The Flint Journal

June 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm 12 comments

Ami SimmsThe Flint Journal ran a very nice article about me last week AND the week before.

I spoke with the reporter at the beginning of June before I left for Delaware and Pennsylvania. The photographer came out to the house to shoot the photographs before I left too.  The article was supposed to run in the June 12th edition but our paper has now gone from 7 days a week to just three. My article got lost in the shuffle and wound up on-line before it came out in print. They used different photographs and a different title. Either way, if your Flint Journal from June 19th is already at the bottom of the bird cage, click here to read the online version (with the better picture of me, thank you very much).  Please add a comment to the online article. If you let them know you’re out there they will be more inclined to write about Alzheimer’s. And we need them to do that now more than ever.

You can also click here for a link to the article on the AAQI web page.

Debbie’s assignment during the photo shoot was to take a picture of the photographer taking a picture of me!

Say 'cheese'The photographs were taken upstairs in my mom’s apartment, now my @Home Classroom.  A basted quilt is on the design wall behind me made from images Mom hand stamped and dye-painted for me. Most were made before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s been basted for years, but I just haven’t gotten around to quilting it yet.

Next to the quilt are some Journal Quilts and duplicate Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts I’ve made.

My trusty Bernina is in front of me and Oscar, the photographer, is leaning on the vintage quilts now up for auction. (Hurry, you only have until 10 pm on the 25th to bid. Did you see how cleverly I snuck that in there?)

C'mon, SMILE!I think the body language on this photo tells you exactly how nervous I really am staring into that long lens of his. Could I possibly lean back any further without falling off the chair?! I don’t think so.

Despite what the poor guy had to work with (me) I think he did a great job!

You can see one light by Oscar’s right shoulder and the other is in the bathroom. Yes, you can tell it’s the bathroom because that’s where I keep the treadle sewing machine. It has a quilt on top of it because I have no other place for the quilt either!

Among other things, the article talks about a new traveling exhibit that will eventually replace “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece.” The new one will be called “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.” Not all the details are available yet, but click here to read at least a little bit about it. Please let your friends know about it too. I’ll be updating here on the blog and also in the AAQI Update.

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Entry filed under: AAQI News, Alzheimer's.

List Making, NTD, and TTDs Vintage Quilt Auction Ends Tonight!

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann Hill  |  June 24, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I love the basted quilt! You should get it quilted soon.

    I hope more newspapers will publish articles about Alzheimer’s and your wonderful exhibit.

    Ann, VA

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  • 2. Carissa  |  June 24, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Ami,
    The photo of you in front of the basted quilt is great. You really look relaxed and with such great colors in the background, it’s just a great happy photo!!

    Keep up all the great work!
    Carissa

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  • 3. Anne Mains  |  June 24, 2009 at 10:24 am

    It was an excellent article. You showed (They showed) very good examples of the artistic ability. My MIL did absolutely wonderful Hungarian Embroideries. As the disease progressed her work got more and more childlike until she couldn’t do it anymore. That was the most heartbreaking.

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  • 4. Mary Lou Palmer  |  June 24, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Very nice photo of you Ami. The article in the newspaper was very touching — and very enlightening. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s at the end of her life and I had thought, as many do, that they do not realize that they have this disease. My great-aunt (grandma’s sister) also had Alzheimer’s. I wonder if it is genetic?

    Thank you for stepping in to help educate about this disease.

    People in the early stages certainly know something is wrong. And they’ve been working very hard to make sure nobody finds out. The frustration, fear, and anxiety can be huge. As the disease progresses, there is less “knowing” what exactly has gone wrong, but imagine never knowing where you are, who you are with, and what is happening to you. You and I can remember what happened a few moments ago. In the later stages of the disease, for many that becomes impossible, as does imagining what might come next. People in the late stages live truly moment by moment. If the moment is happy, that’s terrific. If it is not, it can be a “never-ending” terror. This is why sweet little old ladies start cursing like sailors, purposely crash their walkers into people, and get really ornery. I saw how frustrated my mother became. At times that was the only thing she could think of doing in response to an environment she simply could no longer understand. This is an odd disease in that it affects everyone differently, but I believe it is rarely as passive as people would like to think it is. How do YOU feel when you get really frustrated?

    Yes, there is some evidence that some types of Alzheimer’s is genetic. Current wisdom is that there is a genetic componant and an environmental component. How much each play a role is the hard part. Along with everything else about this disease.

    Jeepers! That was WAY more than anyone wanted to know.~~Ami

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  • 5. Holly Anderson  |  June 24, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Saw the exhibit in Birmingham. Still as powerful as the first time I saw it!

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  • 6. quiltdivajulie  |  June 24, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Ami, I registered and posted a comment for the Flint Journal but it hasn’t shown up yet.. Hope it does soon.

    You may have been nervous during the photo shoot, but it was well worth the anxiety…it turned out VERY well.

    Here’s to all you continue to do!!

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  • 7. Pam Brees  |  June 24, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Nice photo Ami. Love that basted quilt too..alll my colors.
    You can never put “too much” in your replies…the more we understand about what is happening, the more responsive we are to the needs. When I do my spiritual caregiving in the hospital, I see many who are there with dementia, the usual diagnosis. I deal with a lot of families who are going through it. Sometimes the only thing I have to offer is a hug, and a listening ear. I do let them know about the auction, and your work. I am hopeful that some will check it out.

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  • 8. Mary E. Williams  |  June 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    The article was truly incredible, Ami, as are you. I’m still caring for my friend and her memory is worse as is her temper. She’s trying very hard, though, and we work through a lot of fears and frustrations. I’m exhausted at times, but then I think of how she must feel, and I go on. I wish I could contribute as much as you have and maybe some day I will. Thanks so much for all of your hard work and devotion.

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  • 9. Amanda  |  June 24, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Beautiful photo of you Ami! I love your Mom’s designs on the quilt in the background.

    The new Alz Quilt Exhibit idea made me cry. Losing one’s brightness, fading away, it’s just so sad…. which is the whole point. That’s when you can tell that art works, when the emotional response is immediate and deep…

    Thanks for all you do!

    Love and hugs,
    Amanda

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  • 10. Linda Stewart  |  June 24, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I found a lady in a local mall making quilts and ran in and gave her your name and web site!!! Told her all about your books and workshops, so if you get some crazy Acadian writing to you, it’s from me! Missing Madison’s updates though…our boys love to hear how things are going. Take care, xo

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  • 11. bubbybird  |  June 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I too love the quilt behind you and was wondering if you at some point in time could possible feature it in a post. I’d love to see some of it up closer.

    I have been out of almost all quilting and other things for some time now due to health issues and have hopes of getting back into it and accomplishing more now that I am feeling better.
    Love you work, your blog and any helpful hints you pass on…..Good Luck!!

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  • 12. Peg Howard  |  June 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    I remember the quilt in the picture near the kitchen cabinet area- hanging in her house… :) dont I….
    love the picture of you in front of the quilt and sitting at the machine….great photo— although I sense some anxiousness in your smile..
    wonderfullll….

    Hugs,
    Peg who is still waiting for your and madison to drive up the drive way….the blue berries are ready- or you can come later toward fall- and get pears…

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