Monday, November 17, 2008

Carnival of Genealogy, 60th Edition

Welcome to the November 18, 2008 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. The topic for this edition is: Alzheimer's Disease. November is Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and this edition is dedicated to our friends and family members who have suffered or are suffering from this mentally debilitating disease and the care givers whose task it is to do for them what they cannot do for themselves.

It's not easy to talk about Alzheimer's Disease or write about it either for that matter. And it's especially hard to share the unpleasantness our loved ones have gone through with complete strangers in such an open forum. The natural tendency is to protect and keep private the ugly memories in favor of happier ones. But Alzheimer's Disease won't be researched and cures won't be found by keeping the monster behind a curtain. So in this month of Alzheimer's Disease Awareness, I salute those who have chosen to write about this very difficult subject. I'll bet if you asked the authors, they'd tell you it was one of if not the most challenging COG topic they've ever taken on. Kudos to you my friends. You did a fine job of writing on this very difficult topic.

Midge Frazel starts us off with Saying Goodbye posted at Granite in My Blood, saying, "Women in my family live a very long time, but we suffer from dementia. Am I the next one to have this disease?" I share your fears, Midge. Thank you for sharing your mother's story. Very touching.

Next, Thomas MacEntee presents Destination: Austin Family: Alzheimer’s Disease – A Duty and A Toll posted at Destination: Austin Family, saying, "This blog, Destination: Austin Family, began as an outlet for me as I dealt with my mother's early onset Alzheimer's Disease which began in 2000 when Mom was 59. Now after eight years and towards the end of the journey, I hope I can explain what it is like to go through that "long goodbye" and to what a death in slow motion." I first "discovered" Thomas' blog when my Google Alert for "Alzheimer's" delivered his post to my email box. I read his post and felt an immediate kinship with him. Don't read this one without a tissue.

Randy Seaver shares Touched by Alzheimer's Disease posted at Genea-Musings, saying, "Randy's life has been touched by Alzheimer's, and he is saddened by the experience. Wary, too, of the future." Randy's love for his grandmother is evident in this very moving piece about her journey down that long and winding road that is Alzheimer's Disease. He has a way with words, a way that touches hearts. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Randy.

Sharon Klein presents Questionable Cause of Death posted at Genealogy, saying, "questioning whether Alzheimer's was really the cause of death". Ah, Sharon, I know only too well about those bad habits (from personal experience!). This is a story with a good lesson for all of us who should make life style changes but haven't. You did a beautiful job of telling this meaninful story diplomatically, Sharon. Perhaps some of us will learn from it. Wouldn't that be great?! Thank you for sharing.

Linda Stienstra presents We Called Her "Grandma Forgetful" posted at From Axer to Ziegler, saying, "In those days, we hadn't heard of Alzheimers. We called it "Hardening of the Arteries," and my favorite grandmother was a victim of it. This is in tribute to her, Grandma Forgetful." This is a very lovely tribute, very touching, very heartfelt. I could connect to Linda's story of Nellie on so many levels. Thank you for sharing her with us, Linda.

Wendy Littrell presents Senior Moments posted at All My Branches Genealogy, saying, "Although my family hasn't been afflicted with this debilitating illness, my heart goes out to anyone suffering with this or through this. Here are my thoughts and feelings about this topic." Wendy writes a thoughtful article about her experiences with Alzheimer's from a more distant point of view, outside observer. Good information and good advice here! Thank you for writing on this important topic, Wendy.

William Morgan presents November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month posted at The sock in the dryer. " Excellent, excellent lessons learned and shared here. This man knoweth the socks of which he speaks. Thank you for writing about AD this month and sharing it with us, William. We are kindred souls.

Jasia presents Remembering Those With Alzheimer's Disease posted at Creative Gene. I've known so many who have been afflicted with AD. I fear for my own future and pray for a cure.

Smallest Leaf presents My grandfather's memory: Alzheimer's in my family posted at A light that shines again, saying, "Alzheimer's is never a welcome guest into the life of any family. In this Alzheimer's Awareness Month, I take the time to remember my grandfather's struggles with the disease and offer some resource links for those giving care to others affected by it." Lisa shares her memories of her grandfather's struggle with Alzheimer's Disease very tenderly. I'm sure he would be pleased to be remembered so well, Lisa. Thank you for sharing your memories of him with us and for sharing some great resouces for AD patient care givers and family members.

And footnoteMaven presents One Of The Few Times I Saw My Father Cry! posted at footnoteMaven, saying, "I selected this image for the Alzheimer's Awareness Month poster because it reminded me of my father, head in hand after one of the phone calls." Oh how close to home fM's post hits. I remember the tears, the pain, the sadness. There's an overwhelming sense of frustration from wanting to do something to make things better but not being able to. Read her post and you'll understand. Thank you for sharing your family story and your poster with us, fM.

If you know someone suffering with Alzheimer's Disease and you'd like information and help understanding and coping with it, contact the Alzheimer's Association at There is also a wonderful blog for those who want to learn more about AD and how to cope as a care giver. Alzheimer's Notes is a blog I read daily. It's very well written and very uplifting.

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Please remember those with Alzheimer's Disease and their care givers in your prayers.

And now it's time for a Call For Submissions! The topic for the next edition of the COG will be: Traditions! defines "tradition" as, "the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, esp. by word of mouth or by practice." Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah are right around the corner and are typically rich with tradition. Other religious and family traditions go on throughout the year. What traditions were passed on to you from an earlier generation? Do you keep those traditions? What tradition(s) will you or have you passed on to a younger generation? Do you think they will keep it up? Do you care if they do? Hat tip to Wendy for this idea. She wrote about traditions a while back and inspired me to make it a holiday edition of the COG!

Write about your traditions and submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. The deadline for submissions is December 1st. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Thank you!

Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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