Hello! I’m Eunice Sykes, a newcomer to the world of memory impairment maladies, e.g. dementia, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s. Several months ago, Kara, a staffer at the Alzheimer’s Atlanta, GA Office, invited me to write a blog on the Alzheimer’s website regarding my journey into the land of memory problems. She attended one of the monthly Forget Me Not luncheons that my husband Don and I attend. Another staffer, who knew I loved to write, connected me to Kara.
Please know that never in my remotest or wildest dreams would I have thought I would be in the position of a blog writer. Yet here I am. I am reminded once again to “never say never.” You see, I didn’t ask to be part of the illustrious Forget Me Not group. I was content to be a writer on the sidelines, having recently published a book called Mashed Potatoes in My Salad: An Alzheimer’s Caregiver Memoir. While writing my book, though, my interests became more than just getting a wonderful, chock full of lessons story told of a woman (not me) who has survived this journey on her own terms.
It was indeed serendipitous, providence and fate that caused this moment to bring us together. My husband Don, a retired fortune 500 electrical engineer, was recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Little did we know that was in our future. A future that twenty years old that gave me the opportunity to meet and marry the “best husband I’ve ever had.”
Now, because of Don’s illness, I, we, get to be in the midst of a world of courageous, understanding, compassionate, knowledgeable, funny, and resourceful people that I’ve grown to love and admire. With this group, I don’t feel so alone, so afraid, and I can keep things in perspective. Doesn’t God have an interesting sense of humor?!
Over time, I hope to provide a voice of care partner and of Don. My goal is to apply good humor and good writing skills to a message that encourages, inspires and informs. Until next time, I am courageously…
Discovering what’s next!
A writer all her life, Eunice is a full time author, poet, and editor. She has written and published three books: My Own Story, From Kibler’s Bridge to Miller Road: 65 Years of Christian Service in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Instant Church: My Millennium Musings (selected poems) and has edited one, Mothers of Hope.
Her fourth book, Mashed Potatoes in My Salad, published in the fall, 2014, tells the poignant story of a woman, who after several unsuccessful and abusive relationships, finally finds the man of her dreams under unlikely, risky and daring circumstances, only to end up in caregiver roles time and time again as he endures serious illnesses– including the ultimate, life taking disease Alzheimer’s.
In her spare time, Eunice chases that elusive little white ball, honing her golf skills. You can also find her leading Ebony Eyes Red Hatters, a group of lively, energetic, fun-loving women. Born in Ohio and raised in northern West Virginia, Eunice lives with her husband and soul mate Don near Atlanta, Georgia. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.