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A Mother's Day to Remember

The Gazette Staff wishes a wonderful day to our mothers, who both have Alzheimer’s, and to all the mothers in Riverside.

Patti Crawford and Cyndi Pardee.

I have only known Justin for a short time. I met him this January when I was assigned to do a story about  Raincross Gazette for Riversider Magazine. After the article was released, we texted a few times and, eventually, met for lunch at Butch’s Grinders. We sat outside and talked about growing up in Riverside and what it meant to create Riverside-specific content. We found we have a lot in common and a deep passion for the city and the people who live here. We are both out in the community regularly, and it’s a bit odd that our paths had never crossed. The middle section of our Riversider Venn Diagram is well-populated. We, apparently, were never in there at the same time.

One of the things we have in common is that our dads are no longer around. This is a fact of our lives made more important because we both have moms with Alzheimer’s. We talked about the challenges of being a good son while balancing work and time with our own children and how important our wives have been in helping us emotionally and logistically in the difficult process of loving someone with Dementia.

I’m now on staff at Raincross Gazette and want to honor our mothers on this Mother’s Day. The day has changed quite a bit over the last few years. My mom has been in a memory care facility for a couple of years and has no patience for restaurant lines. She doesn’t really like hanging around my house much. Sometimes, she forgets who I am and introduces me as “my friend” instead of her son. My mom is a brilliant and powerful woman who accomplished a great deal. She was in education administration and worked for Riverside County, navigating the policy dilemmas that arose with the emergence of charter schools. She was a pioneer in that field. She still has an incredible sense of humor and a sense of silliness. She loves to make people laugh and smile.

Loving my mom is still easy, but it is not as simple as it used to be. Justin and I want to do something for our moms and for the mothers of our readers who may also be one of the tens of millions of Americans loving a family member with Alzheimer’s. There have been some very important advancements in understanding the disease and identifying mechanisms that may be the pathway to future treatments and, ultimately, a cure. Please consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter on behalf of our mothers and everyone living with Dementia.