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So I have chosen to run a marathon - mad, I know! It's just something I feel the need to do, whilst I can do it and I am doing it in memory of my sweet Dad and raising money for The Alzheimer's Society. Seeing my Dad fight the cruelty of Dementia in his last few years, made me realise how important it is to treasure the time you have with family, do things in the moment and embrace your life and all it throws at you whilst you can, before you or a loved one loses who they once were. I really had no idea how much the effect of Dementia can ripple through a family, even to the younger members. It really brought things home to me when my daughter Sophie, who was 12 at the time, wrote this poem in her English lesson. I feel she captured the way Dementia took hold of my Dad so accurately, the good days and the bad.
Regret, by Sophie Ellis
I miss you, I miss your smile, I miss your contagious laugh.
I miss your brightening presence, I miss you.
I remember how blissful my mum was when she saw your cheeks touching the sky, your mood happier than ever.
I remember how heartbroken my family was when you were blue.
I remember how lost and frozen we were, when you had to go.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry I didn't see you as much as I could have.
I'm sorry I didn't share my vocals with you as much as I could have.
I'm sorry I wasn't as grateful as I should have been. I'm sorry.
When your memory started withering away, I knew, we knew we were losing you - but you didn't which I suppose is a good thing, for you. You couldn't see our pain, even though it was our shadow.
It was to the point where you couldn't remember the graceful words that had just left your mouth.
Yet there were still some days where you remembered like you were back in youth.
Things like when you would take steps through your magnificent garden, full of remarkable plants.
Then ..... there were days where you would forget me, my sister, even my mum. I could see her heart shatter in her eyes.
This isn't your fault. No way near is it your fault, not one bit.
Just know and I hope you don't forget,
I love you Grandad, I miss you.
Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. They provide information and support, fund research and are creating a more dementia-friendly society so people with the condition can live without fear and prejudice.
Please help me to help others who's lives are being effected by Dementia, so they can have the support and awareness that is needed - thank you so much.
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