I know firsthand how challenging it is to care for a loved one with dementia.
In 2012, when he was just 47 years old, my husband started to have trouble making connections, both at home and at work. Tom was active and healthy, with no significant family medical history, so we were baffled as to why he didn’t seem like himself. Nine months and multiple specialists later, he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
As the condition progressed, it changed Tom in countless ways. Our kids were preschoolers at the time, and we all scrambled to adapt to Tom’s shifting emotions, perceptions, and abilities. While it was difficult to witness and adapt to this “new normal,” I can only imagine how helpless and frustrated Tom must have felt. Despite his daily struggles, he insisted on attending every school performance, soccer game, and bedtime tuck-in. Tom loved his family and tried to stay with us for as long as possible, even as his mind and body slowly faded away.
While Tom was fighting Alzheimer’s, I was battling exhaustion and overwhelm. Juggling the household, my job, and the kids — on top of Tom’s increasing need for care — took a significant toll on my well-being. Fortunately, our friends, family, and neighbors helped me through numerous tough times. Specifically, the thoughtful boxes dropped off at our doorstep were a huge help! Our generous network organized and delivered full meals for our family, which frequently lifted the dinnertime chore from my shoulders. Small items that were meant just for me — like personal notes, aromatherapy oils, or dark chocolate — helped me take care of myself, so I could be more present for Tom and the kids.
Tom passed away in 2018, and we miss him every day. Thinking back to my years as his caregiver, I’m eager to share the little things that helped my family through some of our hardest moments. Like the gifts that appeared on our doorstep, a Forget Me Not Box is a small beacon of hope to those who pour so much of their time and energy into caring for others.
When you share a Forget Me Not Box, you’re encouraging a brave person to take a moment for themselves and practice self-care. You’re sending a reminder that they’re not forgotten, and they’re not alone on this journey. Purchasing a box makes a difference on a larger scale, too, since we donate a portion of each sale to the Alzheimer's Association and their mission to find a cure.
I’m truly excited to share the Forget Me Not Box with you as an ongoing tribute to Tom. Of course, we will never forget him!