Frances (mom, grandma, great-grandma) is 84 years old and has beenliving with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's for 12 years. This once vibrantwoman ran a trucking company with her husband, ballroom danced,loved to sing, walked or exercised every day, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and volunteered countless hours at church and school. A woman of strong faith- a woman who prayed the rosary daily, Frances is one of 17 children from the old Italian neighborhood of Chicago. At 15, she started working full-time as a secretary, was married at 18 to Sam Scroppo, they had 3 children, the first of whom they lost in infancy, Fran was widowed at age 48. Then, at age 56, she met a wonderful man she fondly referred to as the "love of her life." They were married for nine years, at the end of their time together; she cared for him during his battle with pancreatic cancer. Two years later, she met her last husband at the senior center in Scottsdale, AZ, and was widowed for the third time nine years later.
She always wore a dress or skirt, her hair, makeup, and nails perfect.
Her favorite shade of nail polish and lipstick was and still is a vibrant
red. Very social, she loved her Canadian Club and water until she
discovered the "best" wine (according to Fran), Beringer White Zinfandel always with three ice cubes. She resides now in a memory facility in Burr Ridge, IL. She will still push others around in their wheelchairs, pat others on their back... between times when she is sleeping extensive stretches and unable to feed herself. Encouraged by her daughter's frequent visits and her youngest sister, Rose's weekly check-ins.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer's has taken her memories, her abilities, and
she is a shell of the loving, smiling, beautiful woman she once was.
She doesn't know us- but we still know her. A year ago she lost her
youngest son, while she does not understand this loss, we know he willbe waiting for her with open arms along with her husbands and siblings.You can still hear her daily "prayers," not understood by us, but we knowher angels, both above and here, are working overtime, caring for her and keeping her going.