Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The 1/2 Marathon Race...

Jasper, Adam, and I finished the Wine Country 1/2 Marathon this Saturday. It was a beautiful day eventually, but only after we ran in a misting rain. I am really proud of all of us for finishing - especially Jasper since it was his first running race ever. We thought about Momonee and raised a glass of wine to her afterwards. Thank you all for your support!
Jasper & I before the race - we had to get up at 4:30 AM to make the starting time.
Adam and I post race

Jasper and I post race- he looks hard core

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A few pics of Helen with her Grandbabies

with Christine,  Jasmine,  Jasper, & Keith(?) Bryce Canyon

with Jazza 1984

on the river with Jenna1992
with Jenna 1984

with Steve, Kim, Keith, & Terri 

with Jazza camping 1984

Monday, April 25, 2011

In 2010 both my maternal and paternal grandmothers died from Alzheimer’s disease. My brother and I grew up in close contact with our maternal grandmother, whom we called Momonee. She was wonderful; both of our grandmas were warm, comforting, and accepting people. Over the last five years I witnessed Momonee’s mental decline as the disease grew more advanced. I saw her anger and confusion as she struggled to remember moments of her life, and later when she tried to remember how to eat, dress, and talk. The worst parts to watch were the sudden moments of clarity – the times she knew something was very wrong and realized that she had no control over the situation. Author Thomas DeBiaggo was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s and described the experience of the disease as “the closest thing to being eaten alive slowly.”

As the brain is slowly devoured and gradually succumbs, turning the body into an empty vessel, remembering and writing are more than difficult; they are cold receptacles emptied of content. My memories are slowly disappearing from places inhabited for so long. In themselves, my memories do not compare with the great sagas of this century, the births, deaths, tumult, madness, great art and music, and the intense suffering of so many human beings. Our immortality, such as it may be, is not contained in what we dreamed or the secrets we kept; it is how our friends and loved ones remember us. - Losing My Mind, Thomas DeBiaggo, 2003.

My brother and I want to contribute in remembering our grandmothers. After considering Momonee’s lifelong dedication to reading, writing, and learning, we decided it would be appropriate to try and raise a tribute donation for Alzheimer’s research. On May 6th we are both running the Santa Barbara Wine Country ½ Marathon in memory of our grandparents.

Please consider sponsoring us as we run to raise a tribute donation. We started a blog where family and friends can post pictures or memories. If you feel like you would like to give a little in Helen or Jean’s honor (or to support Alzheimer's research for someone else you know) please follow the “donate” button on the blog. The donations will be compiled in Jasper's paypal account and then go to Alzheimer’s research through the Alzheimer’s Association:

Link to blog:

Thank you for your support,

Jasmine & Jasper

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pictures of Jean

Grandma & Grandpa Showers in 1990

Gary with his parents 1994

All getting ready for picture 1994

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pictures of Helen

Helen around 2009

Helen with her three older sisters, mother, & father

From L to R- Ruthie, Mary, Aunt Doris, Bessie Zentz, Helen

Helen with her husband, Donald Shook

Helen with one of her children, Jane