By: Dorothy Bagsby
My name Dorothy Bagsby, I live in Seattle. I retired from The Port of Seattle as a Lease Accountant III with 30 years of service. I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, minor in sociology and two years of graduate study in public administration. I am a Certified Manager. I love reading, walking, music, attending church, participating in community charity and fundraising events and sharing the love of God with others. I love spending time with my family. I had six siblings: four sisters and two brothers.
I participate in the Pacific Northwest Walk to End Alzheimer’s with Team Sistah. My team is my two sisters and friends who support us yearly. I joined the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in 2006, the year my mom passed from dementia.
My mom, Essie Bagsby, was my hero and the best mother in the world. She was loving, kind, nurturing, an avid gardener (both vegetables and flowers), a seamstress and an excellent cook. She was a loving Christian woman who spent her time praying and sharing the word of God with her family and others. She loved cooking and feeding everyone that stopped by the house to visit. She instilled biblical principles in her children.
Mom was diagnosed with dementia in 2000. As mom’s dementia advanced, she was no longer able to cook, do her gardening, read the bible or pray. She was totally silent, but she was able to identify us and give us a smile that would light up your heart and give you peace. I would record her favorite scriptures and play her favorite songs. I would sit by her chair, comb her hair, do her nails or just read to her. I would buy her bouquets of flowers throughout the year to put in her room. I would call her on the phone and talk to her when I couldn’t be there. I prayed and meditated to cope with anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.
I am now caregiving, along with my two other sisters, for my eldest sister, Minnie Roberts, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2017. I retired early to take on this caregiving role. It is sad and very stressful taking care of my sister. It is emotionally, physically and financially draining for the entire family. We were praying she would be alright after caregiving for her daughter, my mom and her sisters for over 28 years. I feel like I owe her my life because she was always there for the family and me while I went to college and worked for over 40 years.
I walk in memory of my mother, Essie Bagsby, and now my sister, Minnie Roberts. I walk to support Alzheimer’s care, research for a cure, for critical care and support services and advancing research toward methods of prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure. I walk to support millions of people and families that have loved ones dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The world may look a little different right now, but one thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to ending Alzheimer’s. This year, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is everywhere — on every street, trail and treadmill. We’re moving forward to end Alzheimer’s. Join the fight at alzwa.org/walk
One thought on “Caregiving with my sisters: Why I Walk”
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Dorothy! What a wonderful way to honor your mother and Minnie. Every walk builds awareness and brings us closer to a world free from Alzheimer’s disease and all other dementias.