Wait, how many elephants?

I can’t really imagine what it must be like to not have a huge family. Like, five or more sets of aunts and uncles and 30+ cousins. There are a lot of us, and I love it.

A few years ago, in lieu of a specified official T-shirt type family reunion, we had everyone down to our old Kentucky home for Thanksgiving. And by we, I mean, my mom and dad hosted it in their house and I just had to help clean a lot.

It was an event. There was – as there always is when we all get together – a North vs. South game. This time it was football. Last time it was volleyball. Why North vs. South? Well, three of my mom’s sisters live up North, and she and two others live in the South. And we all are really competitive. Mainly my Uncle Sam. But all of us have our moments.

Needless to say, there are a lot of games and game-type things that go on when the family gets together. Like Cranium, wherein you might have to make your cousin who is about two feet taller than you act like he’s jumping rope without any help from him.

So this whole weekend, there’s a lot of eating, a lot of laughing, and a lot of drinking, actually.

My grandma did a fair amount of it, which is funny because I never saw her drink very much. But this weekend, she had a glass of wine a majority of the time. This at times made her grumpy.

Like when we went to Lonestar for dinner on Thanksgiving (we were having ours the next day since everyone hadn’t arrived) and I was talking to someone out the car window and she yelled at me to “roll up the damn window.”

This was after she’d been unable to find her seatbelt clip thing and instead unbuckled my cousin Megan’s and put hers in there. Leaving Megan without a seatbelt. Sami said Megan whispered “Grandma’s trying to kill me.”

Most of the time, though, she was happy. And just as into the games as the rest of us.

Then we got into the riddle portion of the night and someone asked a tricky question about if this many giraffes and that many gorillas and this many elephants were in a room, how many feet were there total or something. A bunch of us are trying to do the calculations or yelling out guesses and my grandma, who I know wasn’t paying attention because she was cleaning something up and had a glass of wine in her hand, leans over and goes, “Wait, now, how many elephants?”

May not sound funny to you, but if you were there, you’d have laughed. ‘Cause we did. A lot.

It’s such a big deal, story-wise, in our immediate family, that when I asked my mom for ideas on what to name our team for the Alzheimer’s Walk, that’s the first thing she said. And that’s how the team got it’s name. See? I promised I’d tell you.

And wouldn’t you know it, as my mom pointed out the other day, an elephant is a great symbol for something involving memory.

Which is why it’s going on the shirt.

Yeah. We made T-shirts. Because every event needs a shirt. And yeah they’ll give us some there, but these are special. Because they’re about my grandma.

We’re walking for her, Sept. 10. My family and other family members who’ve lost a loved one who had the disease – my cousins’ other grandpa (the one we didn’t share). We’ve also got some great friends who are spending their morning with us that day. Walking in support of us, in support of her, in support of hopefully, one day, finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Please consider making a donation, even if it’s just $5. Every little bit counts and you’re helping us get closer to never having to be scared of that diagnosis.

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One thought on “Wait, how many elephants?

  1. Lynne Browne says:

    Hey Laura, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this walk. I’d like to walk with you guys if that’s okay. My step Dad has alzheimers, also. A friend and I did this walk a couple of years ago. Let me know if I need to do anything, other than show up! Lynne

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