Linens and Things

Dear Readers,

Last night as my son laid down to go to sleep, I covered him with a mohair blanket that my Nana made at least 50 years ago. I said he was being watched over by the memory and skill of his great-grandmother. When he woke up this morning, he said that he had “the best rest ever.”

His comment made me wonder about the AD Families in Colombia. Did they sleep well? Caregivers and patients, alike? Or were the caregivers awake washing sheets all night while their loved ones tossed and turned?

Such a simple beautiful thing it is to have a good rest in a clean, warm bed. Knowing my boy was cozy last night gave me peace, too. I want this for the families in Antioquia whose suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is made worse by limited resources.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if my father heard about these families before he had AD, he’d be on a plane with huge suitcases full of supplies for them. This is the same man who came to Kenya to see me a long time ago and built a library for my African students—PLUS  he arranged for British Airways to deliver donated books for free.

Beau also would have been deeply interested in the work of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix. Bringing together a consortium of scientists, the organization is working towards prevention trials with members of these Colombian families. My dad would have wanted in on this research, or at least a seat on the grandstands cheering it on. It’s an honor to do the latter for him.

My father’s name is on the National Alzheimer’s Quilt Project—-sewn there after our story ran in the New York Times.  The fact that” Beauregard Lee Bercaw” appears on that Quilt comforts me, and comes with a responsibility to blanket others with  the knowledge that they are not alone. We are one intricately woven family: Bound by love in our hearts for people with atrophying minds.

The Linen Project begins now. You can email me at for details on how to get your linens, or quilts, to me. Dr. Reiman in Phoenix will get them to Dr. Lopera in Colombia.



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