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Never Over

A year ago today was the last time I heard my husband say my name coherently. It was a year ago I sat with him and wondered how much longer I could go on. I thought about him struggling to speak, shuffling as he walked, wearing a catheter and briefs, starting to have trouble feeding himself and selfishly I was worried about finances and impacts on me and the kids and wondered how long it would be before Alzheimer’s Disease eventually took him. I figured I still had lots of time.

I found out the heartbreaking answer just a few days later when I got the call he was “actively passing”.

I have learned so much in the past year. I have learned about friendships. I have learned about empathy and kindness and I have also learned about selflessness and selfishness. I have learned about the kind of loss you think you understand until you actually live it. I have felt an emptiness inside of me that I didn’t know could exist or was possible. I felt a perpetual sadness that there is nothing in this world to compare to or which can lighten. The only relief is sleep, but then you wake up. Guilt is so ingrained in me I can’t remember a time it wasn’t part of my being. I have felt helpless as I watched my kids mourn their father. I have buried my husband and yet I still cry for him, long for him, ache for him and miss him. Terribly. I thought I had cried as much as possible before he died. I was wrong. My eyes now have dark eyelids and seem to be constantly swollen.

Yes, a year ago I was struggling to be a caregiver and a mother and somehow keep myself sane. Now I am struggling to recall all of the memories I am terrified of losing and a few I should probably forget. And now I face the challenge of a future alone, without Jim and starting all over. It is like being fresh out of college and trying to decide a path that will best lead me forward to whatever my future holds. My passion is Alzheimer’s Advocacy and education. That is what I do best and I what I want to do. It just doesn’t pay all the bills.

I look at photos and watch videos. I see our love and our excitement together. I see our hopefulness in a future laid out before us. I see Jim as the disease progresses and it all triggers the same feelings that crept in each time he showed how much he was changing. So I stop looking and I stop watching. Then I start to feel a void. A new guilt. Trying to move on. Trying to stop the pain and misery. And I go back to the darkness. There are good moments. The kids and some friends have made sure of this. But there is always that nagging feeling that something just isn’t as it is supposed to be. Something always seems to be missing….

And yet, we were lucky. Most Alzheimer’s patients aren’t able to communicate so late in the game. They usually can’t remember the loved ones who visit or care for them. A year ago Jim said my name. He knew his name. He still wanted to watch the kids play ball (another regret which equals guilt: not taking him because I was worried about the cold….if I had only known) and he could still hug me and tell me he loved me. He loved me. To have had someone intimately know you and still love you with the intensity and the depth that man did me is something you just don’t get over. It is rare, it is special and I cannot express my sorrow for no longer having that kind of support and unwavering adoration. It only comes along once in a lifetime and there have been moments I wonder what I have to look forward to. It seems it will all be a wash from here on out. Yes, we were so lucky in so many ways. The support from our community. The friends who rallied round. The strength we gave each other. But here I am a year later and I am just as lost as I was on that fateful day I got that dreaded call.

I have the kids to watch grow and to parent and to comfort along the way. But what am I supposed to say as they watch their friends interact with their Dads and my children don’t have one? They had a great one and he wanted nothing more than to live long enough to be there for their childhoods and young adult lives. That was the one thing that would make him tear up and cry. Losing his children. Them losing him. Jim was such an amazing man and even better father, it is such a loss for them on so many, many levels. I can only fill in so much. He was so handy and smart and funny and witty and dropped everything to do something with them. They are sadly missing out.

