I came home from work one day and mom said, “We are going on a cruise. I entered us in a contest to go on a caregiver cruise.” I laughed, and said, “Great,” and went into the other room. Later she told me that I needed to go online and vote…that is when I realized what had happened. She was so excited, she said, “If I win this contest, I can do something for you.” I said, “Mommy, the chances of you winning are almost impossible.”
She looked at me so straight and said, “Nothing is impossible. I have Alzheimer’s. The doctors told us a year or so ago that by now I wouldn’t know anyone, and I am not perfect, but I am not gone yet. My mind still works on some days. And you have MS, your doctors told you if you continued to care for me at home that you would not be walking now, and you are. Nothing is impossible…sometimes, when you want, and hope, and dream and pray, and get your family and friends involved in your goal it works…nothing is impossible and you and me are proof”
So, I voted for my first time for the cruise. That was a couple of weeks ago. Since signing up for this contest mom has only had a couple of Alzheimer’s days. Her days are full of planning for a cruise, seeing the ocean for the first time…putting her toes in the sand. She tells me that she thinks the contest is good for her Alzheimer’s. If we don’t win…she says she will not be sad, because some other caregiver is getting a vacation.
This contest is over on September 15th…mom thinks that is a sign, because that is her birthday. IF we don’t win, it will be OK, because being in this contest has done more good for her, and given her something, a goal, and oh, the friends she has made, and the notes of encouragement she has received. Yes, this has been more than a contest, this has been something for an old woman to try and give her daughter, a gift…something for both of them…to share…its not just a cruise. To her, it’s a goal to keep her Alzheimer’s away for a few days.
So, if we win or not, I am happy for what this contest has given her…and feel so lucky that she is still thinking of me first..she is doing this for me…how many daughters can say that their mommies still put them first? I win no matter what…I have her.
Editor’s note: You can vote for Barbara at the Caregiver Cruise Giveaway Contest. No registration is required. Just click the “vote” button. You can vote once per day until September 15. And, we hope you do. In the words of some mutual friends, at the Dear Anna Olson project, “They have a real shot at winning this much deserved cruise. PLEASE, PLEASE VOTE for these beautiful women EVERY DAY until September 15th. Barbie is almost 90 years old, has Alzheimer’s, and needs constant care. Her daughter Missy suffers from MS, is often hospitalized, yet cares for her mother in spite of her own illness, fatigue, falls and pain. They have lived selfless lives – caring for others even while suffering these terrible diseases. Please help Barbie see the ocean for the first time, and give Missy a much needed and deserved vacation.”