Then, last week, the episode of Grey's Anatomy (don't judge...I love the show) had an Alzheimer's story line. I was very moved by that story and I really wanted to honor the story of those who stand by and support their loved one's struggling with a god-awful disease. But I can't write about a television character can I, and, I'm currently "lucky" enough to not know someone directly who's been in this situation.
So then this weekend, I was catching up on my DVR and the episode of CBS Sunday Morning from, wait for it - about three weeks ago - was sitting there so I said, huh, I'll watch that. And, wouldn't you know, nestled in among new features was a replay of the story that had been sitting in my head for a few weeks. The dots were connected - there are (far too many) real people who do personify the story that Grey's just happened to share. I couldn't believe that the story I had been so affected by was re-run on that very week when there was a story that I wanted to tell.
So, here's the story. I've linked it below both the video and print version. I recommend the video version. And I don't want to give too much away before you watch/ read it. But this post is to honor one Mary Nell.
These are not new sentiments that I share with you, many have talked about this far more eloquently than I, but the pain that comes along with losing one's loved one in real time to an enemy like Alzheimer's is completely unimaginable to me. When faced with this pain - the strength that one must then possess to stay. To simply stay - to suffer through the pain to give someone what they need even when they don't even know who you are is something shockingly special and bittersweet. Mary is a unique person in this story and the strength she possesses and the "new normal" she has defined for herself and those in her life truly deserves our recognition. Don't know if I could handle what Mary does, she's one amazing person. Please watch/read below:
Jan's Story (VIDEO)
Jan's Story (PRINT)