Remembering Mom, and Alzheimer's education | Home Again


Last updated 3/5/2020 at 8:46am

Dorothy Thompson Bradbury, my mother, was a warm and devoted wife and mom – clever, dependable, thoughtful, smart, and sweet-natured.

The daughter of Methodist parents, as a teenager she taught Sunday school and played piano and organ for church. As a wife and mother, she continued her love of music and church activity. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking, baking, decorating, and sewing.

My mother was a traditional American housewife of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. I think she knew she had options. She chose the option she wanted and never regretted it.

A few months after Yakima High School athlete Loren Bradbury asked Dorothy Thompson for a date, she knew that someday she wanted to marry him, have children with him, and follow him wherever his work led him – a conventional choice she never regretted.

Unfortunately, my mother’s romantic dream of marriage to my father did not rest easily on her mother’s mind. Loren Bradbury was judged “not good enough” for my mother and wasn’t the most welcome boyfriend she could have brought home, although probably any boy would have been labeled “not good enough” for Dorothy to marry.

Fortunately, through the years, my father extended every kindness to my mother’s parents. He provided homes for them, helped construct their Camano Island cabin where they eventually retired, and provided for my grandmother after my grandfather died. She grew to love her son-in-law.

I’ve written about my parents’ marriage many times. I witnessed between them a solid bond of ease, appreciation, and affection. They provided a happy home for my brother and me. My father’s love for his wife never wavered. His sudden death in his mid-60s left my mother bereft. (In my early 30s, with two young children my father adored, I thought for a while I might die from losing him, the best man I ever knew. I, too, was bereft.)

In retrospect, though, it would have been terrible for my father to witness the ill health his wife endured many years later.

My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in her 80s. I don’t want to write about that now; I’ve done so in the past. Her great gift to her son and daughter was never to forget who we were, always to call us by name, a gift not all families receive in that awful situation.

My mother’s Alzheimer’s illness was a long time ago, but I have a good reason for mentioning it now.

“Alzheimer’s Education” is a free three-session community seminar offered by Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St., on Fridays, March 13, 20 and 27, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in the church sanctuary.

The speaker will be Hazel Borden, Snohomish County Community Outreach coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association, Washington State Chapter. The two-hour sessions will include time for questions and discussion.

Session one: “Healthy Living for the Brain and Body: Tips From the Latest Research.”

Session Two: “Understanding Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias: What Is the Difference and What Are the Benefits of Early Detection?”

Session Three: “Know the Ten Warning Signs: Risk Factors, the Role of Genetics and How Alzheimer’s Is Diagnosed.”

You may attend one, two or three sessions; preregistration is appreciated, though not required, at Questions about the series? Contact Peggy Frazier, [email protected]

I hope you’ll consider attending this valuable seminar.


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