I couldn’t save him. I couldn’t keep him from falling victim to this terrible death. I know it wasn’t my fault, but as anyone who has cared for and loved someone who has lost a battle to a disease they fought against with all their being, there is guilt which never strays far away. And there is guilt for not knowing what was just around the corner. And guilt for losing patience. And guilt for not fulfilling bucket lists and guilt for worrying about the wrong things and not having the right conversation at the right time and not being ready and not knowing that the very conversation you are recording and taking for granted would be the last. For falling asleep when you should have been awake, even if it was 4 am. For letting go but wanting deep down inside to hold on forever. Being in a hurry to get home to fix dinner, or do the laundry or relax….there is plenty of time later. But then you don’t really feel like it and there are few dinners that are made and even fewer that taste good. There is no more relaxing and now you only do laundry for three. And you only cook for three. You only travel as three and only need three tickets for a show. And you now have all the “guy” chores to do and the last thing you ever feel like doing is getting out of bed and doing any of it. When you finally decide you want to do something, either the kids have plans with friends or your friends have plans with their husbands. I haven’t braved a movie solo or dinner alone. It will happen, I just haven’t yet. I will. I know I will. I have to. One day soon. It is my life. My new normal. I can go hiking by myself and travel unescorted and do whatever I want to do, just sans a partner. It takes some getting used to and I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it yet. But I will.

Mourning is a process. A long, slow process. No matter how much you want to get over it, how much time you had to prepare, how ready you thought you would be….the heart and mind aren’t always simpatico and they both run at their own leisure.

A year ago I could go visit Jim. And bring his laundry home to wash. And the kids could come with me and see him, talk to him, tell him about their day and what they were doing. They could play catch with him or sit outside in the rocking chairs. We could see his smile and know he was still with us. Even if it wasn’t the life he wanted. Even if is wasn’t quite the same Jim. And then I know I am so very selfish for wishing another day with him. I really don’t want that because he didn’t. I want the old Jim. Before the disease. The one I fell in love with. But the sick Jim, the one who left me once and for all, he taught me more than anyone ever has. He taught me grace and acceptance and tenacity and patience and the real meaning of love. He showed me each and every day. I am forever a changed woman and forever grateful.

So now I am alone with the kids and no longer have the worry of his care. Or what is coming around the bend. Or what his wishes might be. Or when will it all be over. It is never over. Alzheimer’s takes them, but leaves us with the loss and pain that sticks around for a long, long time.

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (14)

Moving along at baby step speed

Thank you for all of your wonderful messages of support. Thank you for your encouragement to keep writing. Thank you for caring. Thank you for thinking of our family. Thank you…for more than my words could ever cover.

I am still writing. If you haven’t already, please visit this link:

Help For Alzheimer’s Families

There are past posts to view as well.

These last few months have been much harder than I ever imagined. I am working my way through, just at a very, very slow pace. Much slower than I would like, but baby steps will eventually get me to wherever it is I am headed.

Advocacy, education and support are my passions and my future. It is a promise I made Jim. It is a promise I have made myself. It is what I am meant to do.

I am damaged goods. Even so, I will continue the fight. It is all I can and know how to do at this point. I hope that many of you will join me and have your voice heard alongside mine.

Again, thank you for….for…saving our family, for saving me, for being present. Thank you.

posted by Karen in Uncategorized and have Comments (7)

Our REAL Anniversary Day

Jim on our honeymoon. May 1997

Jim on our honeymoon. May 1997

Today is the day that changed my life forever. Today is the day that Jim and I went on our first date. After his softball game. 20 years ago. Today. I knew by the end of that date he was the one. I knew he was the man I would marry and I would grow old with.

He was stationed in Las Vegas at Nellis AFB and I was a GS employee working for the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Dept. We met over the phone. I was running a program called Corporate Challenge (it is like an Olympic games for the city of Las Vegas with different companies having participating teams). It was my job to organize athletes from the base and try to win as many events as possible garnering points for each win. There were many events we struggled to find participants for all of the age categories. Swimming, track, bowling, bicycling, tennis, volleyball, canoeing, racquetball…there were many activities and it was my responsibility to have as many take part as possible. For example, in swimming, we could get points by just having a male who was 40 – 44 participate because the other teams may not have anyone. No matter how capable the person was we had show up didn’t matter, all that mattered was getting more points over all by the end of the 30 day event.

So, I would look at my list of athletes who had already signed up for an event and start calling them, encouraging (begging) each one to join in the fun for whatever slot I was desperate to fill at the time (there was usually a long list).

