Remembering Mom

By Jamie Saunders

When Pamela Mazur looks back on her childhood, she remembers her mother, Charlotte Ann Parker at the center of it all. “Mom raised us mostly as a single parent and worked full time. We didn’t have much money for vacations and extras, but she was always there. She took us often to the lake with peanut butter sandwiches or coached our softball team. She played the piano in church and took us to nursing homes to sing. We didn’t realize we weren’t rich in money, as we always ended up with what we needed.”

When her mom was diagnosed at 69, she lived with Pamela’s sister until her passing. “We all cared for her. She became completely bed bound in her last 9 months of life. It took us, our husbands, friends, and a part-time caregiver to take care of her. It was a tremendous effort, but worth it.”

“I don’t believe until you are impacted by an illness, you understand the devastation it can bring. What stands out the most with Mom’s journey is the loss of communication, recognition, movement, and longevity. She didn’t know who we were at times. It’s so sad when your loved one walks into the room and looks at their family with fear on their face because they are lost and don’t recognize you. It was hard to watch her struggle to recall the words she’s trying to use, when she can no longer walk, stand, or feed herself.”

Pamela finds many ways to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. “I host an annual karaoke night at a local restaurant that is always fun! I’ve raffled off an afghan that a friend made. As former event chair, I tried to attend any functions our teams were having; yard sales, car washes, etc.”

This will be Pamela’s third year participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Augusta, Georgia. She walks to honor her mother and to find a cure.  “Unlike some diseases, Alzheimer’s doesn’t always have a time frame associated with it. Our Aunt lived 10 years like this. The only way that we can find a cure for Alzheimer’s is to finance it. This is why we chose to participate in the walk.”

To learn more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit georgiawalk.org

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