Verna, Betty, and Lucille

They say when you have met one person with Alzheimer’s, you’ve met one person. Every journey and story is a little bit different.

This couldn’t be more true than in the three women who taught me about dementia. When I was three years old, my mom and dad decided to take care of an extended family member named Lucille, and two family friends. Betty and Verna. in our home. All three women were diagnosed with “dementia” in the same year.

Lucille had a rough life growing up and had witnessed some pretty horrific events that, sadly as she progressed in her dementia, she relived daily.

Betty was a traveler who loved to roam. She was always pleasant but when she needed to go, she found a way.

Verna was joyful. She would always play with me no matter what the game. She treated me like I was the most important person on the planet. She brought laughter into the home every day.

I didn’t have grandparents who were alive when I was growing up so these three women were my stand-ins. Each of these women in their own way taught me how to age with strength and spirit.

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