Browsing Category

Love

Family, Love

Alzheimers-Another Neurodegenerative Disease

Unfortunately, I now have experience with two (2) neurodegenerative disease; Huntington’s disease and Alzheimers.       

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

What is Alzheimers       

What is Huntington’s disease

My family celebrated my father, James Keith Crutcher’s, 91st birthday on November 9th at Almond Gardens, a Residential Care Facility, where he now lives. Last year, the family noticed, that he was forgetting things, wasn’t keeping up the house and when he told us he wanted to move to a senior apt. complex that offered congregate meals, we moved him quickly.

I stayed a week with him in his new apartment to help with the transition.  I soon discovered, since I haven’t lived with my dad since I was 19, that he had dementia. He took many falls at the apt. after I left and had a subdural hematoma and had to have brain surgery.  He survived and John and I brought him to our home to rehab.  For (4) months, with the help of home health, he improved physically but mentally we saw a decline.  In August, he was diagnosed with Alzheimers; another cruel brain disease.

Alzheimer’s has quickly attacked my dad and my heart breaks as I watch my father slip away.  And now because of COVID-19, we cannot even visit.  I pray that one day he will not wake up and can be with my mother again in the heavens above.

We Can Never Lose HOPE…

 

 

 

 

Love, The Marin Siblings

Haunted by Three Lovely Ladies

Lora, Cindy and Marcia Marin

Since losing my three sisters-in-law, Lora, Marcia and Cindy Marin, to Huntington’s disease complications, at young ages, I am haunted by their memory.  John and I were by each of his three sisters’ side while they struggled with Huntington’s disease for 24 years. These experiences are embedded in my mind, heart and soul.

Lora, Cindy, Marcia Marin

Most people associate the word “haunt” as a bad, troubling experience, but to me “haunt” is: to recur persistently to the consciousness of; remain with; not easily forgotten.  I’m no psychologist but I believe I consciously chose to have Lora, Marcia and Cindy remain in my heart and, yes, creep into my consciousness everyday.  I believe this is my way of keeping their memory alive, honoring them because they tremendously influenced my life.

Maybe one day, after I’ve done my best to help the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), these ladies will not live in the fore front of my mind and I will find peace knowing I’ve done everything I could to remember them. 

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

We Can Never Lose HOPE……

To receive the first chapter of the nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, visit my author website Author Website  and sign up for my blog and I’ll email the chapter to you.  (signup is on right side of page)

 

 

Family, Love

What Do You Remember About Your Grandmother(s)?

I was blessed to have both of my grandmothers involved in my life and I have wonderful memories of them.  Both of my grandmothers, Christina Mary (Mages) Crutcher and Celena Barbara (Gable) McKibben were loving woman, who unfortunately, didn’t marry nice men.   

Christina Mary (Mages) Crutcher married at 17 and was a mother at 18 and her first granddaughter was born when she was 41.  What I remember about her is, she would take one of us, I have three (3) sisters, for a weekend and spoil us to death; we’d go to the movies and have popcorn and candy, play cards for hours and watch Let’s Make a Deal on TV.  These were special one-on-one time I had with her.     

Celena Barbara (Gable) McKibben had a tough life.  She and my grandfather split early in the marriage and didn’t divorce for many years.  My Grandmother had to work until she was in her late 70’s; first as a housemother to nursing students at St. Joseph Hospital and later as a companion to elderly women, living with them through the week and then living with one of her children on the weekends.  What I remember about her is, the hugs, smiles and giving us a quarter out of her little change purse when my sisters and I were going to TG&Y to buy candy.  She was a very giving, loving woman and her family was everything to her.

We Can Never Lose HOPE……….

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

 

Love

My Heart Was In The Lost and Found

 

Boz Scaggs is John and my artist, a talented musician popular in the 1970’s.  Whenever I hear a Boz song, I’m taken back to college and to my then boyfriend, John Marin, before the Marin secret was revealed. artist boz-scaggs biography

Boz Scaggs song, Look What You’ve Done To Me, breaks my heart when I hear it.  Click here to listen to it:  https://youtu.be/hWrbelCfMvc

As I look at the pictures of my life with John through the years, my heart skips a beat because I almost didn’t live that life.  When Huntington’s disease (HD) suddenly entered our life, it scared me to death and I questioned whether our LOVE would be enough? What is HD?

Out of fear, I left the relationship and my heart lived in the Lost and Found. For the next seven months, I did a lot of soul-searching and my emotions were all over the place.  I was young and didn’t have many life experiences to shore up my doubts.