James Garner had signed up for racquetball. He was 34. We needed a guy his age in several other events. So I called him. Many times. He turned me down each and every time.

Months later, I would look back and tease him for letting me down since I quickly learned he could have easily participated in every single event and probably won them all.

I also learned a year or two later that one of the times I called to hound him, after we hung up, he looked at his friend and co-worker, Marcus , and stated, “I am going to marry that girl one day.”

So early (for me) Saturday morning I bee bop over to racquetball, with my clip board and list of brackets and paperwork for the players and started ordering people around (Jim’s words, not mine). I was just trying to make sure everyone knew which court to be at and what time to be there. He said he looked at me and thought to himself, Who is she? Doesn’t she know we have all done this before? We know where to go and when.

I sat up above the courts and watched as Jim easily defeated his opponent. I noticed he had really nice legs and mentioned this to my friend, Cathy,  who knew him and was watching with me. She told me he was single and a good guy. Hmmm. After his match, he offered me some of his always present Oreo cookies and peanut M & M’s. (Again, he later confided that was his way of letting me know he was interested) I teased him and told him if he got a medal (he still had to finish out his bracket) I would buy him a Grolsch beer. He won. And I didn’t hear from him for the remainder of the month while I finished Corporate Challenge. A few days after everything was over, I received flowers at my office. The note congratulated me on a great job (I think we got second place over all that year) but it wasn’t signed. It drove me crazy trying to figure out who they were from. I had hoped to hear back from Jim, but after he turned me down over and over for other events and showed no interest after that initial Saturday, I had pretty much given up on him.

So, I called and told him I had his medal and asked when I could drop it off. He asked if I wanted to come watch him play softball (he was on several teams) and then he could collect that beer I owed him.

I went. Sitting at his game, while the other wives and girlfriends cast suspicious glances my way, by myself and watched him have fun while playing a game he loved. He certainly was athletic and pretty cute too.

We went for the beer. He forgot his wallet. We talked and talked and talked. For several hours, barely drinking or eating. Just becoming completely mesmerized by the other, making a connection and recognizing commonalities. I was hooked.

As he was walking away from my car, he said, “I’m glad you liked the flowers.” They were from him. He hadn’t forgotten about me after all.

That weekend I was taking a group to Disneyland. I could take a friend. I called Jim and asked if he would like to go. We were leaving at 5 a.m. and wouldn’t return until about 2 a.m. That would be almost 24 hours together.  He didn’t hesitate;  he said “yes.”

Barely knowing each other, we started the day polite and unfamiliar. I had to go over rules, get the movie started, etc. He sat on one side of the aisle and I sat on the other.

By the time we were watching the fireworks display during the evening parade down Main Street I was in love.  Jim bent down and gave me our first kiss. We rode back next to each other with my head on his shoulder and our hands entwined.

I called my parents shortly after and told them I had met the man I was going to marry.

We moved in together a month later. (partly because of the armed robbery I had endured a few months before and the fact he was building a new house). My parents hadn’t even met him yet. I am sure they were not very happy. I can’t remember what they said. It didn’t really matter. I was hooked and so was Jim.

We were married May 3 the following year.

Today. Today was our first “date”. It set up our whole lives together…sports and talking.

Our real anniversary. The one day there was never any going back from. Today I close my eyes, as tears seep out and picture all that we had before us. I feel the excitement and the tenderness. I am so happy he said “yes”. I am so happy we had all of those years together. I am so happy he chose me.

I miss him and all that was going to be. I miss all that was. But I am so very, very grateful we had the journey together and I would never change April 30, 1996 for anything.

Disneyland. May 4, 1996.

Disneyland. May 4, 1996.

Jim looking swag with his fanny pack. May 4, 1996.

Jim looking hip with his fanny pack. May 4, 1996.



Our first photo together, DisneyLand May 4, 1996.

Our first photo together, DisneyLand May 4, 1996.

posted by Karen in Uncategorized and have Comments (15)

A Poem Share. Your Welcome.

