Sunday, September 22, 2013

Don't take it personally, she said

"Don't take it personally," she said.

Today, I was raising money for Alzheimer's Awareness through a raffle, asking as little as $1 for two chances at a lovely custom portrait.

To those of you who donated without even thinking twice about it, thank you from the bottom of my heart. To those of you who donated and refused to put your name in the hat ("let somebody else win"), I love you. To those who donated above and beyond, you're an angel and I'm blessed to know you.

And then....

"Don't take it personally," she said.

....there's you. The person who calls herself my friend, yet wouldn't look me in the eye when I told you about the raffle. The person who never asks how my Dad is doing, but bends my ear relentlessly about her loved ones. The one who never hesitates to ask me when her kids are selling cookies, or she's walking in some event, or the Scouts are raising money, or she's trying to raise tuition for an art class, or her friends' cousin's spouse's niece needs money to pay her bills.

And didn't I always respond?

Today, you wouldn't look me in the eye. And you didn't put a dollar in the jar.

That hurt.

When I mentioned this to another friend this evening, she said, "Don't take it personally. It will eat you alive."

Don't take it personally? This is my father we're talking about. And my cousin, Mary. And my friends Barbara, and Janet, and Evelyn, and Eleanor, and Charlie. And their caregiver children, Missy, and Mary Alice, and Sue, and Maggie, and Gail. These are all people I love, and they are all suffering because of Alzheimer's.

And I am, too, in case you hadn't noticed.

Don't take it personally?

You're damn right I will.

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