John eventually found my heart in the Lost and Found just as I discovered LOVE would get us through the years and if he got sick, I’d be there to care for him.  That’s what you do for the people that you LOVE.

I’m grateful every day that I have had with John, the LOVE of my  life, who is healthy, and thankful for his negative test for the mutated Huntingtin gene.  Sometimes you just have to take a chance and listen to your heart.  What is Huntington’s disease

HDSA 2019 Convention

Article on goodtherapy-love         7-ways-to-deal-with-uncertainty/

We Can Never Lose HOPE…

To read for the first chapter of Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, go to my author website and sign up for my weekly blog. I’ll email you the 1st Chapter  https://theresecrutchermarin.com

Love, The Marin Siblings

A Letter to the Mother-in-Law I Never Knew

Phyllis Iva (Cahoon) Marin, the mother-in-law I never knew, has been on my mind through the years.  I wish I’d known her and I feel cheated not to have had her in my life. I’ve written a letter to her to express my feelings.

Dear Phyllis, 

My name is Therese Marie Crutcher-Marin and I married your kind-hearted son, John Anthony Marin and we will celebrate 40 years of marriage on Sept. 27th. 

I want to thank you for giving him to the world, a world where I was able to find him.  He is the love of my life and I’m ashamed to say I almost didn’t marry him, out of fear, because of the threat of Huntington’s disease.  If John had inherited the mutated huntingtin gene and became ill, I would have taken care of him, since that’s what I believe you do for the people you love.    

Your three daughters, Lora, Marcia and Cindy, were also benevolent, compassionate women and you would have been proud of the kind of people they became as adults.  I loved these women like they were my own sisters and I miss them everyday.  Unfortunately, Huntington’s disease stole them away from us, but rest assured, John and I took care of them through their long journey’s with this horrific disease.  

I find comfort knowing that the four of you are together in heaven, as it should be, a mother with her children, and I pray your souls find peace spending eternity together with our loving Father. 

I’m looking forward to meeting you one day.

Your devoted daughter-in-law, Therese

 

We Can Never Lose HOPE….

My author website is:  https://theresecrutchermarin.com

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin

 

Grief, Love

Love and Loss

HDSA 2019 Convention

Most folks have opened their hearts to love whether it be love for parents, siblings, grandparents, children or a rich, deep love for another person; spouse/significant other.

When we love, we don’t think about the emotion of loss that will eventually occur when the person you love dies.  I think it’s human nature not to spend time thinking about that event.

You cannot feel the emotion of love without the emotion of loss/grief. I ask, is it worth it to love?  I believe it is.   Article: If you love you will grieve

When I married John I was scared since he had an unknown gene status for Huntington’s disease (HD), a rare, fatal, genetic brain disorder that has all the symptoms of ALS, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s.  The disease strikes young and when a parent has HD, each child has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the mutated huntingtin gene which causes the disease. what-is-hd/overview-of-huntingtons-disease/

I knew the possible consequences of my decision, but being young, I really didn’t know how this terrible disease stole everything from someone over a 10-20 year period of time. I soon learned, as my three (3) sisters-in-law succumbed to this horrific disease.  Watching these three (3) lovely ladies, I carried a loss in my heart for 24 years.  John didn’t want to be genetically tested so I realized I could also lose him this way.

Loving John wasn’t really a choice.  I fell in love with this man and my heart couldn’t give him up so I loved deeply knowing my life could change in a blink of an eye.

To read about our love story while living in the shadow of Huntington’s disease. please see my author website:  https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com

We Can Never Lose HOPE…….

I’m a Huntington’s disease advocate having lost my three (3) sisters-in-law to the disease.  Beginning January 1, 2020, there will be a HDSA San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate.  Amy Fedele is the Co-Chair, I’m the Chair.  The Stanford and UCSF Centers of Excellence Teams are involved and it is our hope to increase our presence in the SF Bay Area that has a population of 7.1 million.

My author website is: https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com

You can read about my HD journey and the book I published, Watching Their Dance.  100% of the profits are being donated to the nonprofit, HDSA.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HD Advocates, Love

Huntington’s Disease Advocate Marjorie Guthrie

    

Phyllis Marin

The following is a letter I received from Marjorie, Woody Guthrie’s wife in 1978 when my then fiance, John Marin and his three (3) sisters discovered the family secret; their mother, Phyllis Iva Cahoon Marin, had Huntington’s disease (HD). What is HD?

