her daughter) and I were shopping in Madrid for shoes. It was a funny story. We all laughed and whenever I said Chris' name, Margie's eyes sparkled. A glimmer of hope.
When we left that day, I bent down to give her a kiss and Margie said "I love you". I can only hope she said that because she remembered who I was.
Driving home and realizing how many people are struck by this terrible disease . . .
knowing that memories fade (whether we have Alzheimer's, dementia or just plain forgetfulness). . .
it's a reason to write down the stories . . .
And perhaps when the memory fades . . .
or a blank stare appears . . .
someone will pull out your scrapbook and read your story . . .
and a memory will waltz in . . .
and a glimmer of hope will light up someone's eyes
even if only for a moment.
I love you too, Margie.