Mary Carter Taub
I am very excited to be running the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2019! I will be running with Team End ALZ to support the Alzheimer's Association. This is a cause that hits close to home for my family and me. I am running in memory of my two grandparents and in honor of my mom. Please click the BLUE DONATE button at the top right and give, give, give in any cha-ching amount! Thanks so much.
I first heard the word Alzheimer’s when I was a kid. When I was five years old my papa James “Moody” Carter died of early onset Alzheimer’s at age 61. This was in the 1970s when very little was known about Alzheimer’s and it was considered a social stigma and mental illness. I mostly remember papa through photos, 8mm films and family stories. He was a gentle, sweet-natured man with a mild manner who grew up in the country. I think that my love of nature and spending time in the woods is his legacy. He will always be remembered and my daughter Anna James is named after him.
Fast forward to 2009, my granny Mary Catherine Raynor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her 80s. You can imagine the sadness my family felt. It was hard to witness granny’s steady decline from a polite Southern lady to a woman whose personality was often unrecognizable. As the disease progressed she carried a baby doll in her arms and did not know who I was. Sad is way too plain to describe the heartbreak I felt. Pre-Alzheimer’s, I have so many amazing memories related to eating delicious Southern food with my granny (for whom I am named). I will always remember sitting at the kitchen table drinking my first cup of black coffee while eating sugar cookies. I remember helping her snap string beans and shell peas, watching her fry cornbread (and taste-testing them as they came out of the pan), and drinking her famous sweet tea…made with 2 cups of sugar per gallon…perfect for a hummingbird! To this day, one of my favorite Southern meals, inspired by my granny (the original farm-to-fork cook, before that was even a thing) is butter beans and black-eyed peas topped with chopped onions and chow-chow (google it), fat back, corn bread, cucumbers in white vinegar and sliced red tomatoes. Delicious!
I wish I could say that the Alzheimer’s story has ended for my family, rather, it has hit much closer to home. Last year, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at Age 71. We had hoped that her Mild Cognitive Impairment would not progress to Alzheimer’s but no such luck. Her diagnosis has been a blow to my family but we are taking it in stride, and truthfully, what other choice do we have?
It is heartbreaking to know that my mom is stronger today than she will ever be tomorrow or anytime in the future. My family’s journey with this disease is not easy. It is a reminder to be present and love the people that matter the most because life is fragile, filled with flux, and over before we know it.
Given my family history, I would like nothing more than to never see Alzheimer’s again. Running the Boston Marathon has been a dream of mine for a long time so I am super happy to be running for such a meaningful cause—to support the Alzheimer’s Association to work towards eliminating the disease and helping all those affected. Thank you so much. #teamendALZ #bostonstrong
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DO I HAVE ANY MORE ASKS? No. Just thank you.
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