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YOU ONLY GOT ONE: Foto Story on Short-Term Memory Loss

Brian B Price | New Jersey, United States

PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY: Sher’on Hall, Carol’s daughter help celebrates Carol’s 70th Birthday with a a party and friends at the Black United Fund Hall in Plainfield on September 29, 2012. In 2016 Hall began showing signs of dementia. On Sunday, July 19, 2020 Hall lost her fight with the disease. (Brian B Price/TheFotoDesk)

PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY: In mid 2016, Carol Hall developed Alzheimer symptoms and through a series of tests in 2018, she was diagnosed with dementia.

In the last four years of Carol’s life her daughter Sher’on became her care giver and provider. During Carol’s time of suffering she was fortunate enough to live at home with constant family support known as “Team Graham.”

There were many challenges to Carol’s well being—balance, loosing appetite, weight loss, communications, strokes, loss of sight, organ failure, inaudible utterances, insomnia.“Mom would walk around at night sometimes wanting to leave the house, We had to lock doors, put up video monitors. Watching mom was l like looking after a toddler.

Not only did Carol provide love and care for her family, she touched so many lives as a community volunteer and was loved and recognized by hundreds of folks. In fact, a family donated to the Arbor Day Foundation as a tribute to plant 25 trees in her memory. Carol passed in July 2020 from dementia.

This was a tough story to document. Here she was this giant of a woman who asked for nothing but gave so much to so many, who never let you down, Who was there on the first pitch, the first class, the first scrape of the knee, the high school and college graduations and so on down the line.

And one day she to me I can't find the keys to the truck. She lost them three more times, Before they were found in the other car some weeks later.

At first we didn't pay much attention to the effect of the lost keys until a church member called my sister and said carol is not remembering where she is. Ultimately we did get mom checked out and dementia was confirmed in her.<>

The difficulty was seeing how my mighty mom, a giant of a woman and wondrous person could succumb to this debilitating disease.<>

Another degree of difficulty is that mom did not want any meds, a DNR was in place. But for sister reminding me of mom’s will and choice I might have not seen mom’s life from her POV.<>

So the words of the Intruders: I’ll Always Love My Mama, 2PAC’s “Dear Mama” and Boys to Men “A Song For Mama” began to hit home and sink in.<>

I began to let go. So while she could still hear me I said mom I don’t remember you ever putting me in harms way any wrong doing to me but just in case I forgive you and please forgive for any of my foul-ups. She responded with relief and joy.

Finally as an “Angel Got Her Wings” I remembered the story about success and failure of the two soldiers on the medieval battlefield fighting for their king and both were mortally wounded.<>

One soldier is saying I’m dying and that this is the worst thing that could ever happen to me, I don’t want to be here I hate my king, it’s so unfair, my family is going go starve or the king will sell them off!!<>

While the other soldier, who is also dying, is exclaiming this is a good day to die, Tonight I’ll be in Valhalla with my ancestors living in eternity, family will be there, they’ll be proud of me, we’ll be drinking brew and telling stories of past victories singing songs and my children will receive their inheritance and shout my name for generations.<>

And becasue mom was a successful woman through and through.  She left behind good will, her name and good will for her children.

Brian B Price




Thefotodesk 1030 Central AVe Plainfield, NJ 07060

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