Friday, May 17, 2013


Alzheimer's is a devastating disease. It was painful for me and my family to watch my grandfather deteriorate. We must find a cure for this horrible disease. -David Hyde Pierce

My mother-in-law, Dorothy, died this morning of complications due to Alzheimer's. Her body forgot how to swallow. We got the news yesterday that she had slipped into a coma so when I heard expressed that she died quickly, it caused me to pause. Dorothy had not known anyone she loved for more than 10 years. With Alzheimer's you loose a person twice. Actually, thinking about it you loose the person you love a million times. My quilt, Shattered, was made in her honor. It's her hands in the middle with her son's, grandson's and my hands reaching out to her in love. She died the death she most feared- the death of her mother. I am just thankful for her that it's over.  

Shattered traveled with the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative's exhibit Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece exhibition for more than three years educating people on Alzheimer's and raising fund for research. Ami Simms, the director of AAQI, has done an incredible job inspiring quiltmakers to donate and purchase quilts to raise money for research. I took the $1,000 Promise and helped raise nearly $1,600.  The AAQI will be coming to an end soon. I remember when Ami called to give me the news. I am happy for her. So August 1 is the last day to donate a quilt. I hope you will join me in making a one or two. It's time to find a cure. Now go hug someone you love. I am.


  1. I am so sorry for the loss of your mother-in-law. My own mother-in-law died from the effects of Alzheimers and my mom, who will be 88 in June, is living with the everyday effects of vascular dementia. It is so true that we lose our loved ones millions of time over with this awful disease and condition. I feel destroyed every time I see my mum but uplifted when I see glimpses of the amazing woman we have always known. She bears this awful burden with patience and resignation. The final goodbye comes as a release but the loss is no less great. I wish you comfort in your loss. Your quilt is a fitting tribute. I hope the AAQI is a big success.

  2. sending loving hugs.. my father died of the result of Alzheimer's. Sad for everyone that knows them.

  3. You piece Shattered shows beautifully, how everyone is affected and feels.

  4. Sending prayers and hugs of understanding - in your post you have captured the terrible essence of what it is to share the journey with an Alzheimer's victim. I lost my mother over and over and over again before she finally drew her last breath.

    AAQI began shortly after my mom's death - making quilts and supporting Ami's amazing efforts were a huge part of my healing process. I saw your Shattered in person when the exhibit opened at Nashville ~ powerful and heartbreaking. One quilt at a time, AAQI has made a real difference and I am grateful to have been a part of it.

    Sending blessings to you and your family as you move forward day by day into this new phase of your lives . . .

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. Alzheimer's is such a terrible disease. Your quilt is indeed powerful.

  6. Karen, I'm behind in reading the blogs, but please know that you have my deepest sympathy for your loss. I understand your relief that her struggle is finally over, I felt much the same when my father passed away. I loved your story about the quilt you made for your mother-in-law - you will now have a remembrance of her that is very special. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do for AAQI, know that it is much appreciated. Sending hugs! Beth


Love comments! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.