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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Grateful for the caregivers

February 4, 2014 · Updated 3:49 PM
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Editor,

I had the privilege to attend the opening reception at the Brackenwood Gallery in Langley to see and learn about the work of Sarah Wallace. She was an accomplished artist, known and loved by many within our island community. The exhibit highlighted a few of her early paintings, but the main focus was on her amazing artwork that came about, developed and changed during her long journey with Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosed in 2001. The exhibit is called, “Transitions.”

There are all kinds of art in this world, but the art of caregiving is probably one of the most difficult and challenging. Sarah’s husband Ivan — also an accomplished artist and sculptor — lovingly took Sarah by the hand to help her negotiate her journey with amazing care by learning as much as he could about her disease, and with hard work, long days and nights, commitment and pure love.

I met Ivan at the Caregiver Support Group at Bayview Center in 2001. Not much later, I was able to spend time with Sarah after Ivan brought her into our Time Together family, also at Bayview. I watched her change over the next eight years and she never ceased to amaze me with her grace, her humor and delight in laughter. She loved music, dancing, art and just having fun with the people around her. I was honored and blessed to have her in my life, as many others were.

Ivan lovingly shares Sarah’s life with us through art. He continues to work with the Alzheimer’s association and other groups to talk about what he learned about the life of a caregiver. We all have gifts to share in this life. Thank you Ivan and Sarah for sharing your incredible gifts of beautiful and meaningful art with us.

And thanks to Talia Marcus, who brought her talents to the evening and delighted us with her musical talent and taught us how to breathe, move our bodies, laugh and enjoy life, all in just a few short minutes.

Bless the caregivers among us.

TERI HAGSTROM

Clinton

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