Posted by: silverstar98121 | September 15, 2008

The Purple Patch

You may notice a purple patch with a name on it over to the right. The patch is part of a virtual quilt, part of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. The name is that of my mother’s mother, my grandmother, who died of, or rather with, Alzheimer’s. It was slow coming on, but eventually we noticed that she couldn’t remember things. There used to be Gift Stars that you could collect for money and prizes. She saved them for church. But she never could remember how many there were, and so she would count them day after day. And then she started to leave the stove on. Eventually, after an illness, she ended up in a nursing home. Unfortunately, in those days, before 1980, we didn’t even have a name for what was wrong with her. And nursing homes didn’t know much about caring for people with Alzheimer’s. It seems like it was rarer in those days.

I would go to visit her, and half the time she wouldn’t remember me. Strangely, she would remember my dogs. We had two black Cocker Spaniels in those days. And somewhere in the conversation she would ask, “And how are your two little black dogs?” Why she remembered that, I have no idea.

My sister is the quilter, I’m not. I’m the blogger. But she asked me to make this patch, and so I did. September 21st is World Alzheimer’s Day. It is a time to remember those who have lost their lives piece by piece. And so we remember them, piece by piece.

Oh, and since her birthday is a couple days after that, Happy Birthday, Grandma, whereever you are.


  1. My friend’s mother makes the most gorgeous quilts. They can be an incredibly expressive artform, hey?

  2. september 21st will be a busy day at the gimcrack

  3. my grandmother, as well, developed Alzheimer’s late in life and ended up going to…and dying in…a nursing home. it was very saddening to see this woman who was so vibrant and mentally spry forget all of us. but, she always smiled when she saw us… ever polite… i will hold Sep 21 in her memory, thanks to you…

  4. Nice idea, Silverstar.

  5. Dolce- yes they can be expressive, and the really artsy or old ones sell for mega bucks.

    Nurse Myra- I imagine it will be busy. Are you having special things going on?

    Gnu- it’s hard to watch, isn’t it? Grandma’s father also seems to have had Alzheimer’s at the end of his life. My mother may have escaped it by dying of heart disease. On the other hand, her two brothers that are still living seem to still be intact in their late 70’s early 80’s.

    AZ, I owe it to my sister, who brought the link to me. And is making IRL quilt patches for the Alzheimer’s quilt.

  6. […] her $1000 pledge. She will have a couple more up sometime soon, as she has just finished them. As I mentioned last year, my mother’s mother died with Alzheimer’s. It won’t kill you, but it makes you […]

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