The following is a moving, perfect poem I received after Jim passed away. The author, Cici Reagan, is an amazing writer with an exceptional blog:  Her Momma was a dear friend whom I have written about and who was taken from us way too early by ALS.

This morning,

I looked at my phone

And saw the news.


I imagined you writing it,

Selecting the photo.

I imagine it felt weirdly final.


I thought about

You telling the kids,

And how I found out

About my mother.


You’re in the shit of it, now.

The real,


Worst part

Because now it’s over

And you get to feel guilty

Without punching a clock.


Almost six years

Has bought me perspective

But the truth

Will still overwhelm me

If I give it the chance.

It does not fade.


It is the sharp knife

You had to leave in

So you didn’t bleed out,

The swollen scar tissue

That formed around it.


And I want to tell you

It is impossible

To do everything right.


These days,

And those that have passed,

Will always be the darkest of your lives

And that is not your fault.

You could always be more patient,

More loving,

Slower to anger,

Relentlessly selfless.

But it would not matter.


I wish I could ease your troubled mind;

I wish I could be there.

I am so far away.


But all I can think

Is that I’ve stood where you stand

And platitudes matter little.


The anticipation is over

And the real grief begins

And I couldn’t be more sorry

For your terrible loss.


I love you all

More than I

Could ever say.

Cici Reagan

posted by Karen in Uncategorized and have Comments (5)


April 7, 1962 – April 2, 2016

posted by Karen in Uncategorized and have Comments (145)


Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 11.39.47 AMJim is still with us. I say that statement with a very loose context.

Jim is resting. Jim is sleeping. Jim is….Jim is….technically alive.

Waiting to die. The waiting for him to die takes a toll both mentally and physically. And it totally SUCKS!!

Sitting, watching, holding his hand, rubbing his hair. Watching for the slightest change in breathing. Seeing a slight movement of his lips or a flutter of his eyes and wondering what it means? Is he trying to tell us something? Is he in pain? Does he want something? I’m sure he wants a huge glass of water and a very large meal.

His hands and feet were cold. Yesterday they were warm. His coloring goes pale, goes yellow, then he is pink with warmth. Then he is cold and a grayish/bluish tint.

A friend came and played guitar and sang for him. We could tell he heard her. He moved his mouth. His eyebrows raised. His demeanor changed. As it does each time his children enter his room. He knows they are there. He seems to long to reach out and hug them again. His mouth hints at a smile. His beautiful blue eyes struggling to see each of their heartbroken faces.

His legs jerk. He grimaces in pain if his left arm is moved or we try to sit him up. He is getting stiff.

This is torture. For us all. Our friends. Us. And for Jim. He may be out of it, he may be on drugs, but I know. I know. The man I married and have loved and known for many years, did not want to linger. He did not want us sitting around watching his demise. He lived a life full of life and it doesn’t seem fair this cruel disease is robbing him of the death he wanted.

You hear the statement “We don’t treat our animals this way, we shouldn’t treat our loved ones this way.” I never really had much of a thought one way or the other. It was always someone else’s fight. I can tell you, watching him struggle to open his eyes half way, keeping them there, trying to will them to let him see his children one last time….struggling to breath, dying of thirst (literally), starving to death (literally), coughing up the slightest liquid we try to give him……….this is inhumane. Maybe God doesn’t want us to kill, but he allowed us the knowledge of how to take a life with out pain or malice for a reason. Sometimes, we should be smart enough to use it.


posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (46)

I Got That Dreaded Call

I have contemplated this post. I am wavering on sharing too much and possibly not sharing enough. I am conscious of why I should and why I shouldn’t. Right at this moment, sharing is winning the internal battle.

This is a most private situation. One every single family struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease will unfortunately face. I ask for privacy for our children and for our family.

Jim is actively passing. Or transitioning. Or dying. The key word that I have learned from our hospice team: actively.

