Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

Al Chimers, eh?

This story made my Grandpa cry when it was printed in his local newspaper. It made me very nostalgic; it reminds me of baking cornbread with my grandmother back when I was really little, before her stroke and definitely before the Alzheimer's.

Sometimes Grandma Goofs

Grandma make the best triple chocolate cake. I get to lick the spoon.
Sometimes she reads to me. I try to read to her, too.
She pushes me on the swing. I get to fly really high.
But sometimes Grandma goofs.
She does funny things like put her socks in the fridge.
One day she put a book in the bird cage. The bird sat on it.
She even asked me to put the car in the garage.
She asked me to take the dog out of the bathtub.
She doesn’t have a dog. Or a bathtub. Just a shower. And a cat.
Sometimes Grandma looks at me like she doesn’t know who I am.
So, we took Grandma to the doctor.
The Doctor says Grandma has a disease named after somebody called “Al Chimers.” It’s a hard name to remember, so I call it Al’s disease.
The doctor says he treats many people with the same disease.
I worry that I may catch it, but the doctor says it isn’t catching.
He says it can happen to anybody, especially as they grow older.
They can’t remember things.
It’s hard for them. If they go for a walk, they could get lost.
If they just ate dinner, they might not know it.
It must be very hard for people who have this disease. It’s hard for me and especially hard for my mom.
What if my mom and dad get it?
I will take care of them. That’s what families are for.
Mom and Dad take really good care of Grandma.
I will take care of them. That’s what families are for.
Mom and Dad take really good care of Grandma.
I’m learning to take care of Grandma, too.
Even though Grandma has Al’s disease, she still bakes the best triple chocolate cake.
Today she forgot to put in the chocolate.
So I helped and put it in for her.
It was the best triple chocolate cake in the world.
If Grandma doesn’t remember baking it, maybe she will bake another one. And then another and another.
And I will keep adding the chocolate!

(The story is by Patricia Rust and first appeared in the Los Angeles Times on 8 Jul 2001. It is considered a classic description from a child’s perspective of the disease Dr. Alois Alzheimer first described in 1906. For more information, go to )
Tags: grandparents

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