Travels with Django
Travels with Django
By E.M. Fredric
Santa Monica, CA - (EMF) September 22, 2019 - On Sunday morning the Tongva Park Alzheimer’s Walk was the place to return to meet up with my team captain, Nancy Daly - for Actors & Artists Unite. This sunny morning, I brought along my son, Dylan and his beautiful girlfriend Sarah and of course, Django – my G-Dawg. He was excited to be there and did the honors again this year of having extra poop bags for those owners whose dogs don’t carry their own. Django helped two on the walk. Dogs will be dogs.
You would think the town of Santa Monica would have free metered Sunday parking to support non-profit organizations but they must “need” more money.
We registered and got our flowers, the various colors signify different stages.
This year I felt more sad than usual because a girlfriend of mine is showing signs of an inherited disease. It always is a reminder of losing my first love, James, to early on-set Azheimer’s. He passed in his early 40’s. His father died when we were in high school. It would be years before I knew why – he seemed very quiet and then he was gone. I learned quickly about the devasation of losing a loved one through James losing his dad and I have lost more than a few people that I love, since.
The ceremony before is always moving with stories of why people are there and this year a mother/daughter were on stage as the mother carried the blue flower. It’s hard not to cry when you see someone with a disease that makes them digress backwards and robs them of who they once were. How brave and wonderous the two women were – smiling and holding up their flower. The crowd was told to hold their color up when it was announced what it stood for – a flower garden in the air that spins in the wind for a cure.
Nancy Daly is the Founder and National Team Captain for Actors and Artists Unite dedicated to building a community of support, awareness and compassion for anyone who has - or who has lost - a loved one to Alzheimer's. She recently lost her father to the disease this last July. I’ve had the pleasure of walking with her on four walks, two now with Django.
Nancy wrote this about her father the night before our walk at Tongva Park :
I cannot sleep
I will not sleep this night
I never sleep the night before a Walk
In a few hours, I will raise my Purple Flower with his name on it
I will walk for a cure - for an end to this nightmare
But no matter how many miles I walk- I will always be too late
He is gone. He died before we found a cure.
I will always be too late
But I have his story to tell, a team to lead, a cure to find and a promise to keep - and miles to go before I sleep
I will not sleep this night.
We’ll keep walking and hopefully be holding what is now the lone white flower. I think the entire county will be out in full force because a cure will have been found.
*Join us at various chapters in the southland or nationwide: Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter is on Facebook or sign up at their website: https://act.alz.org or https://www.alz.org/AAUnite
Django is one of my best mates and my G-dawg. He doesn't belong to me but we love each other. He's an amazing, athletic little guy who can scale 6ft. or more over fences/trees, flies over rocks and will nail a rabbit, frog or fly if allowed to take chase by land, sea or air! G-dawgs are like grandkids - not expensive and you can hand them back when you're done.