I have decided to share with you for several reasons. One, your support throughout the past years as I have struggled and grown as a future widow and caregiver has been unwavering, comforting and life changing. Two, I suddenly realized if I don’t inform you what is happening, the next post you read will be announcing Jim has passed away and it will come as a huge shock and might be very disheartening and traumatic. I am sure this post is. It is shocking for me.

Jim was fine four days ago. Well, the term fine is relative. He was as he has been. Walking, eating, mumbling with some coherent words thrown in.

Wednesday morning I received a call from hospice letting me know he was not well. High fever. Blood in his catheter bag. Low blood pressure. Bluish extremities. And he could not be aroused. A good friend came over immediately to the house to comfort me and assess the situation. Another good friend met me at his facility and sat with me as I listened to all of the medical terms and information that seemed to be important but somehow I was barely able to process what I was hearing.

Jim’s doctor came. He gave his best guess as 3- 5 days left. I was in shock. How was this happening now?  We have long known this day was coming, but it has come with a suddenness that has left me ill prepared. He hasn’t gone through several stages…soft foods, pureed foods, bed ridden, wheel chair, walker, falling….there is supposed to be more time. There is supposed to be more warning.

Yet, here we are. At the end. Unless a miracle happens. Unless his youth and strength somehow prevail. That is what slips into my mind. Maybe this isn’t it. Even though hospice does this for a living. Even though his doctor concurred. Maybe this isn’t really it.

We are not sure what has happened. He fell Tuesday, but didn’t seem to have any issues from the fall. He was checked over twice. He has had so many different issues with his catheter and UTI’s, there is a possibility of sepsis. Or, it could be something we just don’t know.

What I do know is my kids are heartbroken. I do know I thought I was ready and prepared. I thought I would be clear headed and would know what to do, but I was wrong. I do know that the love and support and guidance we have received year after year is stronger than ever and making a difference that I am unable to explain at this juncture of the game. I have been overwhelmed and I am thankful, humbled and indebted.

I am also exhausted. I don’t know how sitting around a room all day can make you so tired, but it most certainly does. Maybe the lack of sleep is also playing a role….

The first day, Jim was unresponsive. The second day, Jim showed some recognition, ate some ice and rolled on his side. The third day he ate ice cream, said some words, mumbled and gave me a hug. Today he hallucinated, tried several times unsuccessfully to get up, ate some applesauce and said a few more words. Through it all he is in pain if he moves his left arm, if we try to sit him up or if he moves a certain way. He also has quite a bit of myoclonus (jerking). There are times his coloring seems to be improving. There are times he seems to be so much better than his initial state, yet in the end, he usually ends up with a blank stare and confused look on his face. He has smiled. He has told me he loves me. He has hugged the kids. He has not had anything really to eat or drink since Tuesday evening. (not enough for the medical community to count as intake). He has been up out of his bed twice since Wednesday. He has looked me in the eyes and with a tear falling down his cheek, reached out his weak hand to touch my face.

This is excruciatingly painful to witness. I know many of you will be very upset by my words. I know you care deeply for our family. I know you want to do something. Thank you.

I had started a post that was going to include a video of Jim from just this past Sunday, just a couple of days before this started. I am scratching that post. But I am going to share the video because I want to show where he was. I want people to see what Alzheimer’s Disease does to a wonderful human being. I want to break the misconception that Alzheimer’s Disease is just old people forgetting someone’s name or getting lost. I want to erase the stereotypical patient idea. I want the stigma that follows a diagnosis to be a thing of the past.

Again, thank you for your concern, your prayers, your support, your love and for continuing to help our family during a most difficult and painful time.

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (64)

There is No Replacement

Martinique. Dec 1999.

Martinique. Dec 1999.

Words sometimes fail me. I search to find the right expressions to convey thoughts, feelings, dilemmas, struggles, pain, gratitude and so much more on a daily basis. Oftentimes I can go through a varied amount of emotions in less than ten minutes. My thoughts move rapidly from one thing to the next, seldom stopping to absorb the impact before rushing into the next viewpoint.

