Friday, August 14, 2009

Do As You Preach

As many of you readers may already know I tend to reference Jasmine Star a lot in my posts. The reason being is not only is she an amazing photographer and person, she is also one of the smartest business people I know. Well I don't personally know her but you catch my drift. One of the many things she has taught me is that you're clients will book you because they like who you are as a person and that is what will differentiate you from other photographers. If you have read her blog it is witty, funny, and very personal. Whenever I talk to other photographers I always try to emphasize this point. I always remind them that your biggest asset is you. I mean really, you are going to photograph a couple on one of the most important days of their lives (if you are a wedding photographer). This is a huge responsibility and clients will only give this to people they trust and people they connect with.

So here's my point, I need to do what I preach and blog about myself. Something really personal. Something that gives me butterflies knowing that when I push "Publish Post" it will be out in the world of the internet for potentially millions of people to read. Ok give me a break, I know my blog isn't THAT popular ;)

A week ago tomorrow I found out that my grandfather has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. The day started off as a normal start to our weekend. Matt and I had invited his mom, her boyfriend and my parents over to have beer can chicken. The best chicken I have EVER had. Definitely recommend it :) Well the first thing she did was come over and tell me that he has officially been diagnosed with dementia and most likely Alzheimers. At this point I was still cooking and getting everything ready and since we knew he was getting these tests done I didn't really think a lot about it.

The day continued as normal. We ate, chatted, cleaned the dishes, went downtown to meet up with Matt's dad, second cousin and sister, and then came home and went to bed. The following morning, I don't remember who called who but I was talking to my mom on the phone and I had asked about the test results. She said that there were 7 stages of Alzheimers and by going through the symptoms my mom thinks he is in stage 4 already. She continued to tell me the symptoms of each stage and that is when it hit me. This is real. This is actually happening. I asked her how long it would take for him to get to stage 7 and she said they have no way of knowing. It could be 1 year, it could be 5 years. At this point I am crying in bed and Matt is trying to comfort me. My mother is super upset on the other side of the phone too and she is trying to comfort me. How do you help someone feel good after finding this out? How do you look at the bright side?

After I had calmed down I realized there is so much that I don't know about this disease and if I'm going to be positive and help out as much as I can I need to learn what exactly I'm dealing with. So this week I went to Chatpers (yet again for the billionth time in the past few months) and found their section on Alzheimers. I proceeded to look through the books that they have available. Reading the back cover, the first couple of pages, the reviews online. I decided to buy "The Alzheimer's Project: Momentum in Science" by John Hoffman and Susan Froemke and "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova.

I am hoping that after reading these books I will be able to not only understand more about Alzheimers but to be helpful with taking care of my grandfather.

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