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String of Pearls
Today I met a little boy who his doctors have diagnosed with autism. My sitter called and said that her daycare could not take him today so Missy told her to bring him with her. He sat with me and we looked out the window, we watched some TV, but not really.
I tried to hug him but he yelled. I tried to hold his hand but he pulled away. We finally connected making my jewelry. He separated all my colors for me. He strung pearls, and he straightened out all my threads in matching colors. He never looked at me in the eye, just past me…but I talked all day to him. He never answered, but he knew what I was saying. I talked about my grandchildren, my daughter, I sang, and even told him a secret. A secret I told him no one else knows but him.
When he left, he patted the top of my hand—his version, I think, of holding my hand. And he brushed up against me. I want to think of it as a hug. I gave him the pearls he strung and he gave them to his mom…he put them around her neck and I saw he was proud.
Yes, we didn’t talk, but I know I made a new friend. I told him when he left, to come back, and I hope he does. I wonder if tonight he is thinking about that silly old woman who talked all day, and sang. His mother told Missy that she never had seem him so calm and connect with anyone so quick. Missy told her she could bring him anytime she came. I hope she does, I have more jewelry to make, more stories to tell, and songs to sing, and maybe he will tell me his secret one day.
Yes, I had a good good day, I made a new friend, Troy.
Autism…Alzheimer’s…MS…labels…We all have labels…we are all more than that.
___________________________________About the Author: Barbara Taylor Vaughan is 90 and in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. She started a Facebook page to help chronicle her illness and put a face on Alzheimer's. Barbara hopes educating others will inspire them to volunteer to help ease the suffering of those with the disease, families, caregivers. Her relationship with her daughter and caregiver, Missy, and her compassion and humor are inspirational. You can subscribe to her on Facebook where she has opened her page to offering advice to your questions about life and living with Alzheimer's "from a little old lady."
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Alzheimer’s in the First Person
Barbara Taylor Vaughan is 90 and in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Barbara and Melissa Vaughan are putting a face on the disease by chronicling Barbara's illness. Melissa, living with Multiple Sclerosis, is Barbara's daughter and caregiver.
They hope educating others will inspire them to volunteer to help ease the suffering of those with the disease, thier families and caregivers. Barbara and Melissa's relationship, compassion and humor are inspirational.
We love them and thank them for their humanity and generosity of spirit.
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