How do I handle the stress and pressure I face daily? I sleep. Way too much. I sometimes try to talk to friends, but there is only so much they can relate to and so many conversations about the same topic that can be had before they disappear. I write. I used to work out. I drink. I watch too many episodes of shows late at night. I listen to music. I read. I have never felt so alone while being so loved and supported.

Jim. He is the missing ingredient. Having him to listen, touch, feel, hear, smell, know….having him be part of each day, each moment, each thought and knowing he would always be there was a comfort I have lost forever. There will be no more passionate kisses or discussions about a presidential race or a movie we saw. There will be no more passing back and forth of the paper. No more taste tests in the kitchen. No more arguments. No more sitting comfortably together in the sunshine on our front porch. No more worried discussions about the kids or bills or anything. There is now only a silence that creates a deafness that is so loud and protruding, it suffocates me emotionally to the point of exhaustion.

Recently, I have delved into some boxes of old photos. Places, times, memories came flooding back. Things I couldn’t remember are gone. Jim is not able to help me recall the spitball fight in Martinique with the couples from Italy. Or were they from Australia? Wait, there was a couple there from Colorado and the rest were from Europe, right? When did we drive to California and stay at the Kaleidoscope Inn? We went to the Hearst Castle and we ate at that really good steakhouse, what was the name of it? Was it Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day we stayed up on Mt. Charleston and I was so upset we couldn’t get the basketball game because the satellite was frozen? 

Gone. If I can’t recall the details, I no longer have my guy to ask. Even if he remembered, I probably wouldn’t be able to understand him.

There is no denying I have been grieving him over a very long time. It is shameful to admit I wish I could just move on. Along with those words, comes the horrible reality of wanting to be done with watching him succumb to each phase Alzheimer’s brings on. To stop long enough and really think about wanting to be done with him, means he will be dead. And to think of him being dead takes all of my joy and life away. But to think about continuing the visits and not knowing before stepping foot in his facility what he is like this particular moment of this particular day….will he know me? Will he light up like he always does? Will I be able to make out something he says? Will he be awake? Will he be drooling?   Does it matter? He isn’t going to miraculously emerge as his old self, able to carry on the exchanges we held just a year ago. It is exhausting and mentally handicapping.

There have been conversations with friends that have naturally touched on the inevitable subject of me moving on. Taken out of context, it seems cold, deceitful, shallow…. pick your adjective. But, sometimes, as we all know, conversations evolve from one thing to another and things are said that upon looking back might be regretted or just simply a little shocking that the words came out. But at the time, the subject matter came with ease and without malice.

But there it is. I suppose if I were a typical Alzheimer’s wife, in later years, the topic might not be broached. But I am 46, with what I am told are plenty of good years ahead of me. Hard for me to see it. Hard for me to see past the next 5 minutes, let alone years from now. The thought of trying to start a new relationship not only overwhelms me, it makes me a little sick to my stomach. The thought of trying to explain to someone all that our family has endured, the introductions to friends, the awkward getting to know you stages….ughhh! That is why I married Jim and stayed married to Jim (among other reasons). I was done with the whole dating scene. And now there are apps for dating and websites and social media…good grief. And introducing them to the kids and meeting their kids and all of it just makes me want to crawl in a hole.

Truth be told, I often refer back to many articles and notions pertaining to being single and thriving. Why do I need a man? I am capable all on my own. I can be a single mom. I can go to a movie by myself, enjoy a meal solo and even travel wherever and whenever I want. Right? Where is it written I have to ever find someone? Somewhere along the way it is engrained in our very being: You should be with someone. You should want to be with someone. You have less value if you aren’t partnered.

