Skip to content


  1. Corrine
    July 7, 2016 @ 5:48 am

    I find the relentless enthusiasm mantra very damaging personally and culturally. The natural fears, agitation and depression are somehow supposed to be masked and others who see the reality swim off because they haven’t learned it is to be expected or understandable and can deal with it. dory may be wearing the mask of relentless enthusiasm but who knows the hell she is going through . it becomes the ultimate in selfishness to force others to wear a mask just to ease one’s own comfort zone. Ooh mini rant over ? Thank you for helping us understand Gerda, sending a hug


    • Gerda Saunders
      July 19, 2016 @ 11:02 pm

      “it becomes the ultimate in selfishness to force others to wear a mask just to ease one’s own comfort zone.” I love this sentence so much, I will definitely steal it for future writing. (Will give you credit, I’m not a republican a la the Trump crowd…)
      I love your post on “The McDonaldisation of the Mind.” I have encountered these coloring books–my grandkids were given some pages to color. When my kids were small, I never gave them coloring books, but had bottles of paint always available for whenever their muses visited. I have a huge gallery of kid paintings as a result, some of them still giving me joy from my bathroom and bedroom walls today. I can only imagine how much you will love doing all kinds of discoveries, whether art, science, biology–are they different?–with your granddaughter. xoxox

      Read more at:
      Copyright ©


      • jafabrit
        August 3, 2016 @ 5:34 pm

        I CAN’t WAIT Gerda, ooooooooooh!
        I ADORE children’s art and still have some of my children’s artwork, or translated some of it into embroidery.

        Please feel free to use any quote you wish xx


  2. Michael Kelly
    July 7, 2016 @ 8:43 am

    “Although she suffers from short-term memory loss, to Dory the glass is always half full”

    yesterday was a horrible day full of lapses at each turn and it left me angry & frustrated. Even before Alzheimers I avoided the needlessly bubbly. Gerda’s first email about Dory confused me. I knew little of Dory beyond her being a fish. This 2nd email led me to her article and then I understood.
    Alzheimers requires more than mindless optimism, it’s the most pragmatically demanding thing I know. Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” I’ll add the Alzheimers/Dementia afflicted who don’t crawl into a ball are adaptive, creative and pragmatic beyond anything others might imagine. I use ANYTHING I can to cope with the memory short circuits and I take some pride in my versatility.

    Blindless optimism is not on my plate! I miss multitasking mightily & often but I also relish my new library of 500 movies only possible because I no longer have near perfect recall of the movies I’ve seen. That realization fed my own optimism since I’d snatched something from the abyss.

    Thank you Gerda for helping me see others are fighting too. No amnesiac fish for me, “I swim therefore I.M.”.


    • Gerda Saunders
      July 19, 2016 @ 10:47 pm

      Hello Michael, you are certainly no bubbly, amnesiac fish! I love hearing that you share my sense about the glass-half-fullers who refuse to acknowledge the dark feelings that almost always come with illness, particularly mental illness. I think that once one acknowledges those feelings, you can go again. Swimming Fish Are Us!


  3. Mary
    July 7, 2016 @ 9:33 am

    Dearest Gerda, thank you for sharing your adventures with the girls. I’m so sorry that these lovely events in your life cost you so dearly. Dona Quixote may indeed be taking your Memories, but not without a good fight and the fact that you are making lifelong Memories that your grandchildren will hold onto and share with their kids and grandkids in the years to come. And Maya as well. What an incredible gift you’ve given them! Love you lots!


    • Gerda Saunders
      July 19, 2016 @ 10:49 pm

      Thnaks for your lovely response, Mary. You put the memory issue in an interesting way–the memories we make are ultimately not for ourselves, but for those who loved us and who will remember us. HOping to hear soon about the memories you have been making the last week or two!
      Lots of love.


  4. Kathy Williams
    July 7, 2016 @ 10:39 pm

    Hi Gerda, I love your grandkid stories, we also spend a lot of our days watching our 5 grandkids( the ages are 13, 9, 6, 4 and 22 months), a week doesn’t go by without at least 2 sleepovers. We are constantly on the go attending a baseball or basketball game( a lot of these, Alec the 13 year old is in select basketball and they play 5 to 6 games every weekend) or recital, school activity , swimming lessons and the list goes on. We have so much fun with these busy guys, but like you it takes a day or two to recover. Your life sounds just like ours and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Also, the photos are wonderful, they are all lovely!


  5. Merrilyn Nicholson
    July 25, 2016 @ 3:02 am

    Hi Gerda, I first ‘met’ you through ‘Chic over 50’, I am so impressed with your courage and especially your wit. I am near your age (66), when I was 52 decided to complete my diploma in nursing then post graduate geriatric nursing specialising in EOD(early onset dementia), hence my great interest in your story, I am now about to sit and enjoy your video….you are an inspiration. I am using you as a role model in my work with my wonderful patients….Keep up this wonderful spirit….Love and cheers to you!!!!!!


    • Gerda Saunders
      July 29, 2016 @ 4:50 pm

      Dear Merrilyn, how lovely of you to be in touch. Shauna has given me so much inspiration in style, but the best of all is that I get to meet people like you–thanks for your caring note. I am talking and writing about my dementia for my own selfish purposes (talking is a form of sharing the stress) and also because I hope my story will have some value to amazing people like you who take care of people in a very difficult time in their and their families’ lives. I am so grateful to be used as a role model, though some of my stuff is not very pretty, like the latest VideoWest film “Downhill From There.” But I have gotten over that long ago! Where are you studying? On social media, one never knows if you are in Utah or Australia! Thanks so much for your support, wherever you are.


  6. Heila
    July 26, 2016 @ 11:52 am

    ? Love you lots and wish you were near for a huge hug


    • Gerda Saunders
      July 29, 2016 @ 4:44 pm

      I would so love to be in the same place of you for a hug and much talking. Thinking of you and Henk with tons of love.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *