I participated in training to be a speaker for our local Central Virginia Alzheimer Association. The reason? For my Mom, Judy Katherine Maino. My mother passed away over 5 years ago from complications with Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed at 58 and passed at 63 years of age. It was a brutal life experience for myself and my entire family. Knowing how crucial it is to continue research to fight this horrible disease, I wanted to do something in her memory.
Trying to build a new business and having 2 daughters still somewhat financially depend on me, it isn’t possible for me to donate monetarily as I would like. My gentleman suggested volunteering my time which is a great idea! The only problem is…I’m trying to get a new business off the ground (yes, I know I’m redundant) and time is as valuable as the dollar it produces. Since I have experience in public speaking he suggested I follow that path! Made totally sense to me.
I have my first speaking event on July 19th. Presenting and speaking on marketing ideas…I am at ease. I just hope I can maintain my emotions while striving to do some good for this organization. I want to make my sisters and father proud knowing I’m adding to the benefits of the cause. Not to mention it’s all for my Mom. Be with me Mom…help me intelligently and with passion educate people about this disease.
This entry is a bit late in coming or I’ve just found the emotional strength to share it. My youngest daughter Courtney is now happily spending her days at JMU. She is a college student with the workload to prove it. But back in June came that one in a lifetime moment, high school graduation. She spent the last 2 years an incredible school here in Charlottesville called Renaissance School. It was a school that without doubt changed Courtney’s life.
The graduation took place in colonial square on a beautiful sunny afternoon outdoors. The event was intimate and warm with a whisper of pomp and circumstance. I could image no more fitting moment in her life conducted in such a way to begin forging her future. Her graduation, as with her sister Lindsay, is very precious to me. The graduating class only had 11 seniors moving on so each of the graduates were able to speak.
There are rare moments in a mothers life that make all the sacrifice, frustration and insanity worth every breath! My true desire as a mother is in the heightened moments of sheer joy and accomplishment or crashing devastation that occurs in my daughters lives (and everything in between) they will look to me and whisper a simple sentiment….”you made a positive difference in my life!” We as mothers hold ourselves to standards that may be unrealistic but in my opinion…nothing less than what my daughters deserve. If we are lucky our children can see beyond their own needs and recognize the fullness of unselfish love that has been the transparent bridge that they walk daily. Courtney’s graduation was such a day…..
As most late end baby boomers I listened to and loved Michael Jackson’s music. His earlier albums more than his latest but I still liked his sound. It made you move and want to dance! Like most of you I was shocked to hear of his passing. I may not weep in the streets or take flowers to his childhood home, but there was a connection to my young adult years from his music. Knowing he’s gone brings sadness.
I struggled with the morality and truth of the decisions he made in his adult life. I felt betrayed that the memory of what he was to so many was now tainted. But I hope his legacy will be about the music more so than the strangeness. His music was enjoyed by so many and grounds were broken by his stardom.
My daughter Lindsay called to see if I had heard. In dance classes they both warmed their muscles and enveloped new steps to the sounds of “Beat It”, “Jam”, “Billie Jean” and others. “Thriller” was used more than once in their dance recitals and usually as the finale dance! They both enjoyed his music. Hearing Lindsay stunned learning of his death expresses the depth of his reach and influence.
I will always remember Michael Jackson as he looked during the Thriller album. When I think of him….my minds-eye will gaze there! You will be missed!