Decades of Love and Memories – My Walk Story

By Brittany Combs

Alzheimer’s was never a foreign concept to me, I believe I first learned about it from watching the Notebook. It was a disease I knew very little about until I started working in an assisted living home then experienced it first hand with my Nanny (Grandmother). Still today I wouldn’t say I am an expert on the subject but I know it is a cause I want to support.

My story begins on April 2nd when I was born to Brian and Joy, as a young child we only lived about an hour away from my dad’s side of the family therefore I remember spending many summers and holidays at my Nanny’s house. The whole family would gather together for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter where no one would leave hungry because Nanny would be cooking from dawn to dusk to ensure we were all full! My favorite was her homemade chocolate chip cookies, still warm from the oven! Or her homemade noodles, for chicken and noodles. I loved stealing the raw dough and remember her always telling me not to consume that; I never listened haha

When your birthday rolled around you better believe she was there with a homemade cake of your favorite movie character! I remember she made me the coolest Barbie cake with an actual doll inside and the cake shaped as her dress!

My Nanny dedicated her life to her family and friends. If anyone was in need she would be there to lend a hand. Or when my parents grew tired of me, Nanny would graciously pick me up and drive us back to her house where she would tell me stories and that I was her favorite granddaughter!

So many memories were made in that house as the years passed by; up until my parents and I moved out of the country and then later on to Tennessee. Being over 300 miles away, there were not as many opportunities to visit and by the time I started college, Nanny was starting to show signs of memory loss.

However, The light in Nanny never flickered nor dulled. Even towards the end as the disease progressed through her body and mind, there was always a spark in her eye or an excited tone in her voice when I visited or called.

Though she did not live a lavish life, she had all she needed. The love and support of her family and friends. Being only 1 of 2 grandparents I ever knew, Nanny was truly someone I cherished and was blessed to have in my life.

She passed away in July 2020, I remember I was on a girls trip in Nashville when I got the call. My only regret was that I never had the opportunity to call the assisted living home to say goodbye.

Looking back though, the one true blessing that I thank God for every day was that my mom and I had the opportunity to drive up to Indiana March 2020, one week before the world shut down with Covid. Neither of us realizing that would be the last time we would see her.

Nanny, the times we spent together on Earth will never be enough but I will cherish all the love we shared because it was in that love where memories were made and those memories can never be taken away.

Her death will always cause heartache and leave a little sting, but my faith in God allows me to have hope that I will see her again someday.

Brittany is participating in the Atlanta Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Saturday. To donate to her team, visit BMC Designs. Or start a Walk team, visit

Published by ALZGA

Sr. Director, Marketing and Communications

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