I RUN2REVIVE in memory of my grandmother, Clara Hodson, my father-in-law, T.J. Jarrett, and the countless others afflicted with and /or affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Clara Hodson was my mother’s mother, my “Gaga”, as we called her. A truly sweet woman with a sharp wit and a laugh that would infect the whole room. She was as every grandmother should be, supportive and encouraging, and always had candy in a jar on the coffee table. She loved flowers and her yard was full of color and fragrance. I learned to appreciate iris’, wisteria and peonies, by mowing her lawn, which I was willing to do because she always overpaid me.
Her journey through Alzheimer’s was while I was away at college and I didn’t see the day-to-day deterioration of her memories. I just recall her not knowing where she was in her own home. My mother and sister would post notes all over her house telling her it was her house and that she was home. I can still hear the fear in her voice, being lost in her own home, a house she had lived in for over 40 years.
It was at that point she went into assisted living and her struggle lasted several more years. She didn’t remember who we were, but had that infectious laugh and never lost her sense of humor and would always be counted on to provide a chuckle to anyone within earshot.
Miss you Gaga.
T.J. Jarrett: a real cowboy, rancher, father of my bride, and the best father-in-law I could ever ask for. A patient man, honest to the core, who made a point to memorize people’s names and who they were. He worked at it too, before a gathering he would quiz us as to who was coming, how they were related and what they did. It was quite impressive. He never had a discouraging word to say about anyone.... although if someone else said it, he might not disagree.
I loved hanging out with T; he loved sports and we watched many games together: football, baseball and even bull riding. He was a kid at heart and was always willing to participate in whatever “us kids” were doing. I’ll always remember his advice to me on our wedding day, “patience”. Truer words were never spoken.
His journey through Alzheimer’s was different than Gaga’s, T recognized people, he just couldn’t talk, or walk. He could communicate though: with a glance, a nod, or a grin he could let you know what he was thinking. This is what provided a joy every day, even in the midst of a disease that was robbing this great man of his freedom. He would give you a look with his eyebrow cocked that let you know that he knew exactly what was happening, and he would make us laugh. He never lost his sense of humor, despite the frustration he was living.
The week before he passed as we entered the room he looked up and his eyes lit up with recognition and a smile filled his face, I’ll never forget that, he knew us and let us know he did. That week was filled with dozens of friends and family stopping by and saying goodbye, he would look up and give a slight nod, even at the end he was memorizing names.
I am a landscape painter and to raise money for Alzheimer’s I am running from rim to rim of the Grand Canyon. 100% of your donation will go towards research so any amount you can afford will be appreciated.
However; if you donate:
$250- you will receive an original 6x8 framed oil painting as a thank you from me;
$500- you will receive an original 8x10 framed oil painting as a thank you from me.
I will paint from places I’ve been: Grand Canyon, Zion, Escalante, Glacier or the Devils River. Greece, Switzerland, Italy and New Zealand are possibilities as well. Make a note with your donation and I’ll try to paint something from a particular area.
Thank you for your support with this great cause,
Help Dennis Reach his $5,000 Goal
$4,300 Raised. 86% of Goal
* donation totals are updated manually and may not immediately appear in the chart