POWERFUL & INSPIRED VIDEO + LETTER:
“The granddaughter of a conqueror” confronts Alzheimer’s with clear passion, letting it know how boldly a loving family can rise above its challenge.
An Open Letter to Alzheimer’s
You are exactly what they call you, a disease. you are a disordered array of sickness, an abnormality, an upset, an affliction and i have watched you invade places and one of the most precious spaces where you were never invited. i watched you grow and gain traction, i have watched you create change and take over things you were never meant to have power over. the thing is, you probably feel pretty powerful, don’t you? because as you spread you take more control and we’ve never found your beginning, and we also haven’t figure out how to stop you. i have watched you take away memory, i have watched you rob speech, you have stolen functionality, and invaded safe places where you were never welcomed. you are a thief and a criminal, a robber and a cheater. you are a misery and a defect and a plague. i’ll give you those.
but, here is what you are not: a conqueror. you are not a winner. and you don’t get the last say.
you may manipulate and invade but even your power, and i will admit it, you’re very powerful. even your power can’t possibly stand even a chance in the light of love. you shrink like the coward you are. because the places and memories you thought you stole, the places you thought you had power over, the change you thought you created, was only a mere illusion.
what memories you stole from her were also held in us.
what speech you thought you robbed, we found a way to voice.
what ailment you thought you created, we learned to adjust to.
we learned to lift when she could no longer lift herself.
we learned to care for her the way she couldn’t anymore.
all-prevailing force you have no power over
is the love we have for her.
because whatever part of her you thought you took, we carried.
i saw your power melt in the face of seemingly simple things like a vanilla ice cream cone. even your invasive nature couldn’t compare to the creamy goodness, and the way it sparked a distant but very present delight in her eyes, the way it triggered the different fibers that made up her being. i saw your disarray vanish when she came face to face with the people she held dear, you’re right she couldn’t always say it, but she felt it. she knew when her kids came near. she knew that they weren’t merely another face, but the ones she raised. i think a lot of doctors have fallen for your façade, i too, at some points fell a victim to it: we give you way too much credit. i saw your power dissolve every time she saw me and giggled in a sort of remembrance. also not to burst your bubble, but i think your plan backfired; because where you meant to cause chaos i watched her children rise up and lock arms tighter than ever. and where you meant to cause division and disorder, i watched them empty themselves and stand stronger than ever. see what you meant to break down, only caused them to all the more rise up. her kids spent and cherished more days with her than they would have had she been fully functioning, and i know that wasn’t your plan. i mean i for one did, i spent hours and hours with her solely because she needed me. i got to hold her hand as she took some of her last steps, the same way she held mine when i took some of my first. and
we got to learn patience, and
we got to learn to cherish, and
we got to learn what it looks like to rejoice in life after this earth.
because you did that, you know? what you meant for your power, in turn only showed how fleeting and weak and failing you are. because just in case you didn’t know,
you don’t get to go with her after this life.
you don’t get to follow her into eternity,
you don’t get to win.
she will have clarity soon and she will be face to face with her creator and He will wipe you clear the second she forsakes her earthy body, and with it you will go. with it you will fade, with it you are the only one who dies. see, you are not a conqueror. and did i mention i don’t like you? incase i forgot to tell you i don’t like you at all. but despite all the pain you caused, love lifted us all the more.
you gave us a reason to grieve, but you also gave us a reason to fight. and
you gave us a reason to mourn, but you also gave us a reason to rejoice.
and you’ve probably noticed this by now but you chose the wrong cracker to mess with. did you notice how she never gave up her fight? she is resilient, and that’s the thing, she has left that fight in all of us.
that sweetness in the form of a tapping of her hand or the nodding of her head.
the laugh you weren’t ever able to take away, and
did you notice how just when you thought you had stolen a memory or a trait, it was protected and maintained through one of her sweet children? did you notice her army? those six scared you didn’t they? for they never shied away, nor cowered. confusing right? you think disease would destroy, but love conquers all. they love her so much that no matter how much you take they will give all the more. for what she no longer has the strength to carry, they picked up. and the places she had to let up, they never gave up. and though we may not know your beginning, we know your ending. and though we can’t figure out how to stop you here, you don’t even have a place there. there as in heaven, there as in the dwelling place for creator and creation, there as in the place where you cannot even dare show your face, so go back to hell where you came from because you lose.
oh and ps stay the heck away from my mom, because you don’t even want to try and mess with my dad, he will never give up.
the granddaughter of a conqueror
- Written by Kayley Odom.