It was a day of remembrance in so many ways. On 9/11 we drove to the Seattle Center. It was our 3rd annual “Memory walk” benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. This year Dolly, Bryan, Jenn & the boys joined us. The morning was sunny and cool and the walk was about 3 miles, but with all the back-tracking & running through parks, the kids must run about 5 miles! We walked, we laughed, we talked and we remembered loved ones. This event is dear to our hearts. It honors Dolly’s Dad, Al Kissler, who suffered from Alzheimers before he passed. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to meet him, this is a man who is always spoken about with great pride. Described as a loving, charismatic, caring husband, father and grandfather, I know he was a very special person. I also take this day to remember my Granny, who suffered from dementia before she passed in 2005. There is nothing harder than watching a person slowly lose the ability to recognize loved ones and recall memories…or in my Granny’s case, to forget what you said 5 minutes ago and thus repeat it over and over again. Both Grandpa Al and my Granny had happy lives filled with many blessings. We remember them with so much love.
As I mentioned, this walk took place on 9/11. This date is forever engraved in the minds of every American. When the date comes around you always hear people saying “let us never forget.” My question is, how could you? The feelings I had on that day in 2001 are so vivid. Waking up to the news, watching it replay over and over again, crying with my husband at the dinner table trying to get through a simple prayer, and crying again in church when a group of preschoolers sang “God Bless America.” I felt a loss for each and every person who died or was missing, just as deeply as if I knew them. We grieved for our country and were fearful for the future. I spent time remembering all of this that day and feeling so blessed for this life. This simple life we lead, with daily adventures around every corner. As always, looking to my kids to remind me, just how simple something can be to brighten your day. On this particular day, for Matea, it was finding a dress for Bubba. For Dahlia, it was being in the photo with the dress for Bubba. It also reminds me of Matea’s prayer in church. “Dear God. Thank you for this life. Amen.”