Heidi Webb Walks for Ruthie

November 23, 2015 – Every year the Alzheimer’s Association hosts over 600 Walks To End Alzheimer’s. Our goal is to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, programs, and care. But, what makes these events so special are our Walkers. They share our hopes and they walk with us for a future without Alzheimer’s. Heidi Webb from Ormond Beach, shares her memories of her mother along with why she Walks to End Alzheimer’s. Join us this holiday season in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Even though Walk to End Alzheimer’s season is over, it’s not too late to help! Visit www.alz.org/join_the_cause_donate.asp for more information.

“I walk for Ruthie. Ruthie was my mom. But she became Ruthie once she forgot she was Mom. People thought it very tragic that my Mom couldn’t remember me anymore, but I happily traded my Mom knowing me for my Mom no longer knowing she had Alzheimer’s disease. One day she quietly slipped from the horror of knowing what she was losing, to that place where it was just all gone. Seth Rogen said, “I think until you see it [Alzheimer’s] first hand, it’s kind of hard to conceive how brutal it is.” That is one of the more poignant things I’ve ever read.

Ruthie was an amazing woman. Kind, Patient, Loved to cook. I will always remember her in the kitchen with a festive apron doing what she loved. My mom won recipe contests in the 60s, made flaming desserts at dinner parties in the 70s, my favorite meal “Chicken like a Turkey” for every birthday I ever had. I remember little signs like uncooked potatoes in the soup, and the stove not turned on or off. This evolved into my sitting with her , handing her each ingredient and reading the recipe line by line so she could still make a pie. I remember her picking blueberries for hours with the kids. I remember her sitting and chopping or some other small task so she could still be in the kitchen and part of what she loved. I remember the small dignities we tried to preserve.

I also remember her wrapping her arms around my neck and sobbing because she was just so scared. I remember searching the neighborhood in the rain because she walked off. I remember feeding her when she forgot how. I remember her completely catatonic as I held her hand, singing Amazing Grace as she passed on. I’ve since walked with friends whose loved ones were taken by Alzheimer’s, sparing them the stories of the horror we endured, and helping them to choose laughing over crying, small joys over tragedy. I remember all of it and that’s why I walk. I walk so that we WILL find a cure. So that our children might not have to care for us and so that on my last breath, I’ll still know who I am and who are you, too.”

Heidi Webb, Ormond Beach