On a typical day, Susan’s life revolves around doing things she enjoys with the people she loves most—her family. Each week, she would drive from her home on the shore to visit her children and babysit her grandkids. “We go for walks. We’ll go out in the backyard. We have a swing set and we’ll swing or we’ll just toss the ball.” What could make days like this even better? Ice cream. “I love ice cream. It’s just a relaxing thing,” Susan says. “When I eat it… I don’t worry about anything. I’m just eating ice cream.”
Getting the whole family together—Susan and her husband have five children—can be difficult, but for their 30th anniversary, everyone gathered to celebrate the special occasion on a cruise vacation. Reflecting upon how her memory impairment has affected her relationship with her family, Susan admitted that there are moments of frustration, but overall, “I think it’s made it stronger,” she says.
But that is not to say MCI has not had a profound impact on Susan’s life. Her husband noted that she has given up many of her old hobbies and activities, such as reading, cooking, baking, and bookkeeping. The challenges of memory loss and the uncertainty of the future weigh down on Susan, who saw her plight in a leafless tree. “I could see it from right out the window and I said that’s how I feel sometimes… It looks like it’s dying.” Then, “I saw the flowering tree and I said I wish I could just come out of this and be the same as I was.”
With her husband’s support and encouragement, she is committed to changing her life for the better. Reminded of her love for books, she is determined try to begin reading again. She hopes to overcome her anxieties and socialize more. She wants to motivate herself to exercise more, and maybe finally sign up for that yoga class. "Life's about enjoying yourself, enjoying your family, and we have opportunities to do that.”