Thursday, October 7, 2010

Alzheimer's and Dust if You Must

I volunteered today for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, a group started by Ami Sims, to raise money for Alzheimer's research.  She has her big fund-raiser at the Houston Quilt Show, this year in early November, and she wants to take 1000 art quilts with her.  She also has the exhibit that is at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.  It turns out that Ami only lives a couple miles away and needed help cataloging the quilts bound for Houston.  A couple members of my quilt guild and I spent part of the day there.  I also got to see, up close and really in person, the art quilts that were done by famous quilters to support the cause, the World Series Quilt Challenge.  There is a reason that these people are famous and published and prize-winning.  Their quilts were stunning.  No photos could do them justice.  Check them out at  On the other hand, most of the quilts that I handled today were from just people, quilters like me, but people with stories to tell, about folks thay have loved and lost to Alzheimer's disease.  Each of the little quilts has a dedication and many, many were to their moms who didn't know them, or how to cook, or sew, or garden, or drive anymore.  My family has been so fortunate, but today I thought of grandma's friends, and Aunt Irene, Sophie, and Grandma Jerry, and all those who cared for them.     

And since life seems so short...I love this poem...sorry I don't know the author, I think it's from England.

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better,
to paint a picture or write a letter,
bake a cake or plant a seed,
ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
music to hear and books to read, friends to
cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go - and go you must -
You, yourself, will make more dust!

Grandma always said that if she had her druther's, and of course, none of us do, she wanted to go with a stroke of lightning.  Me too.   


  1. Sue,
    Thank you so much for your help yesterday. What a team we had! I can't believe we got so many done! I love the poem. Would make a nice Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt.....

    With hugs and thanks,
    Ami :)

  2. Absolutly La-la LOVE the poem. I am always looking for more reasons to avoide dusting =)

    I always think of Grandma Sauve when I think of Alzheimers, God Bless her. What a great way to spend the day, but then any day you don't have to be a work is generally a good day.

    Have a great weekend. BIG weekend for the Michigan vs State game!!!

  3. Lovely poem Sue and so true, Mum has Alzheimer's so it's a cause near to my heart. It's nice to know someone else has my anti-dusting philosophy...!!

  4. Ami, thank you so much for the opportunity to help. And thank you for what you do. Sue

  5. Kate, I thought of your grandma too. MSU had a wonderful day. I hope you are enjoying your weekend. love you, sue

  6. Lizzie, It's actually stunning how many of my blogging and quilting friends have personal experiences with alzheimer's disease. Maybe because so many of us are about the same age and caregivers... it was a privilege to spend a day doing such meaningful work. And I do hate to dust... Sue

  7. Oh, Sue! I am so happy to hear that you all stepped in to help Ami out! As someone who knows so well the devastation that A.D. creates in families, I applaud you all for helping with the cataloging. It's fun for us who make quilts and I know we can't begin to imagine what Ami and her team have to do to make things run around there. How amazing that you guys helped out!

  8. Sue thank you for sharing this lovely poem, like Lizzie said, it is sooooo true.