I wondered to myself, why not?...By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
I thought, hmm, this might be interesting. When I opened it I noticed it was a forward of a forward. You know one of those emails that goes around in a daisy chain. Like a chain letter.
I noticed that I was one of about 25 people receiving the email.
I looked at the next email down the chain. Sure enough there were about 25 email addresses on that one.
Next, I thought. I wonder how many of those 50 people forwarded the email -- The Sack Lunches -- to their email list? 5, 10, 40?
Lets say 10, or about 20 percent. 10 times 25, another 250 people received the email.
Let's say those that received the email continued to do the same thing as above.
1,250 people received the email.
3,906,250 received the email.
There are approximately 4,544 subscribers to the Alzheimer's Reading Room. About 3,185 are email subscribers. Some read via RSS, etc.
So I think to myself. We must have at least 230 important articles out of the 2,300 articles on this blog (10 percent).
Here are a few other things I know. A recent Harris Interactive poll showed that
44 percent of adults have family members or friends with Alzheimer’s disease.
I wondered how many of those 100 million plus adults would be thankful if they received an email that helped them better understand or "cope" with Alzheimer's disease?
One thing for sure, during the time I have been working on this article another 20 people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Another 20 or so caregivers were born.
Do you think they could benefit from our help?
I wonder how I could get a large group of people to start a systematic program to email everyone on their email list with information from this blog. Like some of our best articles?
I wonder if we did this every couple of weeks for a few months what would happen? How would we feel about ourselves?
What would we accomplish together?
I guess you could assume 44 percent of the people that would receive an email from us have been touched by Alzheimer's disease.
In case you were wondering, here is the contents of the email I received. Or I should say, thousands or millions received.
The Sack Lunches
I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.
'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. 'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan.'
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base.'
His friend agreed.
I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Afghanistan; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?' 'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.
'This is your thanks.'
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked. I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, 'I want to shake your hand.' Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.
When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travellers.
As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little.
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'
That is Honour, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.
There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one...
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- Ten Symptoms of Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease
- Ten Tips for Communicating with an Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
Alzheimer's Reading Room and an X Wall Street executive turned full time Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,310 articles with more than 285,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
The Alzheimer's Action Plan
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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room