Marjorie and five other volunteers succeeded in forming the Committee to Combat Huntington’ s Disease(CCHD), which was incorporated in the state of New York on September 18, 1967, as a nonprofit voluntary health agency. To read about Marjorie, go to https://hdsa.org/about-hdsa/hdsa-history/  The CCHD, later evolved into the nonprofit, HDSA, after her death in 1983. http://www.hdsa.org    

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Therese, 

I wanted to answer your letter to us personally because I really do appreciate your thoughts and the fact that you are not deserting your young man and are looking for ways to HELP!  That is a wonderful attitude….and I am sending you a packet of information about CCHD and the work we are doing.

I hope that after you read all this you might be “inspired” to JOIN WITH US….and perhaps in time….you might event help us build a chapter in your area.  The closest to you is in San Francisco.  But…for now…read…and learn what is going on and when you can…get involved. 

We need FRIENDS!  No one asks the cancer patients to go out and help…and we must realize that most of the HD families who are burdened with the problems of HD can not do all that must be done!  We look for friends, relatives, people who really care and you just might  be one of those!   I will be anxious to hear from you…..Until then….

LOVE & PEACE! In the NEW YEAR!

Signature of Marjorie Guthrie

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

We Can Never Lose HOPE…………

Therese at the 2018 HDSA Annual Convention in LA.

I became an HD Advocate the day I decided to marry John.  I wrote the nonfiction book, WatchingWatching the Dance Huntingtons Disease Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s to help in the fight against HD.

100% of the profits from the book is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA). My author website is:  https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com

 

 

Love, Taking Care of Yourself

Denial-A Coping Mechanism

Lora, Cindy and Marcia Marin

Definition of Denial.  “The action of declaring something to be untrue.”

I must admit, at times, I lived in denial.  Denial isn’t a bad place, only if you stay there forever, but for me, that place gave me solace for a short time. Article on Denial:  mayoclinic.org/healthy/denial

When situations became unbearable, that is where I sought to be.  When Lora died because of Huntington’s disease (HD), when Marcia had a stroke because of Huntington’s disease, when Cindy was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, I went to my special place, denial, to regroup, gather strength and recharge. What is HD? https://hdsa.org/#

To be present and help my three sisters-in-law have the highest quality to their life, for as long as possible, escaping to my denial place helped me cope and face another day.

The nonfiction book I published was written in Lora, Marcia, and Cindy’s honor.  100% of the proceeds are being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) to help in the fight against the cruelest disease on the planet.  Author website:  https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com

 

We Can Never Lose HOPE………………..

About Author, Love

Live, Laugh, Love

Each of us is given but one pass through life.  No retakes.  No repeats. 

So, make a covenant –

To live well.   Be good to yourself, your family and others.   Be big in behavior, not small.  Think mature, not immature.   Take the long view, not shortsighted.   Participate thickly, not thinly.   Consider carefully Abraham Lincoln’s thought that “in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”  

Oscar Wilde

Or roll Oscar Wilde’s thought around during the day:  “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”  Celebrate how great life is.  The world is a beautiful place to be.  Colorful.  Stimulating.  Interesting.

To laugh often.     Laughter cures the soul.  It removes masks.  Humanizes.    Laughter heals many rifts, bridges many gaps.  It builds memories.   Laughter is universal among people.  Laughter makes you live longer.  Laughter makes friends, builds memories. Laughter vanquishes demons and warms your soul.

To love greatly and deeply. Love is the most generous gift given us.  Love makes all else possible.   To love greatly means to love unselfishly, for the sake of others as well as yourself.   To love things beyond yourself, beyond your personal interests. Love gives back two fold. Love improves others.  Love improves the giver.

From Prof. Marty’s Corner https://www.livelaughlove.com/live-laugh-love-blog/philosophy

Author Therese Crutcher-Marin
John and Therese

Love is what got John & I through the tough times…………watching Lora, Marcia & Cindy, my three sisters-in-law, struggle with Huntington’s disease.

Therese’s author website: https://www.theresecrutchermarin.com
Love

Grief Is The Price For Love

When we LOVE, we don’t realize that at some point in our life, we will experience tremendous grief when losing that person.

Would you turn away from loving a person because of the pain you will experience?  I don’t believe so.

If you don’t open your heart to love, you will never know grief because grief and sorrow are the price we pay to LOVE. The death of someone you LOVE is one of the greatest sorrows that can occur.

“Every time we make the decision to LOVE someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving…the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And LOVE is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.” — Henri Nouwen

Articles on the relationship between love and grief:

https://thriveworks.com/blog/grief-love-losing-someone-never-easy-focus-good/

https://themindfulnessapp.com/grief-is-the-price-we-pay-for-love/

We Can Never Lose Hope………

Therese’s book can be purchased on many book websites like Amazon.com