Remembering My Sister Lost to Dementia

This is a difficult post, a sad post. My sister, Vickie, has passed away. She fought a long and hard battle (this is such an understatement it shames me to write it) with dementia and left us on Saturday at just 61 years old. This post could go in many directions, from information and awareness about Lewy body dementia to the why of it all, but for the purpose of honoring my sister and for my own healing, I’d like to share with you just a few of my memories.

I remember Vickie rubbing my back and comforting me when my feelings were hurt from my first spanking.
I remember her bringing me a new doll when I was sick.
I remember my sister’s smile that was as big as the world.
I remember a woman who fought and overcame so many challenges in her life – she truly was the queen of perseverence and starting over.
I remember her loving her son almost to the point of ridiculousness (I know it’s not possible to love a child too much, but she tried).  At 13 he still was not allowed hard candy.  Honest to goodness; I could not make this up.
I remember Vickie adoring her granddaughters.  They were her world.
I remember a sister, a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother who valued relationships with the ones she loved and who took joy in building them.
I remember Vickie being fierce in the face of adversity.
I remember her giggle.
I remember being proud of my sister.
I remember the final days of her war with the disease, the one she did not win, the one she at last embraced and that took her from this world.

Vickie, you are so much more than I can ever convey. What you will never be is forgotten.

All the love in the world to you Sis,
Kelly

Vickie Gropp-Kerley
1950 – 2012