I don’t have time. I am taking the kids to an activity literally 6 or 7 days a week. Almost every night is spent at a practice or a ball game. And I am fine with that. I love watching them and it gets me up and out of the house. I feel so lost and out of control at times and just keeping my life simple seems about all I can manage. Our house is small, but sometimes can seem so empty and vast. I would be lying if I said the thought had never entered my mind. Finding someone new. But just like the fleeting thought of wanting it to all be over, it is superficial and without merit. It isn’t a replacement for Jim I long for. A hand to hold. A laugh to share. A book to discuss. It is Jim and our collective life I seek to find again. The connection I long for cannot and will not be found in another….yet it is so easy to think in terms of wanting to have that all again. When I delve deeper, there isn’t another I picture…it is the memories with Jim I ache to recreate and hold steadfastly onto so I don’t forget them too.

Obviously, I am not “ready”.

I look in the mirror in our bathroom after getting out of the shower. My nakedness reflected back to me, with changes showing each year.

Jim saw me before the wrinkles. Before the cellulite. He saw two children born from this body. He saw me before the gray hair. He saw the youth and the beauty. He saw the immaturity and waited for the personal growth. There will never be someone who saw me and loved me in the same capacity. He has seen and heard me at my all time worst moments. When I was tired, hungry, frustrated, mad or acting like an ass for no apparent reason. He saw the real me. And he stayed. He never waivered. He loved me and continues to love me with every single fault and horrible thing he has witnessed from me for the past 20 years. We built traditions with our children. We fought through times of hurt and miscommunications. We struggled. He chose me. And continued to choose me year after year. We trusted each other. Trust. He still trusts me. In a world of throw away relationships, we have held together for better and for worse.

Our vows said to have and to hold in sickness and in health. For richer and for poorer. ‘Til death do us part.

There is no need to find anyone else to cover those things. I’ve covered them all with Jim. There is nothing left. Nothing left to give.

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (16)

An Update

I have a new post to share, but first I just wanted to update you.

  1. We have secured a way for Jim’s wishes to be adhered to by having his brain donated upon his death. Getting this finalized was a huge weight off my shoulders. When the time comes, plans are in place and he will be continuing to contribute to finding a cure through Johns Hopkins. Thank you to everyone who sent information to aid us in our search.
  2. Thank you as well for your votes and your support during Healthline’s 2015 Best Blog Contest. We placed 3rd and I am pleased to say the $500 prize money will benefit other dementia caregivers through The Garner Foundation. I appreciate all of your help and your daily voting. Thank you!!!
  3. Jim is now receiving Hospice care two days a week. I will not go into much detail at this moment, but it has been a good choice and has helped our family and Jim tremendously. I will discuss this with greater detail in the future.
  4. Jim is still Jim. He is loving and full of hugs and smiles most days. This disease cannot take away his soul. He is a kind and loving man and it still shines through. Some days it is easier to see.
  5. I am editing a post and will publish it shortly.

Thank you all for your continued readership and for sharing this journey with our family. Your kind words help in so many ways. I am grateful.

posted by Karen in Uncategorized and have Comments (3)

Call to Action


Recently, I was honored to be nominated as one of Healthine’s top health blogs of 2015. Whoa. Me? Missing Jim? That is pretty amazing stuff considering all of the informative and well done blogs out there.

As of the moment I am typing this,  Missing Jim is in third place. Which isn’t too shabby. Guess what? The blog in second place is also discussing Alzheimer’s Disease. So currently 2 out of the top 3 blogs are dealing with this Hellish Disease. So, either way, it is a win for us all. I encourage you to take a look at some of the other blogs. There are amazing writers sharing lots of information dealing with a wide range of health topics. If something is ailing you, this is a one stop shop to find some support.

That being said, I need your help. Please click here Healthline Blog Contest and vote for Missing Jim. You can vote once every 24 hours, once through Face Book and once through Twitter. (So technically, you could vote twice a day) The contest ends on January 21. Eight days.

There is even a prize…. $1,000 to the top dog and $500 to the two runner ups. Should I be fortunate enough to place in the top 3, the prize money will go to The Garner Foundationwhich helps dementia caregivers. 

The kids have been keeping track and remind me daily to vote and ask how we are doing. We are a competitive family….

Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to vote. Please share as well. I am sure you have friends who would be willing to vote too.  As always, thank you for your continued support of our family.

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have No Comments